Tuesday, July 19, 2005

ISHPSSB: living and traveling

Oh yeah, here is a picture of the program for the conference. Guelph is really into their Trillium.

Well, before we get to the good stuff, namely the beer, I feel I should recount some of the ups and downs that comprised our trip to and our stay in Guelph ON. Melinda, Jason and myself rented a Ford Crown Victoria, paid for by ISH, to make the trip. It was a comfortable car for sure. It took us about 9.5 hours to get there from Bloomington with only 2 stops. We heard some very funny local Canadian radio news bit about some stolen trees. They even had an interview. It was very strange. There were other strange things too, so strange that they wouldn't even be funny if I recounted them here.
So our first night in Guelph was absolute hell. Melinda, being the smart woman she is (she also had more money than we did) booked a room in a townhouse with air conditioning. Jason and myself opted to stay in the NON airconditioned dorms at the rather ridiculous price of around 40$ canadian. That is fucking ridiculous if you ask me. But we figured it's cheaper than the townhouse at about 100$ canadian per night and cheaper than motels which were about 65$ canadian.

But that night was miserable. Apparently John Wilkins had the same problem, as did many others I'm sure.

Easily the second worst night sleep I've ever had. The worst was Alicante Spain in late July. I was in the back room with no windows and it was hotter than in Guelph. We both took freezing cold showers but it was no use. I got about 2 hours of sleep. But around 2am Jason and I decided to take matters into our own hands and we called around to motels and resovled to check out of the dorms in the morning. It was just unbearable. Needless to say, this was not a good way to start a conference. I drank a TON of coffee while I was there and still haven't caught up on my sleep.

So we checked into a Super 8 motel about 10 minutes from the conference which kind of sucked, but it had COLD air conditioning and we slept much much better.

Then there was the party that was thrown by Patrick Forber and his flatmates. Holy crap it was a rager. People were sauced and many bottles were broken. They also had a kiddy pool and there would be like 8 people just squished into it standing there smoking cigarettes. It was hilarious.

The return trip didn't go so well. We had picked up a fourth member, Jutta, a professor in our department who had flown into Toronto but was catching a ride back with us. She is a German citizen and had to get some form when she entered the country or else she wouldn't have been able to get out ever again or some such thing. Well, there was a very large line to get into the country. We waited for 20 minutes on the bridge before we could even see the check points. Anyway, I was driving and there was a lane with no cars in it at all that said 'Customs and Immigration, NEXUS' on it. That's fucking it I swear to god. So my car mates suggested I take that route because Jutta's situation may be related to immigration. I said I didn't think that was a good idea but I listened to them and went.

Well, it turns out it was a good idea because it acutally didn't take any longer even though we had to go inside (where we got to use the bathroom), but it was bad idea because I was verbally abused by the security dude for about 3 minutes. What an asshole. He was pretty much yelling at me about why I didn't read the signs? Maybe I should read the signs next time? What was I trying to do? He was a dick. I tried to reason with him to no avail. I was getting very pissed and he was getting very pissed so I just said: "yes sir. you are correct. I'm sorry." I really wanted to grab his gun and shove up his ass and pull the trigger until it goes click, but I had incredible control.

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