Hello Maastricht

I like to travel light. My luggage for a five-day conference stay in the Netherlands barely fills a small back pack. Apart from what I wear and carry in my pockets, I’ve got:

  • Netbook computer + charger

  • Smartphone charger
  • Camera + charger + transfer cable. The travel camera is pretty small, but its memory card is an old clunky format that won’t fit into the netbook’s flash reader.
  • GPS navigator + batteries (gotta get some Maastricht geocaches)
  • Two paperback sf books + one work-related book, the new Valsgärde volume
  • Spare undies + socks, wash as needed
  • Spare t-shirts. This time I decided not to buy spares at my destination since I own too many t-shirts. And the last one with faux interlace ornament I ended up buying in Kirkwall is pretty cheesy in a bad way.
  • Toiletry kit

I’m posting this from my room at the Hotel de l’Empereur in Maastricht, member of the Amrâth hotel chain, which is not a place in Tolkien’s Middle-earth but apparently a Frisian term of endearment. Door to door it took me 10½ hours to get here, though I may not have chosen the fastest train route from Brussels airport. The Schengen Agreement appears to work: I got here via Zürich on my Swedish driver’s licence. Note though that I wasn’t wearing a turban.

By the way, at a party with colleagues last night I asked the guy across the dinner table what he’s doing these days. I’d only talked to him once before, years ago, and I hadn’t heard from him since. After telling me interesting stuff about his research he said, “And I needn’t ask you what you’re up to, since it’s impossible not to know”. I guess this means either that this blog and my other writing is endlessly fascinating, or that I am a tiresome self-promoter who spams the public sphere. Or maybe a bit of both.

Comments

  1. #1 Elena
    September 19, 2009

    You were in Brussels?!

  2. #2 judith weingarten
    September 19, 2009

    Are you sure that Amrâth is a Frisian word, let alone a term of endearment? I only know it in Old Irish where it means ‘dirge’. Just curious :-)

  3. #3 Martin R
    September 19, 2009

    Elena, I landed in Brussels and immediately got on a train for Liège whence I went on to Maastricht.

    Judy, my informant was the reception desk clerk, so maybe she just made it all up. Though maybe a term of endearment might be better for marketing purposes.

  4. #4 ArchAsa
    September 19, 2009

    Do you remeber the Olden Days when all one packed for a conference was a notebook made of paper…? May those Dark Ages never return.

    I hope you have a nice time and look forward to reading of it on the blog, but I am sorely tempted not to forgive you for rushing off without a goodbye. You’ll have to make up for that at the next blogmeet.

  5. #5 Martin R
    September 20, 2009

    I’m very sorry for being so rude! I had to leave for the train and everybody kept singing “It Was in the Most Beautiful Spring of Our Youth” all the time.

  6. #6 judith weingarten
    September 20, 2009

    Marty, I suspect Amrath is a made-up name (from two or three partners whose names began Am, Ra, Th) but not Frisian; sorry. Should archaeologists promote folk etymology? :-)

    Anyway, Maastricht is a great little city with wonderful food — and surprisingly good local wine, if you’re lucky enough to find it. You’ll love it.

    PS: my name is Judith, not Judy. Check out my blog and you’ll see: no folksiness of any kind (or so I hope).

  7. #7 Masks of Eris
    September 20, 2009

    Also, in Tolkien’s Sindarin Amrath could be “am+rath”, or “upwards-course” (course as in riverbed) or “upwards-road”; I don’t think what seem like dainty circumlocutions for puking and dying are the meanings meant.

  8. #8 kai
    September 20, 2009

    Wait, what? You went from Stockholm to Maastricht via Zürich?

  9. #9 Martin R
    September 21, 2009

    Yep. Welcome to air travel. It’s also impossible to plan a cheap triangle route by air. Instead of travelling A – B – C – A you have to go A – B – C – B – A.

  10. #10 Siddiqui
    October 3, 2009

    Nice to know that you are a Geochacher!!!!

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