Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Another Transatlantic Crossing

I guess I'm resuming blogging after a long hiatus: a full teaching load, committee work, endless meetings, and publication deadlines don't leave one much time for random musings.

This Friday we are about to embark on another adventure crossing the Atlantic; once we land in Southampton, we make our way to Heathrow, where we will catch a flight to Santorini. Thus begins our two-week sojourn in Greece.

For me, this is the culmination of a 30-year-old fantasy. As an undergraduate at LMU, I was privileged to study theatre history with Katherine Free, a woman who proved enormously influential on my subsequent career. She was especially knowledgeable about ancient Greek theatre (in addition to Sanskrit drama, another specialty), and I have vivid memories of sitting in class and staring dreamy-eyed at slides of Epidaurus. Now, after all of this time, I too get to clamber around the stone seats and wander through the orchestra, imagining the performance of the choric passages of Aeschylus or the descent of Medea in the deus ex machina. I am beyond thrilled.

As for the QMII, we were sufficiently pleased to repeat the experiment: once again, we sail over and fly back. If our pocketbook (and frequent flyer miles) hold out, this may become an annual ritual. I have learned a few simple rules from our first voyage:

  • Order from the menu as though it's 1955: forget nouvelle anything
  • Work out or swim every single day (to offset said menu)
  • Skip some meals or just have a bit of fresh fruit and plain yoghurt
  • Get to the library fairly early in the morning to find a nice seat by one of the port holes
  • Take seasickness medicine at the first sign of distress: stoicism does not pay off in this instance
  • Be more open to attending seminars and talks: they might sound goofy, but often prove surprisingly good
More to come on Friday!

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