Sunday, June 04, 2006


I like this city. After stuffy Cambridge it feels like a breath of fresh air. Not just academically, but also in terms of the surroundings, the hills, sea, the wind... I'm always "surprised" to see that not all of Britain is boring and flat like East Anglia. But then again, we're in a different country now.

I've been here for a couple of days now, in a conference, how else. I now have about a day of "free time" before I'm heading back down, "south of the border" as they say. And I feel revitalised and refreshed - partly because the conference was a resounding success, but also because my brain had somehow got stuck on this very short track of thoughts and the trip up here seems to have broken the loop, and my mind flows more easily now.

There's a whole different vibe here, a dynamism, easygoing but sturdy feel, that somehow is similar to Ljubljana, or actually, Helsinki. Cambridge is about keeping things as they've always been, and while it's very beautiful and nice, it somehow feels stagnated and boring. And I'm not even talking about the university yet... :-)

Our host was right - the spirit of the Scottish enlightenment and David Hume is still around.

(P.S. Most Scottish football fans have started to support Trinidad & Tobago, since they play against England in the World Cup. Similarly the German football fans are now donning Scotland jerseys - it would be too rude for the polite hosts to be openly against England, so supporting Scotland (who unfortunately didn't make it to the final tournament) is the next best thing. The jerseys they are buying en masse are replicas of the 1978 Scotland shirts, voted most stylish ever by a magazine. But, I like the political statement there more than the fashion statement.)

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