A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps (Prov 16:9).
So it did happen that although I had deviseth in my heart leaving Cambridge tomorrow it was not to come to pass, amen. Trying to find some bus or train tickets for what could be expected to be a trivially simple 400-mile trip from Boston to Ithaca I was, shall we say somewhat nonplussed to find out that most of the bus connections go through New York, which turns the journey into an 11-hour ordeal onboard of Greyhound coaches that will end up costing around $100. So I decided to do a very unmanly thing and ask for some advice from Cornell on how the hell to get there from Boston in a bit more dignified way and, to my surprise, received a prompt, friendly and very thorough reply from Lisa who mentioned in passing that she will be at Harvard for the weekend herself for an ACLA conference. Continuing on the unmanly vein, curiosity got the better of me and through the marvels of modern internet search technology I learned that ACLA stands for American Comparative Literature Association and that the conference in question is their 2009 annual meeting, lasting three full days and consisting of over 200 different seminars, book exhibits, receptions, lectures, roundtables and whatnot else.
This pretty much wrapped it up right there. I spent the rest of the day trying to find me an accommodation, as Cambridge is, not surprisingly, booked solid for the weekend. I also managed to send back the pile of books that I had bought via, ahem, FedEx – it occurred to my braindead self that this is a courier and NOT a postal service only after having been presented with a credit card slip. I resisted the temptation to bang my head into the counter and just signed it off – I might as well have bought my books a cabin seat with lunch, dinner and onboard entertainment. Consider it a tax on stupidity and move on.
So, Allah willing, I will be here until Sunday, after which it probably really doesn’t make me much sense to rush to Ithaca for just a couple of days – might as well make my way straight back to NY. Or at least this is what my heart deviseth right now.