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3:42pm on Thursday, 17th September, 2009:

Conference in Crete


I gave my talk today. I don't know how well it went down, but suspect it wasn't all that appreciated as: a) there were no questions, and b) I overran by 30 minutes and ate into the coffee break...

The keynote in the morning was a strange case of déja vu: the first 40 minutes of it could have been one of the talks I heard in Geneva 2 days earlier (until the point where the speaker started talking about a Firefox plug-in he'd developed to help with security). He even showed the same video off Youtube that spoofs Facebook security.

At breakfast, I bumped into Wendy Grossman, a journalist friend whom I didn't know would be here. I first met her in Singapore, so we specialise in encountering one another in exotic locations. She bequeathed me the milk she'd bought to put in her tea, which was skimmed rather than the hotel's extra-cream-added (which they tend to have a lot in hot countries, I don't know why).

The hotel itself is expansive — they give you a map to it so you can find your way around. Here's the view from my room:

The sea, which you can see there over the balcony and the crazy golf course, is about 100 metres away if that. There are swimming pools, bars, a variety of entertainment events always going on somewhere — it's like a cruise ship except it doesn't go anywhere. This could be a problem for me, actually, as for reasons of arranging flights I have tomorrow free; I have, however, nowhere to go because we're 35 Euros away from the airport and more away from Iraklion. I'll see if there are any tours arranged, otherwise I may find myself with nothing to do but attend the conference .

The conference swag is great, by the way:

A lot of that is just paper, yes, but there are DVDs about Crete, maps, pens, pads, a terracotta plate and, best of all, a bag. It's such a g0od bag that I'm seriously considering switching to it from my usual red shoulder bag. It has all kinds of little pockets and hooks and things inside, and is the sort of thing I would have considered buying if I'd see it in a shop. It's free, though! I'm not sure how I'll pack it in my suitcase if the airlines don't allow me two carry-on bags, though. That's if I can figure out how to get from here to the airport on Saturday...

Still, it's 5:40pm and it's 27 degrees Celsius outside, so who cares?

Referenced by Happy Humanist Swag.

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Copyright © 2009 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).