20 May 2009

INTA - Wednesday

We cut the run a little short today, and the group was slightly depleted - though I cannot now remember precisely who turned out. Still, I guess we did about 5 miles. By 0900 I was at my first meeting, with Bayo, after which another meeting failed to happen

In the middle of chatting to Faisal, my next appointment, Dave Musker happened past, and we arranged to get together in London rather than waste valuable INTA time on one another: after which the conversation expanded to take in two people from Ella Cheong, one of whom turned out to be a keen runner and Murakami fan.

I had double-booked myself to see Susannah and Marc at the same time, but fortunately also at the same place. I arrived and found Susannah, having the advantage of knowing her already, but Marc is not someone I had met before. A message arrived on my Bunberry: "wearing a light trenchcoat". I swift pass through the lobby found him in no time, and the three of us sat down together to become acquainted - and I derived much satisfaction, as I had done at other points during the meeting, from introducing two of my friends to each other.

We talked at some length about my propsed article for the TMR, floowing on from some intelligence given to me by Julianne at Perkins Coie about the law on "official marks" in Canada. Susannah held forth on s9(1)(n) of their Act, and agreed to collaborate on the article, which was a good result.

I ran from there to the Red Lion Hotel, where I met Ken - although we went to the Elephant and Casle, the mock English pub in the basement there - I'd known of it for many years, but not been there - or had I? I recall an early listserv gathering with Bob and Marty Schwimmer which might have been there, years ago. Ken and I can get together in London, though, where there will be no need to frequent a place named after one of the least desirable neighbourhoods in London.

Next, Debora from Buenos Aires was a no show, but Dedar Singh Gill from Singapore was there and we enjoyed a good talk, about running as much as anything else (another candidate for IPRun). Later I introduced him to Santosh too, trying to work out what is the significance that they both have Singh in their names - is it just like bneing called Smith or is there more to it than that?

A couple of Aussies that I didn't already know also failed to show up, so I took a quick look at exhibits - just as the final whistle blew on the exhibit hall. I was able to say hello to Rudi, and visit the Appleby stand where I saw Huw but failed to get a rum cake - not really surprising at this later hour. Next was Mohiuddin Adeni, another guy from Pakistan, whom I did know already but was pleased to see again. He reminded me of an old English friend - facial mannerisms - though I won't go into that here, but save it to fictionalise one day perhaps!
Dennis, one of my oldest INTA friends, and I went to Starbucks for a coffee, then I was due to meet Jorge at the Paramount Hotel but there was no sign of him. I had seen him earlier, but we hadn't stopped to speak then as we had a date later. Oh, well, the strike rate was still pretty good.

As I was close by, I called into John Kenny's hotel but he had already left, so I headed off to Bill Seiter's bash, encountering a lady from a Canadian firm on the way who turned out to be the co-host. I found myself suddenly, and unexpectedly, in a completely new circle - at the start there was no-one there I knew, although Wing and Taiji reliably showed up later. I got a cappuccino and an elegant Russian lady gestured to me to invite me to sit at the table where she and her young (and very pretty) colleague were sitting. They explained that they have one man in their office, whose job it was basically to run around after them, and he was immediately dispatched to get cappuccinos for them too. An equally elegant Latvian lady joined my new Russian friend (the younger Russian girl had gone to talk to someone else) and somehow, I cannot explain how the words escaped my mouth, I told her that I had already met as many new people as I could cope with for one annual meeting. She rightly decided that a chat with the older Russian lady, an old friend of hers, was a better prospect, and a discussion of shoes, in Russian, ensued. Served me right.

Bob had asked if I might prefer a pub quiz to the grand finale, and even before my incredible faux pas with the Latvian lady I had decided that it was time for some relief from INTA, so - rather like in Atlanta, where Bob, Paul and I went for a drink before the Grand Finale and eventually, after trying all the beers in the microbrewery which was conveniently across the road from one of the main hotels, and eating a few plates of nachos and things, we decided that the Grand Finale would be just about over so we might as well stay put - I had a completely different evening. It was good to meet some of Bob's ex-students, though I think I was a disappointment to them on account of my inability to answer questions on (Association) football.

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