Home Again, Home Again

June 19th, 2006 by Potato

I had over 50 messages in one email account, and 115 in another account that I pretty much only use for the BEMs discussion group. I thought that maybe some of the discussions at the meeting had spilled over into something that was intensely intellectually stimulating on the email list.

It was better: a massive flame war had broken out. It’s fantastically lame, all these scientists & tin-foil crazies sissy-slapping each other in public email, while others call for order, sometimes even in all-capitals. I haven’t finished plowing through it yet, but so far no one has made a Hitler simile; not even an oblique reference to communism, asbestos, or giant robots. It doesn’t appear as though usual usenet flame rules appear here; a carefully balanced system in which Godwin’s Law does not apply. It’s possible that this flame could burn for years, with new students joining the fray and taking up the moronic position of their thesis supervisors, continuing the fight for generations to come. I’m tempted to introduce new technology to the battle, such as the flame form or profanity, just to see how they react and handle it.

Checking out of the Gran Melia was hell: they charged us $65 US per night for the 3rd person in our room (after quoting $50/night for the conference rate). However, we only had the 3rd person and the cot for 5 of the 7 nights, but got charged for all 7. We tried to fight it, but they told us the charge was for the 3rd person, not the cot. I pulled out my receipt showing that I had checked in a day after the other two, so even if they had lost the records for the first person checking out a day early, at the very least that was proof there were only two people for the first day. They sat there and refused to take the charge off. Finally, my ride to the airport arrived and I had to give up and go. Hopefully work will cover it.

That pretty much sums up the hotel: the facilities were decent (except for the hot water capacity… there only seemed to be luke warm water in the afternoons, probably due to the sun beating on the pipes). The staff was reasonably friendly, but the prices were just insane for everything. They constantly screwed up reservations, bar bills, and changed quoted prices on the fly. We knew it was an expensive place heading out, and it turned out to be significantly more expensive than planned when leaving. I can’t recommend it as a vacation destination for anyone who hasn’t won the lottery. A few years ago, we stayed at a resort in Costa Verde, Cuba, and it was about half the price for a place that was almost as nice. The only thing Cancun had over Cuba was the option to go into town for shopping/bars/restaurants/clubs if you wanted (which we didn’t really), and I doubt that’s high on most people’s list of priorities when they look for a beach resort.

The flight back was pretty decent: we ended up coming back almost an hour early. I was the first one through customs, but then had to wait about 20 minutes for my bags to come up on the conveyor. I got bad directions from someone at Pearson for the Park ‘n Fly shuttle — they pointed at section “C” and said what I thought was “C”. After waiting almost half an hour for a bus that should have come every 10 minutes, I found out from someone else that the bus would be in “P” (they do rhyme). Once I got to P there was a bus waiting for me. While waiting though, the interterminal busses came by like crazy there: the terminal 1->3 bus came by so often that the next one would arrive and honk at the one that came before since it hadn’t had a chance to leave yet. You were never a moment without being able to see one of those. There was less than two minutes to wait for the 1->2 busses.

In the end, I was the only one who didn’t get sick and didn’t get a sunburn (fancy that!). After I wore a T-shirt into the pool on the second last day I was there, all the guys were wearing T-shirts into the pool.

After getting home I was telling all my stories to Wayfare — which mostly involve complaining, as you can imagine — who commented:

Wow, you’re not so much of a ‘my glass is half empty’ kind of guy so much as you are a ‘my glass is broken!’ kind of guy.

At dinner one night, a question was posed to me: if money was no object, where in the world would I go? I didn’t have an answer to that question at first. They goaded me: “Surely there must be somewhere you’d go, for historical reasons, or for the sights, or even the chocolate…” but no, I’m just that much of an agoraphobic that if money were no object, I could just pay to have people come to me :) Eventually, I changed the hypothetical a little: if money, agoraphobia, arachnapobia, ophidiphobic, etc. were all not an issue, I’d visit the rainforest and monkey around the trees with the primates, or go diving with the penguins off Antartica. I asked them where they’d go, and everyone at the table replied, in unison: Bora Bora. It was a little freaky, to tell the truth. Where would you all go?

Finally, it looks like Sword of the Stars is recruiting beta testers. I’m tempted to apply, but afraid it will destroy me ;)

4 Responses to “Home Again, Home Again”

  1. Ben Says:

    Fiji, I would DEFINITLY go to Fiji if money were no object!

  2. netbug Says:

    Not so much a “I broke my glass” as a “they’re taking the shards of my broken glass and stabbing them in my eyes after soaking them in iodine” kinda guy. :P

    Where would I go if money was no object? I’d teraform mars. Hey, you said it was no object.

  3. Potato Says:

    Damn, now that’s an answer. I wish I thought of it at the time!

  4. Baum Says:

    if money was no object, I’d go everywhere, first I’d go to the places I haven’t been, starting off with Cuba, then slowly make my way around the world….