The conference experience

You’re sitting in a hotel room. It’s like every other hotel room you’ve stayed in on work travel, except the air is a little more stale than you remember. Your eyes ache from too little sleep and too much caffeine. The jetlag will wear off just in time for you to travel back and start all over again.

Perhaps you should work on your talk. Perhaps you should go get some food. Perhaps you should go outside. It might get rid of the feeling that you’re trapped in a box where nothing is real. Also there might be food there. Food would be good.

Outside, the pavements are wide but there’s no-one on them. The street boasts a strange mix of huge high rise towers and tiny clapboard houses with palm trees poking up between them. Maybe this is where they got the idea for Up. The air is cool but not cold, and you start to feel a little better. You find a place selling Mexican food. You hope it will be better than the MacDonald’s next door. It isn’t.

It’s dark, and you walk back on the empty streets. Tomorrow will be full of new people. You hope there will be someone you know. It’s weird if there isn’t. You’re too old for starting all over again. But sometimes you have to do it anyway. You need to put your game face on.

Perhaps you should work on your talk.

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3 Responses to The conference experience

  1. That’s really depressing! Where is the wonder of a new city, or the joy of returning to an old one? The switching on the TV to see if the programmes are similar or hopefully better than the ones we get in the UK!

    Where are you?

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  2. sjrosenstein says:

    Yeah, I wasn’t in the sunniest mood for this conference! I didn’t really want to go on travel again, and I got really bad jetlag. Really, really bad. Was waking up at 4am every day.

    I was in San Jose, which is in Silicon Valley. I think it would have been beautiful before all the companies moved in. I met a couple of ladies who grew up there, and they talked about how small and cosy it was and how pretty the farms were.

    The cable in the hotel was sadly missing the violence channel (possibly Spike TV? The one that shows things like When Russian Weddings Go Bad). On the plus side, it meant I went to the gym a lot! I actually did an hour of exercise every day.

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