Odysseus in Spring (Toronto, Paris, Seoul, Tokyo)
Oh boy, I really did it to myself this time: the three-week stretch of travel that ignites six days from today is as brutal as any I can remember. I’m going to be in a lot of places and seeing and speaking to a whole lot of people, and all I keep hoping is that I’ll actually be psychically present for all of them.
Anybody who has ever labored under the delusion that this kind of travel is even remotely glamorous is invited to tag along – we can find out together what ravening neurochemical dark side of the Moon emerges from conference dinners, cabin air, and thrice-compound jetlag. Here’s the breakdown:
– If this is Saturday, it must be Toronto, where I’ll be keynoting the Fifth International Conference on Pervasive Computing, repaying Fabien for his hospitality in whatever way comes to hand, and hopefully enjoying some more of those $2 Vietnamese sandwiches I discovered last October. Later on the day of my talk, I get right on a plane for…
– Paris, where I touch down Tuesday. (Somewhat incredibly, I have meetings planned that very night.) Wednesday sees me kicking off XTech; Thursday’s the launch party for Everyware in French. This is my best shot at seeing François this year, as well as hanging with the locally-coalescent Dopplrmob. (Jyri, for reals? No way.) I get back into JFK via Montreal late that Friday…
– giving me two days to recuperate, do laundry, stretch, and buy the visiting Rebecca MacKinnon a G&T before leaving for Seoul the following Monday.
Seoul is all about helping Nurri hang her show at Insa Art Space, and attend the talk she’s giving. It’s also a chance to hang with Heewon and the mighty mighty YHCHANG crew and drink some iced plum tea. (I keep hearing rumors and whispers of a talk of my own in the aether. Said organizers should contact me pronto, seeing as otherwise I have no plans to be in On mode, and probably won’t even bother humping my laptop across the Pacific.)
– Nested inside our Korean trip, we’re also planning to hop over to Narita and spend a day or two on the ground in Tokyo with Raye and various Co-Lab types. If anybody has a bike they can lend me, and it’s not raining too torrentially, you know what I’m thinking…
You think that’s it? Ha and double ha, son: that’s for appetizers. When I finally get back from that, I’ve got about ten days in NYC before I’m off for a five-week on-site at an Unspecified Location. (Note that, yes, I said “on-site,” not “vacation.”)
And when I get back from that, you can bet that one of the top items on my agenda will be figuring out how to rearrange my life so that a month like this never happens again. I have to tell you, at the moment that imagined hour of contemplative ease seems very, very far away.