An American Drupaler in London

I recently had the pleasure of traveling to London to attend DrupalCamp London. There, Joe Shindelar and I taught a one-day Introduction to Drupal workshop. The class was great and the attendees actively participated, as they were very interested in what Drupal has to offer. This was my first experience teaching with Joe in person, and even though I work with him regularly on our videos here at Drupalize.Me, all I can say is he is a fantastic presenter and teacher. If you are ever at a camp, con, or meetup, I recommend that you take some time to sit in and listen to Joe speak.

After that we, and some other Lullabots, took the camp by storm, presenting and attending sessions the next couple of days. Sally Young and Blake Hall did a session together, Going Mobile, about building Drupal-based mobile apps, and separating the backend from the frontend on a site. Although this was way over my head, those that attended were very curious and excited about what they were saying. Addison Berry also took some time teaching a session on the Drupal Ladder. I love seeing people get excited about working on core. The session had a fair number of people attend and plenty of questions were asked. It is also very cool seeing Addison still get excited to teach about the community. Finally, Joe "performed" a session on Fun with the Form API. The session was fairly packed and everyone had fun (non pun intended) listening to Joe show the importance of learning the Form API.

The rest of the camp was packed full of sessions and an overall excitement of people learning Drupal. I could go on and on about the camp, but I also want to talk about life as a simple American in London. Especially a life of a person that sits behind a computer most of his days.

My day usually begins with a couple cups of coffee and gathering my thougths while organizing email. For me, a couple cups of coffee are easily made with a coffee maker. This is where I began to notice I wasn't home anymore. A cup of coffee in London is not just a drip of water over coffee beans. No, it is a ritual — single serving, and what appeared to me, a project. Let's just say, I had less coffee than I normally do.

My next foray was a very unexpected trip on the "tube." Now I have traveled to Europe a few other times, but never had to use the tube during rush hour. At one point it was so packed I swear there is no way more people will fit on this thing. They did anyway. I'm sure New Yorkers are very familiar with this, but as a non-city person, it was a bit overwhelming. I made it out alive though.

Kyle Hofmeyer

Unfortunatly most of what I saw of London was either going from tube to tube, or walking from the tube to a place to eat. That leads me to my next favorite part of London: the food. Sally was our tour guide and certainly knows where to take people to eat. I had some "awesome" food during my five-day visit and have learned to eat with a fork in my left hand and my knife in the other (thanks Sally).

Besides the food I did get to see Old Ben from a car window, and the Tower Bridge (apparently the London Bridge is not all that). We also took a moment to jump over the Prime Meridian, and I played the role of a tourist with Oscar-like potential, as you can clearly see in the picture here.

I am now siting in the airport waiting to travel back home to the States. You may be asking yourself what this post has to do with anything. I guess it is really about how being part of the Drupal community offers the ability to step outside our normal boundaries and experience the world around us. One of the greatest aspects of Drupal is it has no worldy boundries and events are everywhere. From Portland to Copenhagen, Denver to Sydney — Drupal can take you anywhere, and I am better for it.


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