Solipsism and Me

Idle reports from an idle fellow

Saturday 8 December 2007

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It was raining when I left Oxford and probably still is, even though it’s my birthday or so they tell me. I took photos of puddles in Walton Street [1], and through the windows of the Heathrow bus [2] as it splashed its way out of Gloucester Green, full of would-be Oxford students returning home after their admissions week interviews, and not knowing whether they would ever be coming back. I at least intend to return, and very shortly.

At Terminal 4 an officious person officiously pushed buttons
on my behalf and checked me in all the way to Seoul. I had coffee in daylight, through the not-so-fast track gate, and on to the amusingly named Holideck lounge to gorge on free cakes and coffee and (when I’d figured out how to do it) free internet too.

On the way to Amsterdam I enjoyed a rather fine lunch and also wrote an XSL script to convert the Sejong corpus to a format which Xaira should be able to hand. Then I had a momentary panic trying to get to my gate in time: they had inconsiderately changed it, and Schiphol has more miles and miles of indistinguishable walkways than is quite decent even for an airport. The tv monitors that used to say “See other screens” now say “Consult Other Displays” which I still find amusing. At gate B22, finally, I sat and waited along with a crowd of happy Korean athletes returning from some youth competition in Spain, several of them clutching shiny metal trophies.

I turned left on entering the plane and proceeded to the sharp end, where the seats are personalised islands each with their own tables and tv screens ingeniously folded away. Nice Dutch ladies plied me with food and drink and safety instructions, as they usually do in such places. What’s to remember? The food and drink was mostly delicious and served on real china and glass (I know the glass was real because I broke one). I watched two movies: an Indian remake of “Le diner des cons” which was quite good, and a strange Japanese comedy loosely based on “Back to the Future” in which a teenager journeys back in time to the 1990s by means of a time machine her mum has made out of a washing machine (no, really) in order to save Japan from economic collapse. I think. My eyes were hurting by then so I tried to contort my mechanically contortable chair into a comfortable shape, not so easy, and tried to snooze a bit, ditto.

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Written by Lou

December 14, 2007 at 15:39

Posted in Uncategorized

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