Diary of a conference attendee – day three, taking a break

Yesterday I decided to bail on the 19:00 till 20:00 talk. Turns out trying to do a 12hr stint at a conference is a little bit exhausting. So instead of late night conferencing I sat in the now blissfuly quiet media room, drank coke and wrote up some notes from the day. It took the entire hour but I have a very well formatted page with “Rocks are made of chemicals”. I really feel like I’ve learnt a lot this week.

06:40 – Snooze

06:45 – Better snooze, the kind of snooze that makes the BEEP thing go away for ever.

08:00 – There is a kind of real pleasure in waking up to no electronically excited phone noises. EGU is a impressively full-on conference. Trying to keep up with it is like running a marathon while trying to match pace with a long line of relay sprinters. So somewhat understandably today I am absolutely cream crackered (rhyming slang for knackered (an english colloquialism for tired (an English word that probably doesn’t need any more explanation))). So today I’ve decided I’m not conferencing at all, instead I’m going to go enjoy Vienna and see some sights.

08:30 – Seeing as I’m not at the conference I guess I’m technically on a form of holiday now right? I’m glad you all agree because that’s why for breakfast I had a plate made of bacon covered in bacon topped with bacon. Healthy food is for high activity conference people.

09:00 – I didn’t really plan for a day off today so I’ve discovered that having no touristy plans hinders my ability to be a tourist. For example there are literally hundreds of amazing museums and buildings I could go to all within easy walking distance, but I’ve no idea which I actually WANT to go to. The nice folk at EGU even provide a map with a collection of geoscience themed things to go see in Vienna, which is impressive commitment to helping people stay on theme. I thought about being lazy and just picking the closest attraction but it turns out the closest is Vienna’s smallest house (which I can actually see from my hotel room window). But it turns out it’s not ever the smallest house in Austria so hardly seemed worth the effort.

10:00 – I solved my problem. I now have co-opted @Dirt_Science to make touristy decisions for me. We’re going to sight-see together and I have left decisions about which of the myriad of culture I can enjoy today entirely to her.

11:00 – We’re having brunch. @Dirt_Science is the best tour guide. A brunch during which we’ve mostly bene discussing things about the conference. You can take the attendee out of the conference but you can’t take the conference out of the attendee.

13:00 – We’re in the Pathological and Anatomical State Museum. After a several days of rocks, clouds and oceans I needed to get back to my medical diagnostic roots by looking at gross stuff in jars. It’s the most at home I’ve felt all week.

17:00 – So our plan to take a day off from the conference has hit a very slight snag. One off the main criteria about taking a day off from the conference is to not then attend the conference. Which is why it’s surprising to now find ourselves wondering around the poster halls. All that high quality geoscience was clearly far too alluring (it was absolutely that and NOT the free beer).

18:15 – For the first time all week I have no evening plans. None, nada, zip, zero, zilch. I’ve never been happier. Conferences are exhausting and frankly having a night in my hotel room with some room service and a movie is just about the best sounding thing right now. Tomorrow I will be recharged for more strange geo science!

Click to read day four here

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