One Day in [Frankfurt, Mainz, Bangkok]

Last days on this European tour were spent in Frankfurt and the nearby town of Mainz. For the former I spent pretty much the entire day at the TotalView debugger debugger course at the Centre for Scientific Computing, Goethe University. It was particularly well run with core concepts explained well, then built upon, with plenty of hands-on examples. We stayed at the comfortable and inexpensive Adler Hotel. As an example of Frankfurt's contrasts it's one block parallel from the train station, and one block from the glass and steel that makes up the financial sector. It's location however is the middle of the red-light district, and we quickly dubbed the road Niddastraße into 'Needlestraße" on account of the dozen or so strung out heroin addicts who decided the middle of the pavement was a good place to self-medicate.

A short train trip from Frankfurt is Mainz, homeland of caseopaya's family. Quite a delightful town with architecture from ranging from the later medieval and early modern periods, it was also very interesting for me to go to the Gutenberg Museum. It is my considered opinion that with movable type and an alphabetic script it was from Mainz that the period of European modernity began. Also of interest for me was the location of the founding of the brief Republic of Mainz during the French revolutionary wars, the first democratic state in Germany. The chief organisers were the Jacobin-inspired Gesellschaft der Freunde der Freiheit und Gleichheit (Society of the Friends of Liberty and Equality), certainly a title I could get behind.

Leaving Europe we took the gruelling journ on Royal Siam air to Bangkok. Not much to say about the journey except that I had the opportunity to watch In the Heart of the Sea, a fairly good retelling of the wring of 'Moby Dick', and the frankly remarkable Hidden Figures, on the trials and successes of a group of African-American women mathematicians who worked at NASA in the early 1960s. As for Bangkok itself, it's incredibly humid. We've stayed at the thoroughly pleasant and inexpensive Salil Hotel 8, a short distance from the famous 'cowboy district'. It's been incredibly hot and humid and there's was little opportunity to explore, except for a couple of Singapore Slings including one at Cabbages and Condoms, a restaurant set up by a community development organisation promoting safe-sex and family planning. Alas, I did not get to play a game of chess to satisfy the famous song of the city.

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