8:10am CET (Central European Time) marked the end of my neverending 9-hour flight from Atlanta to Amsterdam. Unfortunately for me, this was also 2:10am EDT, the time my body thought it was.
Once I made it to the hotel, I tried to check in, but was unable to do so since check-in did not officially begin until 12:30pm. To make a long story short, I met Andrei Zmievski and John Coggeshall, who happened to walk right in an get a room. So, Andrei and I got our rooms, and after a shower and a brief rest, I met Andrei, John, and Stan, a friend of Andrei’s who lives near Amsterdam and acted as our guide through the town.
We walked all over the town (or so it felt to me), ate lunch, had a beer, and sat down at a cafe. I was amazed at the quaintness of the town but also at how terribly dirty it is! I didn’t expect so much trash and cigarette butts littering the ground. It was everywhere, and it was floating in the canals. The city could’ve been much more beautiful. However, I am aware that Queen’s Day was held yesterday, and it seems the city is always this dirty or worse immediately following the festivities, so on any other day of the year, the city would be clean.
I returned back to my room as late afternoon drew on; I was beat—indeed, I’d only had a few hours of sleep (if that much) on the airplane. Not wishing to sleep immediately, I slipped down to the lobby where I sit now finishing up my talks and enjoying the (not free) WIFI that is not in our rooms.
Don’t get me wrong, though—I’m not a big complainer. This week promises to be a great conference with even greater post-session activities. I look forward to it. I’m just tired right now, so I suppose I’ll get something to eat and go to bed.