All entries for May 2009

May 14, 2009

Paris – The Scoresheet So Far

Half way through my first ever conference overseas, I thought I should give an update as to how things are going.

  • Saturday 2pm, Paris 1 – 0 Tom.
    So the channel tunnel wasn’t quite as exciting as I’d expected, really it was just a long tunnel, but I arrive in Paris full of optimism about traveling again. Feeding my one Euro sixty into the machine I pick up a receipt that somebody left in the machine rather than my ticket. Several attempts to cross the ticket barrier later and I realise my mistake but my ticket is gone. First blood to Paris.
  • Saturday 11pm, Paris 1 – 1 Tom.
    It’s Saturday night in Paris and the whole place is alive. I’m wandering with two Canadians and five utterly insane South Americans known collectively as ‘The Peru Team’ towards the Eiffel Tower as we’ve heard it goes crazy at midnight. Wandering is quite the wrong word, we are sprinting through the streets shouting ‘Vamos Vamos’ whenever a decision is made about which direction we should travel in. I take the opportunity to relieve myself behind a bush in one of the extremely posh parks, sure it’s a low goal to claim but it brings me back on parity.
  • Saturday 11:45 pm, Paris 2-1 Tom.
    Among the mass of people under the Eiffel Tower we are separated, suddenly we are in two groups and unable to find each other. Federico, a sole Argentine in our reduced party from the northern hemisphere is distraught, “Oh where is my Peru Team” he can be heard to mutter disconsolately form time to time.
  • Sunday 11 am, Paris 2-1 Tom.
    As a citizen of the European Union (a phrase you wouldn’t see in England!) who is less than 25 years old I get free entry to the Louvre. I alternate between reading Daphne Du Maurier and looking at paintings for about three hours, the sitting and reading makes the experience so much better, I usually appreciate art for a strict maximum of forty five minutes but today I’m having loads of fun. I guess since the Paris authorities sanctioned it this doesn’t really count as a point to me but hey, free culture.
  • Sunday 8 pm, Paris 2-2 Tom.
    Dinner for twenty euros? No thanks, instead I’m invited to the house of Wolfgang, a friend of a friend, where I enjoy four courses at a dinner party of random conference attendees and Wolfgang’s relations. I taste my new favourite cheese, it’s called Epoisses with an acute accent on the e.
  • Monday 9pm, Paris 3-2 Tom.
    It’s opening coffee and I can’t work the machine – things do not look good for my chances of understanding the mathematics.

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