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Conference roundup – Thursday

9. August 2007

Thursday is quite possibly my favourite conference day. All the possibilities with none of the disappointment.
I got into Sydney after a decidedly pleasant flight (something that most of my fellow Melburnians were unable to duplicate, so lucky me!) to find my hotel with a minimum amount of struggle.
Ah, the hotel.
The hotel is absolutely lovely, in the heart of what appears to be the non-touristy end of Chinatown, wedged between a church and a sex shop. It’s a gorgeous old building that reminds me of Berlin, and the corridors couldn’t have more character (in the good way).
My room, however, is a cupboard.

For starters, it’s tiny. And I mean, seriously tiny. my bathroom is bigger than the room itself, and the prison bunk that counts as my bed is right under a small window with a view of the backside of the church and some other apartments. Lovely.
But hey, it’s clean, and reasonably quiet despite being pretty much right next to the staircase. And the bathroom is quite gorgeous in its black mosaic tiles and pretty huge shower.
And seriously, how much time am I spending here?
I even have a little bar fridge in my bedside table, which is just as well, since another thing there was no room for was a wardrobe. I have two hooks on the wall instead. Good thing I don’t need to hang many of my clothes. I have not a single coat hanger. Fun.

I caught up with fellow Melburnian Sue when she got here (she’s staying at the actual conference hotel), and we went out for coffee. Her flight was a lot more interesting as she was surrounded by varying types of creeps. Yikes!
We then followed some very interesting instructions in search of a supermarket, which we found right behind the building we’d just been sent through. Oookay.
I bought some Milka chocolate (yay, nostalgia!) and a Nudie smoothie, then we hung around for a bit before getting some rest before heading back out to the e-list dinner.

Then I had my first Jenny Crusie sighting! She looks so different than her pictures.
The foyer was chock-full of published authors about to be carted off by bus, making us unpublished e-listers feel mighty inadequate. but nuts to them, we had a fantastic time, even if the food ordering turned out to be a slight challenge.
My friend Rachel ordered the same food as me, which caused the waiter to point out that he’d already delivered a pumpkin pizza, so we couldn’t possibly want another one.
Well, we did.

It was good catching up with a lot of different people, and I was actually quite pleasantly surprised how many people I knew (and even more that knew me. Hi!). Also, apparently people read this blog and noticed the lack of updates. Oops.

After dinner, a smaller but no less determined group set off in search of quieter venues as it was pretty impossible to talk to anyone but your direct neighbour at the long tables.
We found the Lindt/Sprungli cafe which does the best hot chocolate I’ve had in Sydney ever (and I tried quite a few of them). They also make lovely truffles. Mmmmh, truffles.

So lots of lovely people, and I already spent almost half of my week-end budget. but oh, it was worth it.

Tomorrow, the real fun begins.

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