28 July 2006

ANTs are going home

So, today is the last day of the conference. All the ANTs participated in ANTS are going back home to do more research and come back for next ANTS at Banf, Canada. I thought of posting things daily and later thought that it would be boring for MY readers (now I know there are a couple of my nice friends keeping an eye on this webpage). Last three days also had been quite eventful - more eventful from the point of view of conference and not that eventful from the point of view of site seeing. I had been meeting quite a number of people and having 'small-talks'.

Main places I visited include FernsehenTurm which means "Television Tower" in plain English. I went there with lot of plans in mind. Once I reached on top of the tower which is 203 metres above the ground, I was crazily taking pictures from all sides. I felt that one can see whole of Berlin from there. I saw the long queue to the next floor. I also joined the queue. The entry was restricted - this made me wonder what so special is there on the top. So, I continued to wait. It came to a point that next person to go up was me. The very well dressed lady at the entrance asked me "Wie viel personen ...?" (How many persons?). I gave her a thumbs-up and told "eine" (One). She gave me a strange look, and asked - "fur restaurante?” Oops!! Then only I realised that there was a restaurant on top of that which was the reason for restricted entry. What to do? Should I go there? YES. I decided to go. I know it would be quite expensive. Still, I came this high and waited for quite long time and now how can I just go away?

I got the table 14. Just in another two minutes a pair of love-birds came and shared the table with me. The girl was really good looking and she sat next to me. To be honest, I was in no mood for looking at her nor try to converse with them. Because it was just then I had discovered that the restaurant is rotating!! It was a cool feeling. I am in a rotating/revolving restaurant. I was looking out and had forgotten to make a note of time. Later I noted down the time to calculate the angular velocity of the rotation. The food was really nice and so was the bill. I had expected it to be very high but it was reasonable. I then came out with the knowledge that all my plans are screwed up. I had spent almost one hour for something which I had kept just 15 minutes. I kept walking in the city and didn’t do anything great that evening other than coming back to hostel and sleeping well. By the way, the angular velocity is around 1 degree per minute. Now I am in no mood to put it in seconds and radians which are supposed to be the standards. Also, the restaurant was at 207 metres above ground and it's the highest in Berlin (probably in Germany itself).

There are only two more places worth mentioning. They are Charlie's Check point and East Side Gallery - both are related to the Berlin wall. Check point was the check post between East Germany and West Germany. I would definitely put the pictures at my homepage. East side gallery is a living part of the wall where there are quite a lot of paintings on the wall. Some of them are really good. I was surprised to see the name "Jolly Kunjappu" near a painting on the wall. I don’t think that name can be of any non-malayali.

Yesterday evening was the dinner for all the participants of ANTS. I and Christophe went together to the dinner. I and he were wondering whether we should be wearing formals. Anyway I changed from my half-pants and t-shirt to a decent jeans and a much crushed shirt. He also was more or less the same way. Once in the UBahn (underground train), we met a couple of other participants who were in their half pants and t-shirts. We just shared the thought we had earlier. One of the experienced guy really laughed and told - "no one expects that from mathematicians". I too joined to laugh. But with "am I mathematician yet?" echoing in my mind.

We reached the castle/fortress where we had the party. Went around the fortress to have a look and went back to the party place. The wine they gave was very sweet and the first sip itself told me that it was a quite expensive variety. Anyway that was not my thing yesterday. I and Christophe stood there near a table for a long time. No body was even bothering to come to us and get introduced and since all others were "great people" at least in our eyes, we also hesitated to do the same. Went and sat at a table where there were two seats free. To my surprise, the person who was sitting opposite to me was Ming Huang - so who is he? He is the person who wrote that cryptic paper on which I am breaking my head for the past 2-3 months!! I felt great. Was with him and Blair, the number-theorist, for 2-3 hours. Very nice people. We were discussing just the culture and tradition of the countries we come from - India, China, USA and Belgium. It was very nice and informative.

Later, after the dinner, while coming back to hostel, there was Peter Montgomery also along with us. Since I have this "ultimate respect" factor, I didn’t even think about talking to him except for some small, very small one word answers.

Now, my readers all are enough bored with the travelogue. Let me get to the lecture. Rest of the details will be broadcasted once I reach Munich - which would include the "Gambler's Story and the Model Girl" which I missed out in this post.

Signing off, Sands.


joyofnothing said...

expecting model gal part :)

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