Tuesday, June 26
I woke suddenly at 7:30 and sat up thinking about breakfast. I decided not to race to the centre, and instead I walked three minutes to Aldi to see if they have any sandwiches or similar.
They have the ingredients for sandwiches but I will have to make them myself. I then discovered that they do not take any known credit cards. I paid by cash.
Forty minutes, one shower, and several cheese sandwiches later, I finish off the bottle of water I just bought and walk over the road and through the park to where the tram stops. Trams seem to arrive about every six or seven minutes so I do not wait very long before this appears.
Dutch trams, I discover, have entrance and exit doors and you should not mix them up. I find my way in and sit in tram number 17 for about twenty five minutes until we reach Centraal Station.
It will take me some time to find the Renaissance Hotel, the conference location, but eventually I will. Almost the first thing I will say when I arrive: “Hello Roni”. I will bump into Roni Linser for the first time in ten or twelve years.
We will split up to attend different presentations and then meet up again at lunch. At 15:30 I will make my presentation to a group of maybe twenty people, and three or four people will want conversations afterwards.
The organisers we tell me that they have cancelled the pecha kucha session because they did not receive enough entries. I will feel vaguely irritated because the fact that I had a pecha kucha to deliver at the same time as the poster/demo session had created a mix up at my end, and I had no real posters here.
Instead I will pin an A4 “poster” containing a single QR code and the title of the paper that we intended to accompany the poster onto my allocated space and leave.
I will take a tram back to the western suburbs and walk to Soussi, a Moroccan restaurant literally next door to Aldi. I will have soup, tagine and mint tea. I will discover that they too will take no cards, and so once again I will pay with cash.
At the hotel I will have an amusing WhatsApp session with Irma before starting to read a book about the history of the Grateful Dead: Dennis McNally’s Long Strange Trip. I have always found the idea of the Dead far more interesting than their actually music, and so I will hope for some sort of illumination on this.