Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Mr Tammar Goes To Washington

So the hotel was bijou and broke-down and you could hear the snoring next door and the nightclub just over and there was no sleep to be had, even later, as the maids started hoovering at dawn, so I gave up on sleep altogether and meandered around the city in a dazed and over-sensitized dreamstate wherein I settled uneasily on the periphery of tears but could not tell if they were of joy or sadness and the distance between me and the world became null and a million miles and all became seamless and fated. Cocooned in this delirium I was to the software conference to which I'd been assigned as Hunter S Thompson to the Mint 400; alienated and insurgent.

DrupalCon 2009: now widely regarded as the least photogenic event in recorded history. It was nevertheless both intellectually and anthropologically stimulating and my disquiet more a product of my own uncertainty (reflected on with Proustian intricacy and langour in lieu of sleep) and insomnia than the event itself, remarkable at once for its density, opacity and emptiness - a black hole of geekery.

DC itself: Parisian in aspect, yet empty and lifeless. One expects more from a capital city, in size, in variety, in animation. In place of heterogeneity, a bifurcation, of rich and poor, largely along racial lines, a disturbing reminder of the miracle that brought Obama to the Whitehouse. Amid the monuments and statues, the mentally ill, homeless and without medication, talking to themselves, asking mister can you spare a dime.

Still, a change is as good as a rest, and there were some highlights: warming my hands above a grating on the frozen National Mall, the skeletal remains of the giant ground sloth at the Smithsonian Musuem of Natual History - some 17 feet tall - plus the Hope diamond upstairs, a wonderful dinner with a colleague from the company's international arm, a couple of pints with Keith and Dom from Basingstoke, the empirical proof of my hypothesis that you cannot mix anything with Jaegermeister, the vital rememberance of all that means most to me, the empty promise of a free and rudderless existence.

Pennsylvania Ave.

I buy my own props!

One of the Smithsonian's many dinosaurs.

And one of the Smithsonian's many museums.

Dinosaur attack! I bought this furry fella for Ethan, who was almost comically ungrateful. He gets that from me, apparently.


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