N.B. This entry is double posted here.
I recently had the pleasure of attending the 54th annual meeting of the Society of Ethnomusicology in Mexico City. While there, I presented a paper and chaired a panel on, you guessed it, ethnographies of western art music. Very cool, in a nerdy I can't wait to read more scholarship way. What can I say? I'm a professional nerd.
At this point, I'd like to emphasize that I actually made it to the conference, and had an amazing time. But getting there, that's another story.
I had been excited about this trip since I found out that our panel was accepted, way back in June. My family helped pay for my airfare and hotel, and Western kicked in $500 for expenses. Mexico seemed in many ways a particularly (at the danger of sounding ethnocentric) exotic locale, and I was excited and nervous all at the same time. It was my first presentation at an international conference, my first time chairing a panel, and my first time in a Latin country. I was pumped.
And so, full of energy and ready to practice my 5th grade Spanish, I arrived at the local airport at 5:30 AM, ready to fly from London (Ontario) to Toronto and then on to Mexico City. I typed my ticket number into the electronic check in thingy, and nothing worked. I tried again, and again it failed. This has happened to me before, so I wasn't worried.
But then I looked at my ticket information and noticed, for the very first time, that my ticket was for the next Wednesday. I had bought a ticket for the wrong day.
As my stomach transformed into a soul devouring black hole, I walked to the ticket counter, hands shaking and informed the agent that I had made a terrible mistake. She confirmed that I had indeed purchased a ticket for the next week and that I may need to buy a whole new ticket. She also suggested that I contact Travelocity.
Over the course of the next forty minutes and after an additional $600, I obtained the correct ticket, and the very awesome crew at the Air Canada desk rushed me through security and onto the plane. I made it to the conference, roomed with my old prefessor and friend Les, and all in all had a great time.
I have some more thoughts on the conference and on the trip in general, but I think I'll wait to post them. Until then, here's to Travelocity, and thank god for credit cards.