Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Philadelphia so far!

The Bird has landed in Philly! But not without much stress.

First, my colleague, Jamie Grant, was unable to accompany me on the trip because, as we learnt at Inverness Airport, his passport is not machine readable and therefore not able to get the Visa waiver! Last I saw Jamie was in London on his way to the American consulate to get a visa.

Second, sitting around Gatwick airport for 8 hrs waiting for flights was about as much fun as parsing Hebrew verbs or reading John Kloppenborg's Q fantasies!!!

Third, the flight wasn't too bad. "Batman Begins" and "The Island" being reasonable in-flight movies. Got some reading done, especially a new article in NTS about the Gospel of Thomas - which any reasonable minded person will know is a 2d century document. Though the snoring American in the baseball cap was annoying (really why do these people have to wear baseball caps inside planes?)

Fourth, the cab driver who met me at the airport was a suicidal Rastafarian lady who drove faster than the jumbo I fly in on. After hearing my accent she asked if I was from Arkansaw or Missouri. I asked why and she said, I quote, "You look square and goofy". Even worse, she took me to the wrong flipping hotel. Another cab and $75 later I finally arrive at the proper Hotel in Valley Forge and find a huge list of emails waiting to be answered the moment I turned on my laptop (sigh).

Fifth, I miss my wife and kids already. Give me cuddles with my little-babes and smooches with my righteous-babe any day.

I really hope these conferences will be worth all the pain, strife and struggle.

And only for the reason that I am exhausted, confused and hungry, I'm going to insert a trivia question. Note this quote:

"Not I for sport and nor for duty, but for my own peculiar end - I am not what I am"

What Shakespearean character uttered that amamzing quote (hint not from Romeo and Juliett or Macbeth).


Ben Myers said...

Glad to hear you arrived safe and sound, looking "square and goofy". Were you reading Shakespeare on the plane as well, in between Batman and The Island? The quote is from the opening scene of my favourite Shakespeare play, and it's spoken by one of my favourite characters in all English literature. But I won't give away the answer....

Michael F. Bird said...

Ben, the guy in question is one of my favourite villains as well. My other favourite line is when he says, "I would rather die tham speak ill of Michael Cassio". Many spys have gone by his name because of his knack for subterfuge.

J. B. Hood said...

Let me see if I can't give you a tidbit that will perk you up like a pot of coffee. Your home nation is going to the World Cup Finals for the first time in your lifetime. Maybe this is the moment you've waited for, when you get yourself involved in (real) football/soccer? I daresay your energetic daughter would be a good candidate for the women's squad someday (Scotland or The Outbackers)!

Sean du Toit said...


Ben Myers said...

No, it was Iago, the wonderful villain in Othello (and probably the greatest villain ever invented).