Sunday, 23 February 2014

India day 0

I'm in India - in New Delhi, for the Fusion '14 conference.  I arrived earlier today, and the conference starts in the morning.  I like coming to India.  The food is great, and the people really friendly.  They have English as a national language, which at least makes my life easier, and they have quite a few cute English usages.  I picked up a copy of the Times of India today and enjoyed the use of the word "nabbed" as the default, and perfectly formal, verb for police capturing criminals.  India has also embraced the cryptic crossword, which is surely a sign of civilisation and love of language.  The "matrimonials" section of the paper is also fascinating, with dating adverts in such a cryptic code, and in sections according to caste, religion, community, language, US visa status and so on.  They are very different to UK dating columns, and very factual and practical.  There's also no same-sex column.

Having been here before, I'm a little wise to the level of bureaucracy, which seems much higher than at home.  I have ensured that I have a paper copy of my flight itinerary, as without one it is very hard to even get through the door of the airport on departure (or so it seemed last time).  I was still caught out, though - when I came to the hotel earlier, I was asked for my passport and business card.  I was able to hand over my passport, but the business card proved to be more of a problem.  I don't think it is terribly common for UK academics to have business cards - depending perhaps on their line of trade, but I certainly didn't have any on me this morning.  Fortunately, they still let me check in.

So - five days of talks on nuclear fusion lie ahead.  One of the talks - on Tuesday - is mine, and I'm looking forward to the conference.  Right now, though, it's back to the Nuclear Physics Grant Panel proposals in preparation for the meeting when I'm back in the UK...