• Your friends decide the trip to Bali is on just after you’ve given up on it and have submitted your funding application. You get the application back, by snapping at the admin, and get your supervisor, a very busy woman to resign (later, however, it’s obvious she has no recollection of this.)
  • A volcano starts spewing ash. You ignore it.
  • The airline you booked rescheduled its flight, which means that you won’t make your next flight so you can’t make it, so you have to cancel and you get nothing back. Then you rebook with a more reliable airline. In the background, the volcano starts spewing ash again.
  • You go to exchange cash, and thanks to your ineptitude at math, you get a really bad rate.
  • Your period has not come, and it’s time to leave. You get your period while transiting through Singapore. Only good thing is that it didn’t come on the first leg when you were sitting next to two boys from uni, and the first bit is relatively mild.
  • By evening though, you’re knackered and you can’t make it to the conference the next morning. Which is ok, because going is not essential.
  • At night, it becomes obvious that your friends are not going to make it to Bali because their flights have been cancelled. You realise you’re screwed because you’re not going to get refunds on your tickets and now you have to scramble to advance your ticket or spend three extra nights in Surabaya twiddling your thumbs. You try searching for the Singapore Airline hotline and realise it’s closed. Finally, you decide to deal with it in the morning.
  • In the morning, I realise the problem with using the hotel phone is that it doesn’t work well. I had to get the front desk to open an account so I could make the calls and it took ages. But Singapore Airlines wasn’t picking up and finally I had to get V to call them from Hong Kong. Turns out there were no seats out of there earlier. So on the morning of my presentation, I’m hustling to figure out what I’m going to do with myself for the next couple of days. Do I spend HK$3000 or more on a flight out or HK$1000 to stay in Surabaya for two nights, doing nothing. From what I’d seen of Surabaya it didn’t seem like the most exciting place. But the thought of leaking more money than I needed to killed me too. Finally, because even getting a seat no matter what I’d pay was getting to be a problem, I decided to stay put.
  • Went to the conference for my presentation. I was not hugely nervous. There were enough people in the room, thought not a lot. My presentation went okay. There weren’t as many questions as I’d liked.
  • However, one of the biggest names in the field came in during my part and left right after. I knew that her leaving after wasn’t a good sign, but when I saw her alone in the coffee room, I decided to ask her what she thought. Um. She completely dissed me, my project, and only stopped short of dissing me in general. So that was it. The culmination of a general debacle. I asked for and got thrashed by one of the biggest names in the field.
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