Archive for: September, 2007

Ukraine Travelogue, part 1: Travel is hell!

Sep 15 2007 Published by under Travel

Well, I'm back in Amsterdam, having finally gotten out of the Ukraine. I thought I'd post a number of random observations about the country, the people, and the culture, in addition to posting a bunch of pictures.

Overall, I had a very good trip. The meeting in Chernivtsi, Ukraine went extremely well, and I developed a number of important new contacts, planned new collaborations, and made new friends. I was even surprised to have one of the 'distinguished founding fathers' of singular optics, who was presiding the session in which I spoke, stand up and declare that my talk was 'the best of the conference' (I was tempted to immediately point at a friend of mine who had spoken before me and shout, "In your face!", but I didn't think people would realize I was kidding).

The Ukraine is an interesting country in that it is one that is struggling with modernity and what you might call 'civil society'. Though of course many people there are good, civilized sorts, there is also below the surface for many people an attitude of 'every man for himself' which doubtless comes from a society which has been poor and oppressed for a long, long time.

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Hi from Kiev!

Sep 14 2007 Published by under Travel

Hi everyone (anyone?)! I just thought I'd write and say 'hi' from Kiev. I have to pay for a half-hour of internet anyway, so I'm filling the time!

Kiev is a magnificent city, and I'll have many pictures to put up when I get back. I walked pretty much the entire central downtown area, which means my legs and back are extremely sore.

I was pleasantly surprised that I could find my way around easily. Once I got going, I only had to glance at the map every once in a while to make sure I was on the right track, and I never made a wrong turn. I even found a particular metro station that I wanted to write about! (More later.) I guess my previous time in Kiev stayed in my memory.

(To my girlfriend: see, I DO have good direction sense!)

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Man overboard!

Sep 09 2007 Published by under Travel

Just a little anecdote while I'm on the road... I head to the Ukraine tomorrow, and I'm not sure what will happen there (hopefully fun).

Anyway, on my way to meet my old boss, I had to stop and take a picture of a particular bridge in Amsterdam which has a special meaning to me. It is pictured below:

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Greetings from Amsterdam!

Sep 05 2007 Published by under Travel

Well, my girlfriend and I have been floating around Amsterdam all week. The weather is pleasantly cool, unlike the heatwave much of the U.S. has been suffering through.

I'm putting together some awesome panorama shots which I'll display once I return from the trip. In the meantime, here's a couple of random pics I took while out and about.

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