Saturday, July 19, 2008

Greetings from the Gulag ... er, I mean Swansea

by J J Cohen

So the deluxe accommodations they promised never appeared: no room service, no mini bar, no goose down bed covers or widescreen plasma TV, no mint on the pillow each night (actually the pillow is so thin that a mint would be an improved sleeping device). Imagine the dorms at Kalamazoo, and then subtract the charm, and you can envision Swansea.

OK, that's an exaggeration. You know what makes up for the spartan living? The conviviality of the conference. And the Pub on the Pond, in easy walking distance.

My paper is today, and I will now commence to obsess upon it ... but before I do, I wanted to say, dear readers: I wish you were here.

Because then the dorms would have been overbooked, and they would have paid to put me up at a charming nearby B&B. Yes, I am certain of that.


Eileen Joy said...

You have just described my experience at Leeds, right down to the pillow. Stay in a Yotel on your way home and cheer yourself up--it worked for me.

Cymreig said...

Everything you missed, from swans to pagans and ancient stones, can be found here:

Justin B said...

I am suffering the wafer-thin [think _Meaning of Life_] pillows, chez Swansea. Jeffrey's paper was predictably terrific. This morning I got up and ran along the ocean; it was clear enough that I thought I could see Ireland; but when I looked more carefully and thought I saw Merlin transporting those rocks, I knew that my vision was not to be trusted.

Dr. Virago said...

And Jeffrey's not even in the worst of the dorms, which is where I am (and Justin, you too, right?). At least Jeffrey has a coffee maker in his room and his own bathroom. I just have a noisy and empty fridge.

Eileen, my dorm makes Leeds seem luxurious. Seriously.

If it weren't for JJC and the Babel crew letting me tag along with them occasionally I don't think I'd be surviving.

The runs on the beach are a pretty marvelous thing, too. Hm, there seems to be a growing running contingent...You know, maybe every conference should have a group run to help us work the kinks out from sleeping on dorm mattresses!

Dame Eleanor Hull said...

I like my dorm room. You all should have gone with the en suite option; Langland is perfectly decent. And there's an ocean out there! For at least some of us, that's a huge perq. I am pretty tired of the lunches, though.

Jeffrey J. Cohen said...

Thank you, Justin. I meant to tell you on Sunday, by the way, that you were WEARING MY SHIRT. I own that same one, green with colored stripes, and had worn it on the plane. Glad we both weren't in them at the same time or people would think we are twins.

Jeffrey J. Cohen said...

Oh, and of course there is an ocean, and it is beautiful ... but the campus has done its best to block every possible view of it while you are there. Still, it was a very easy walk (or run) from the dorms, and absolutely breathtaking. Plus, I've never seen so many frolicking dogs!