Greetings from... Colombia!
Finally I begun this trip. I am anxious.
I could not leave Mérida last Tuesday, because the University still had not bought my ticket because the person who was supposed to it wasn't at his office. Finally I got the money for the ticket on Wednesday, but then, it was too late, because of the holidays. There wasn't a single ticket available for the twentieth, the available tickets were for dates like the 26th and the rates the double of the money my university was going to cover, so I was going to miss Chicago, even if could still go to Minneapolis and to Mountain View. I was desperate, but the travel agent did a great job and found an itinerary for today, arriving to Bogotá today in the morning, then waiting 14 hours in Eldorado Airport and arriving to JFK airport in New York tomorrow morning. A little bit far, a lot of time waiting, but what the hell, I was lucky to get a plane and deliver the presentation.
I was worried about the fourteen hours, since I have almost no cash, due to the currency exchange control. I have almost four dollars in cash. In my prepaid credit card (another strange consequence of the currency exchange control, a card that officially is a credit card but works as a prepaid one) I do have money, but I was still worried. But my good luck was beyond belief, I am am beginning to think I am an ancestor of Teela Brown, because due to the lack of seats in the flight to NY, I got a first class seat and then I am allowed to use the VIP lounge at the airport. So, I am writing this from a cozy leather couch, drinking iced mocaccino and eating sandwiches. I am saving my tuna cans for later, three meals I will enjoy without paying. I slept well, I installed Ubuntu again, I am downloading Bioinformatics packages, I sudo-ed, installed the drivers and got functional wi-fi again, which is impossible for me in Windows for strange reasons.
I only spent a day in Caracas, I could not see my sisters, I was pretty sad about it, but I will see them next month. What a hectic day yesterday. I called to my cousin in California and she bought a ticket from NY to Chicago, I will arrive tomorrow at 3:00. Thanks, darling! Human altruism never ceases to amaze me. This trip is possible thanks not only to the people who invited me, but to a lot of people who believes in me and are helping me. Not just my family, but friends and my thesis advisor. I am lucky to have them and I am deeply thankful for it.
I got a grant request for getting my ticket to San Francisco payed refused. Well, I still have chance to get it paid. If not, I'll have to borrow money, but, what the heck. This is once in a lifetime chance.
I am getting sleepy, these lasts days were a constant rush and I did not sleep last night. But the nerves are hard to overcome and I finally do not sleep. At least no yet.
The VIP room is alien to me. An agalmic environment, obviously, but not a useful one. Here you have the basic needs covered, but does that leads to creativity? Maybe yes, maybe no. But the fact that I am writing this entry, downloading bioinformatics packages and studying for the presentation rather than complaining and sited in the floor. The people here is very rich, and often, very old. Some of them are really strange persons, they seem to live in another world. A guy was hitting his laptop and shouting at it because something dropped its value. Some of their kids look like spoiled brats, but not all of them. I am feeling like a field anthropologist today, lol. And this place triggers my interest about the analysis of current agalmic environments: All included-resorts, VIP lounges, the Googleplex?. Can we find some patterns in these temporary situations that gives clues about the development and organization of post-scarcity societies? Or is it a delusion because the current agalmic environments are distorted at core by its scarcity-driven surroundings?
I would love to discuss these ideas with the anarco-transhumanists in Chicago and at the Googleplex.
Well, in 8 hours I would be leaving to NY. Hopefully I won't be rejected at customs.