20 September, 2008
The day started very early. After a long day before, with crazy deadlines to meet it was very difficult for me to wake up that early. But I had to. I had volunteered chauffeuring three other colleagues to the airport in the rented car. So I got to the first address by to pick my supervisor who was also going to the conference. We left
When we got to
22 September, 2008
Today is the first day of the conference and I am relieved to find out that my English accent is far better than most of the delegate’s. 90% of the delegates speak English as a foreign language, and I salute their courage to present in a language that is different from their working language. I can’t imagine myself presenting in French. Disaster! The first day of the conference was rather laborious as there were so many papers on air pollution modelling and stuffs that ‘eficos’ (studious people) do. Boring. I struggled not to sleep and could not ask any question other than…please can you explain what your research is about? Since that sound stupid, I kept quiet and wonder what I am doing here, when I should be watching CNN.
The conference is a United Nations gathering of a sort, as it has people from every continent of the globe apart from Antarctica. There were so many things I now know as a result of meeting people at the conference. For example, I never knew there was a place called Baha California in Mexico (someone was from there), I never knew a Saudi Arab can wear jeans..........I met one, and if you have a first degree in Italy, you are referred to as Doctor (can you imagine). There were delegates from Japan, India, Australia, Portugal and Spain, and almost every other parts of Europe and then from Canada, no one from the Caribbean or other parts of Africa, apart from Egypt and South Africa. I feel sad about that, because it shows something I don’t like. While my other Nigerian colleague and I tried to flaunt our ‘Nigerianness’ with our accents and green passport, our badge says we are from a university in England.
However, I love the feel of the conference and the way everybody interact with each other. It shows how good it is to be an academic. Go to conference in an exotic Greek Island, listen to boring papers and bore everyone with yours, then intersperse that with drinks and good Greek food. What a life!