Thursday, September 29
Opera House, Riga, 12:20
I had a very restless night last night. I left this morning just as Irma got up. I missed the 93 and walked to Alepa to catch the 95 to Itäkeskus. I got the 550 to Oulunkylä and the train to the airport.
I met Lena Seraphin at the airport, and we got the 222 together from Riga airport to Stockmann, where Andrew met me just as we planned. Fifteen minutes later Andrew has a phone in his hand, trying to talk to his daughter in France, and I have an iPad in my hands, photographing the Opera House.
Andrew arrived in Riga by coach thirty minutes ago. We will walk to our lodgings at his friend’s apartment, drop our bags, and then walk towards the conference venue, before detouring into the old town. Andrew will take me to a cheap and cheerful Latvian lunch cafe, where the menu consists of pancakes of various kinds: cheese, meat, mushrooms, and more. We will fill our plates, get our salads weighed, and take a drink of the local version of soured milk.
After lunch we will walk across a long bridge to the National Library where the Open Fields conference will start at 14:00. Various minor disasters will ensue, beginning with my attempts to register and they will continue in various guises on a regular basis.
We will sit through an afternoon of keynote speakers and then attend the opening of the festival exhibition. To my total surprise Idamaija, one of my former students, will suddenly appear as one of the exhibited digital artists.
I will wander back with Andrew and two of his friends, stopping for dumplings, getting lost, catching a number 13 bus, and ending at a bar ten metres from our apartment called Leningrad. We will meet up with some Spanish people that I met at Pixelache’s festival last weekend before returning to the apartment to talk briefly with Lena and her boyfriend.
I will brush my teeth, climb into my fold-out bed, and fall promptly asleep.