Not much I can say, as the memory is already well-faded into the mists of the past. It’s been a while since I’ve travelled as a big group — it’s definitely a lot more fun, I have to say. Less exploring — the Canadian Genetic Disease Network Annual Scientific Meeting was held in Saint Sauveur, and I basically spent almost all of it in the hotel, the Manoir.
I engaged in a spot of illicit “hacking” to get Internet access — actually, I wouldn’t have thought to do it if my applications hadn’t started acting strangely. Firefox wouldn’t fetch me webpages, but then I got the e-mail count update from my Google Talk client. So obviously, something was still working there…and then, on a random whim, I booted Internet Explorer, and lo, behold, magic of Microsoft opened the doors to websurfing. Very strange. In the end, I figured they were doing some weird selective blocking of the http traffic only, so I got more reliable access for Firefox and the rest of it by doibng a VPN to the UBC servers. Anyways, need University access to read papers…sigh…
Saw a couple posters, but it was all one big poster session, so you feel obliged to hang around a lot. Still, got a chance to see the ones nearby, got a reminder of why I should carry the poster tube (one group got theirs “misplaced” by airport baggage handling)…and there was plenty of hanging around chatting with various groups of random people. I seem to be falling in with all the friendly folk — interesting opinions and fun facts galore.
Actually, something struck me quite strongly. One person mentioned that on this side of the ocean (and I guess especially in Canada), we tend to be overly agreeable. It seems that it is customary in other countries to play devil’s advocate, just for sake of discussions, rather than being agreeable. I can’t deny that I’m easily made agreeable — I tend to try to see the speaker’s side — but I guess I need to grab hold of the thing they always challenged you with in elementary school. New plan for all talks I go to will be to have a couple questions by the end (two, just in case someone else steals one 😉
And the food was superb. Last night I wandered off to Les Vielles Portes — got a bit lost, discovered that it felt a lot like a cross between Whistler, with the fancy house-looking commercial buildings with coordinated fronts, with some a bit of the mini-highway-mall effect of Richmond — on a smaller scale though, since you can walk from “mall-island” to mall island. Actually, the countryside on the bus rides in and out was pretty much what I’d see on a highway around here, except the signs were changed. I’m secretly convinced all the places in the world are really the same, they just change bits here and there when you’re on the “plane ride” to make it look different.