those crowded Parisian trains

15 September 2012: On my way to Munich airport this morning, I had some useful conversation with Peter Brown regarding interacting supernovae and who was or wasn’t using Swift to follow up targets. Apparently PTF does a lot of one-off things, which I’m guessing are UV screening, and I’m also guessing that the one-off business will become less common when PTF Phase 2 begins. They’ll be going to even bigger area, and even tighter cadence, and way bluer wavelength coverage to catch shock breakouts and other really blue transients.

The most amusing part of the flight to Paris was the discovery of a small foldable plastic fork in the in-flight snack. On landing I proceeded to the baggage claim to find someone who looked a lot like Ken Nomoto waiting for his bag. I let him well enough alone but who knows, perhaps I’ll run into him again at the research institute next week.

Things stopped being amusing when I arrived to find construction being done on the subway near the end of the line at CDG (with signs reading grands travaux, “big works”, oh yes). I had my bag by 12:30 PM, but it took me an hour to clear the line for the shuttle bus past the construction nonsense, and what felt like another hour on a seriously crowded train. I was twice asked excusez-moi, est-ce que le train dot dot dot I didn’t understand what they said after this, and felt the usual ties around my tongue before I could even respond desolé, je ne parle pas français but of course I do just not very much and my listening comprehension sucks. I spent the rest of the ride curled awkwardly up into myself; this got easier and easier as we approached the city center and the guy with the tuba got on. I felt pretty much sat on by an entire brass section until at last we reached St.-Michel/Notre-Dame and I got the heck off that train.

In its defense, the tuba stayed in the case on the dude’s back the whole time.


About Richard

I'm an American scientist who is building a new life in Australia. This space will contain words about science and math, but also philosophy, policy, literature, my travels, occasional rants, all sorts of things I find strange and awesome. The views expressed in this blog do not necessarily reflect the opinions of my employer at the time (currently University of Sydney), though personally, I think they should.
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