Thursday, June 28
The geese had disappeared this morning and the tram delayed got by accident. The driver told us about halfway that the tram would take a large diversion because ambulances had blocked the line ahead. She advised us to change at the next stop. I changed to the number 1 and drove to the centre along a different route.
I arrived at the conference just in time to watch Roni deliver his paper. I asked some questions at the end, he replied, others joined in, and a lively discussion ensued.
We talked for some time with his MA supervisor, and then went to lunch. Roni already has an MA and a PhD but he has decided that he has something he wants to write and would benefit from writing it under supervision; and so he has opted to do a second MA. This gave me a couple of ideas.
Lunch took place, as always in a room adjoining the theatre, with an option of sitting at tables in the balöcony of the theatre. Today we therefore watched the start of the Best of Finland session while eating on the theatre balcony. The theatre had 12 in the audience; the dining area 21.
Later, after a further session of depressingly bland short papers, Roni and I decide to give up for the day. We walk over to Singel where four coffee shops nestle next to each other. The photograph shows three of them. Another one stands to the right of the Hemp Shop. In the hemp shop they sell cannabis ice-creams, which Roni and I have never heard of, let alone tried. A few minutes later that has all changed.
We will sit outside the coffee shop not in the picture, having a beer and eating our cones. We will get as stoned as we expected to get from an ice-cream cornet that costs 2.40€.
Later we will go to the coffeeshop Resin (Roni’s favourite, he tells me) to watch the afternoon football. They have decided to repaint all their toilets today and so I will leave after an hour to use the toilet in the Renaissance, which stands fifteen metres away round a corner.
From there I will decide to go back to New West Inn on the 17 for an evening of reading and writing.
When I realise that I feel hungry I will decide that a second evening of Moroccan food would solve the problem. While there I will realise that they do take cards, as does Aldi. However they only take debit cards. This, I will decide, tells me something about the nature of this very multicultural area.
The one block also includes a Turkish supermarket, a halal kebab bar, a French bakery, a night shop run by an Arab family, and the Chinese restaurant I went two a few nights ago.
I will return, chat with Irma, and go early to bed. I will fail to go to sleep and switch the light on again. I will sit up until midnight reading the terminally dysfunctional history of the terminally dysfunctional Grateful Dead. It will turn out that a lot of the things they became known for happened by accident or against their will.
I will wake twice in the night. Both times I will find myself having a dream in which I have to fix an impossible technical problem while working as a member of the Grateful Dead road crew.