Greece – Day 5: Stuck at a conference.

While Dan was traipsing around Mount Athos (see below post), I was being a good academic and attending my conference. I’ll refrain from blogging about the individual papers; if you want to read a recap of some of the papers you can go to Vicky’s excellent Music Psychology blog where she summarizes the papers she attended (which were most often not the ones I attended), except when she accidentally oversleeps.

In the evening, I tagged along with a large group of folks who were affiliated with Goldsmith’s Music, Mind and Brain group; one of their students had lived in Thessaloniki, and took us to one of her favorite haunts. So at least thirty people descended upon this poor, empty, hapless taverna all at once; it was quite entertaining to watch their faces as the two fellows behind the bar realized that there was no way they were going to be able to handle us themselves. Out came the cell phones, and ten minutes later there were two more people frantically working behind the bar.

Vicky and I shared some delicious fried cheese (not a surprise) and a plate of mushrooms. There was lots of beer and lots of chatting with old and new friends. At some point in the evening, one of the bar staff offered me a drink; I told him I hadn’t ordered it, and he said, “I know, just take it. No charge.” So I did, and it turned out to be tsipouro — the anise-flavored kind that is similar to ouzo. Now, I am fully expecting to incur the wrath of quite a few of my college friends here, but I do not like ouzo. (It’s not one of those “bad experiences” stories; it’s the “I just can’t stand the flavor of anise” story. Confession: I never drank it back then, either, guys — I just got really creative about how I would dump it out.) So instead I offered the drink to Daniel Müllensiefen, who had an empty glass and looked as though he was unhappy about that situation. Everyone’s problem solved.

When Vicky finished salsa dancing (oh, did I not mention the loud salsa music they were playing all night?) she and I headed back to the hotel at what would have been a decent hour to go to bed, if my brain hadn’t decided that now was the perfect time for me to have insomnia. And of course, why wouldn’t it be? I only had to give a presentation in the morning, so of course it was the best time for my brain to keep me awake until 3 am watching Lethal Weapon subtitled in Greek.


  • Meals with cheese: 3
  • Free stuff: tsipouro


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *