Sunday, 2 December 2007

Riots, storms and coincidences -another day in academe

Just returned from the Berlin conference and more reports and interview to follow, once I have recovered from the journey. What started out as a leisurely last day in the city ended up being a roller coaster drama. Emerging from the underground at Rudow, in order to take the express bus to the airport, I found myself surrounded by riot police and thousands of protestors beating drums, and blowing whistles with all the roads blocked off. It seemed like a counter demonstration to some other march and given that the people on the sidelines with the whistles and drums were waving red flags, green flags and various other hues, one senses that the marchers were of a somewhat less liberal inclination.

Anyway, after struggling through with case and rucsac, I had to jog the last 3.5km to the airport, desperate to check in on time. I was of course looking very suspicious and hassled by the time I arrived and all the wires and electrical equipment in my rucsac (minidisc recorder, microphone, etc) aroused suspicion and I was 'busted' by security. After that, 'plane' sailing until news of the storms battering Ireland filtered through and our aircraft made an almost sideways landing at Dublin. Then bumping into Alajandra, (me, not the plane) a post-doc in our team, at the airport where she had coincidentally just come in from a meeting in Geneva added to the surreality of the experience.

Anyway, recuperation, unpacking and then more stories from Online Educa to follow in the coming days.

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