austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

Let 'em chase and the winner take all

The end of the sessions that day was the end of the conference. It was a quick, small one, tightly focused. It also was one that didn't have a second dinner. One of the people we'd talked with during coffee breaks recommended we go to the Sainte Anne station and find something in the area. This was outstanding advice. Almost immediately outside the train station was a place named Ethnic Food. The letters were written in that swoopy-crescent typeface that's used for every take-out Chinese restaurant with a name like Fortunate Dragon. The menu, as you might expect, was hamburgers and kebab. So, yes, the ethnicities in question were ``American'' and ``British''.

It was a glorious space, though, centered around an under-renovation cathedral (I assume a cathedral; maybe it's just a quite large church), with close-packed and slightly-off-level buildings that looked so perfectly medieval sa to seem unrealistically so. We had heard rumors of a Lebanese restaurant in the area and supposed that was likely to be a good spot to eat something vegetarian.

Along a side street we found what was certainly a Lebanese restaurant although not apparently the one we'd found reference to online. But we were able to get inside, and sit down although we're not sure we should have seated ourselves, and to get menus although we're not sure we should have gotten up to get them. And we were able to order food through the help of some British tourists sitting at the next table. And we were able to pay, although we didn't do well at gracefully asking for the check and paying the right way; I think we were expected to bring the bill up to the counter, instead of waiting for them to collect money and basically, yes, we did every single step of the restaurant wrong, except the eating. That we're pretty sure we did right. The only things to save our pride were that they surely get many other clueless tourists in, and we'll almost certainly never be there again. How bad can the humiliation be?

In wandering around we saw a number of charming little shops, nearly all closed. And in a big open park there was a tiny carousel! We assumed. It was shrouded and locked up for the night. But it was the right size for a carousel, even if it proclaimed something about Extraordinary Voyages on the top. It was illustrated with 19th century-style hot air balloons and submarines and such so we concluded it was a Jules Verne-themed ride, whatever it was. And we wondered when it might be open.

With night setting in we went back to our hotel and got ready for a good night's sleep, ahead of our travel day.

Trivia: Michael Treshow, the Orion Project's specialist in bomb delivery, had supervised the installation of the equipment pumping concrete from the mixing site to the Hoover Dam site. Source: Project Orion: The True Story Of The Atomic Spaceship, George Dyson.

Currently Reading: ... The Heavens And The Earth: A Political History of the Space Age, Walter A McDougall.

PS: A Summer 2015 Mathematics A To Z: orthogonal, closing out the fifth week of mathematics glossary work. Fifth post since the last roundup.

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