I find myself in Canberra again, this time for a conference. This isn’t my first conference (it’s my second) but it is the first that I’m presenting a talk, as well as traveling alone. I packed carefully so my carry-on luggage didn’t have anything that could be considered as a “dangerous good” and I planned my trip so that I arrived in good time. But one thing I didn’t consider was what I was wearing. It was while waiting in line to check in my luggage that I realized that in order to get through security; I would have to take off my belt. But I was wearing my pants that have broken buttons and need a belt in order to stop them falling down. Idiot.
I popped into the bathroom, took my belt off and managed to rig up something with my hair ties in order to keep my pants up long enough to get through security. Then it was rush into another bathroom to put the belt back on. I’ll say it again: Idiot.
I have to pay my own way for this conference so I made sure that I got the cheapest room possible at the university. The room is much the size of my college room, though older. I have to share a bathroom but as a part of a conference deal I get breakfast included for only an extra $4 per day.
I can’t believe how cheap the rooms are and yet, the meals are expensive. Luckily, I came prepared with a week’s worth of Fantastic noodles. Not the most ideal food but good for saving money. I also baked some cookies as a dessert to my noodle diet.
My flight arrived at lunch time and the only thing scheduled today was a 2hr welcome mixer in the evening so the plan was to settle in my room and spend the day practicing my talk. But I can hear the person next door talking on his phone. Now I’m too self-conscious to walk on the squeaky floor, let alone talk. I’m such an idiot…thankfully the talk is not much different to the department one I gave a month ago so I’m still quite familiar with what I want to say.
I’ve got the TV turned am and am talking as softly as possible. Lame.
My department talks normally go for 25 minutes plus question time. There are so many speakers at this conference that our time limit is 12 minutes. How times have changed – I use to have trouble talking for that long but now I’m struggling to cut back!