Tuesday 8 April 2014

This is a long way from relief teaching - or, maybe not.

Route 66 - the Mother Road - begins here in Chicago. You knew that, of course; but did you know that there was never a sign marking its beginning? Well, now there is, and it was unveiled this morning at the IPW media conference here in the overwhelmingly massive McCormick Convention Centre ("The biggest Convention Centre in the Western hemisphere!" I keep hearing, said with great pride - but that just makes me wonder where exactly the western hemisphere begins and ends, and couldn't it start anywhere depending on where you were standing - or floating - so that in fact it could exclude the whole of the USA? Since there's no West Pole, so to speak? And by the time I've stopped thinking all that through, they've generally moved on some distance in what they're saying, and I've lost the thread entirely. Which is the sort of thing that happens a lot when you're as tired as I am.)

The days here are long, and air-conditioned, and artificially lit - remarkably like Las Vegas, but without the chatter of the ubiquitous slot machines - and there's so much talking, much of it repeating the same stuff over and over, that quite quickly my head starts spinning. It doesn't help that there are bizarre things happening like the entertainment after lunch today - in a cavernous room, tables set for six thousand people, and good luck finding your friends in that lot - being a deafening session from a band made up of (possibly the only surviving) members of bands like Steppenwolf and Lynyrd Skynyrd. That might go down well in the small hours of a Saturday night in a stadium, but it's a bit intense for a Monday lunchtime at a business conference.

And now it's almost time for the Reverse Media Marketplace, where I set out my table, literally, and wait for Them To Come. Which they may well not, in which case I might use the technique I have often observed employed by Asian students back home in Period 4, and have a sly zizz.

UPDATE: Four, count them, four visitors. In an hour and a half - though the pair from Tennessee took up a lot of that with their spiel and slideshow... Oh, and because you're thinking how dim and geographically-challenged I clearly am, please read the comments.


the queen said...

The Western Hemisphere starts in Greenwich England. Doesn't it?

TravelSkite said...

Of course you're right. I did know that, but in my bamboozled state forgot all about it, despite having been there and straddling it. Though it is still an arbitrary thing. Like north being on top. (I have a map with New Zealand at the top for once.)


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