Saturday June 25, 2016. I mentioned previously the challenges of obtaining a Visa for India, made more complex because I was applying for a conference Visa. Leaving Dubai went well and the upgrade to Business Class was most welcome. It gave me a chance to polish my presentation. Normally I don’t like concentrating on a plane, I tend to get sleepy. This time it was a breeze. The flight was uneventful and the plane landed on time, then bureaucracy raised its head again. At Border Control I got the third-degree on where I was going, who was organising the conference and then explaining why I was arriving on Saturday if the conference was only officially opening on Monday. Why was I living in Adelaide if I work at the University of South Australia. It only took ten minutes but it felt like forever.
Border Control done and dusted – mmm not quite. I was then pulled aside and re-questioned by another person in uniform, but without any insignia. By this time the line behind me was getting longer and longer as no one else was allowed to pass me. Then it was a security check. I’ve never been checked getting off a plane previously. Sure at times luggage is checked and entering Australia it is a possibility, but this was the full monty for every passenger.
From then on it was plain sailing – sorry for the clichés – the taxi ride to the hotel was easy and The Royal Senate is a solid three star hotel. I was upgraded (seems to be my lot on this trip) and the room is huge. It is not situated in what I thought was a great area. However, the region seems to be about the same standard and clean streets, good footpaths and underground power are not options (see the adjacent photograph). Walking at anytime can be a hazard if you do not watch where you are walking.
Sunday 26th June, 2016. A fellow presenter, Deborah Nixon (from Sydney University of Technology) is also staying at the same hotel. Deborah also had to answer questions on entering and has been here for 10 days, staying with friends. She was brought up in Adelaide and her 90-year-old parents are still there. We hadn’t met previously, but it was nice to chat and share our research interests. Deborah will follow me in the series of presentations on visual aspects of oral history on Wednesday morning. An early start, but at least is is not Thursday morning, after the official dinner the previous evening.
My adventures with the tuk-tuks will come in the next update.