I have a couple of days to cover at this point.
Friday was a very full day of conference sessions from 0800 to around 5. They don't even schedule a lunch break - you just skip a session and either pick up your prepaid boxed lunch, or go outside for a meal.
As is always the case with these conferences, sessions were of varying quality, and I am more sure than ever that four "15 minute" presentations and a discussion in an 80 minute session does little credit to either the substance of the paper, or, in many cases the skills of the presenter. Having put so much effort into the presentation people tend to have a lot to say. They also find themselves astonished when they are 14 minutes in and only half way through their paper!
I had done a bit of homework on Thursday and identifed a couple of interesting restaurants for the evening meal. 4 of us - Chris Branson, Charles and Ron Wideman from North Bay, Canada piled into a cab and went to a simple and unpretentious place called Tocabe on the corner of 44th and Lowell for authentic Native American food. It ws bare tables and order at the counter, but the food was fantatstic. Two of us had shredded bison cooked in what they call fry bread with corn, beans etc - a bit like a calzone, aling with hominy salad (dried and treated maize kernels - but very like chick peas). The other two had buffalo ribs. We agreed it was terrific, and there were a number of Native American cutomers, which gives a bit of confidence in authenticity.
Charles and I bid the others farewell and went to a jazz place called Jacks - or [email protected]? - where the music turned out to be R and B - and exceptionally well done by four black guys and a white guitarist. The most interesting part of the night was to see a young woman (mid 20s?) dancing all alone, (and then with increasingly eager men!) in a most provocative way. She looked stoned - and her subsequent quiet ejection from the place meant it was likely she was.
Saturday started with a 7am meeting after which Charles and I took a couple of hours to go to Boulder (about 45 minutes by bus - $5). It is a university town, right at the foot of the Rockies. They are very impressive up close. We effectively had time for a quick walk, a cup of tea in a Tajiki teahouse - a gift from the city of Dushanbe - a sister city - see today's picture, and then back on the bus and back to the conference where we gave a paper that people actually attended - one of those 4 papers to a session arrangements I described.
I was then interviewed for an American colleague's research, which became an extended discussion of several related issues, and am no in a break before the conference dinner.
I'll be up early again tomorrow to get the 6.35 shuttle to the airport to head for Toronto via Chicago.