Thursday, October 25, 2007

SEM so far

I rushed through my morning yesterday in order to make my flight out of JFK in comfortable time. I needn't have bothered. The flight was canceled, and we were re-routed to LaGuardia. Frantic that we would get caught up in traffic on the rather expensive shuttle ride between the airports, we dashed downstairs to the baggage claim, and waited. And Waited. AND WAITED. Finally, two of us went upstairs to the luggage claim desk to investigate further, only to be told that our bags had been put on a plane that evening to Columbus. Why we were not on that plane with our bags, we could not understand. And why that flight was able to leave, and ours was canceled due to "bad weather", we could not understand. And why we had been told to collect our bags downstairs, when they had been automatically re-routed, we could not understand.
So we rushed outside and on to a shuttle. And waited. And finally offered to pay the driver more to leave with all six of us plus one non-NYU student, and one empty seat, rather than wait for an eighth passenger, so that we would make our new flight.
So off to LaGuardia we rushed, and got through customs just in time to hear that our flight had been delayed. Not a complete tragedy. It was about dinner time, and we were all pretty hungry. Several of us in the group are vegitarians, and several people have food allergies, and so our choices were rather limited. But we ate and talked, and waited together. Finally it got to the time when we should be making our way over to the terminal. We did that little thing just in time to discover that our flight had been canceled! We were booked on a new one in the morning that basically guaranteed that we would miss the first few papers we had all wanted to attend. But at that point, what choice did we have?
Brett, who had begun his journey on Monday evening (he was traveling from South Africa) was about ready to pass out, and so rather than drive all the way out to Manhattan and then back in the early hours of the next morning, we crashed at Allen's place in Brooklyn. Many thanks, Allen and Nicki. Your fold-out couch was very comfortable!
Part the next: On Thursday morning, we all woke up bright and early to get to LaGuardia. This time we actually got onto the plane before the waiting happened. But at long last, we got into the air, and on to Columbus. The airport taxis were unable to carry all six of us at once, so we went in two taxis. And three of us landed up at the wrong Hyatt. Who would have thought Columbus had two Hyatts?
But we finally got there, and got registered, and are now (relatively) comfortably settled at the conference hotel. The hotel, thankfully, did not charge us for the first night that we missed, but they did give away our double room, and so three women and one (tall) man are sleeping in one king-size bed and one cot. Last night the arrangement was less than successful. Tonight, we will have to try something different. Most of the NYU department gave their papers yesterday (and there were some very good ones among them), but Jenny, Brett and Allen all speak today, and I have my paper tomorrow morning.

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