I’m in Santiago, Chile, for a short stay. My first thought, in a very similar thought process to the one I had over ten years ago in a similar context, is one of surprise as to how wonderfully far south of the equator I now am! Somehow, just like last time I was in chile (even further south in Valdivia), I only properly looked at the latitude on a map when I was most of the way here (due to being somewhat preoccupied with other things right up to leaving), and it is a bit of a jolt. You will perhaps be happy to know that I will refrain from digressions about the Coriolis force and bathtubs, hurricanes and typhoons, and the like.
I arrived too early to check into my hotel and so after leaving my bag there I went wandering for a while using the subway, finding a place to sit and have lunch and coffee while watching the world go by for a while. It happened to be at Plaza de Armaz. I sketched a piece of what I saw, and that’s what you see in the snap above. I think the main building I sketched is in fact the Central Post Office… And that is a bit of some statuary in front of the Metropolitan Cathedral to the left. I like that the main cathedral and post office are next to each other like that. And yes, there were far more people (because it is Sunday and also the Plaza de Armaz is the main square of the city), but perhaps due to lack of sleep I got bored trying to put them all in – this is just meant to be an impression after all.
I hope to do a bit more sketching while here between sessions. This is a good opportunity to practice some seeing since my drawing eye is rusty from not being able to do so for the last seven months due to there being a baby To look after and so forth.
Oh… Why am I here? Good question. It is the International Congress on Mathematical Physics 2015, and I’ve been co-organizing the session on geometry and topology. Tomorrow and Tuesday will see me doing the introductions of the speakers, running the Q&As and so forth. I hope to see some interesting talks in addition this session too, we shall see. Take a look at the conference website here.
I don’t know what happens after hours traditionally at ICMP, but I’ll probably not be involved in any revelry – I’m exhausted from the long flights here and I’d better make sure I’m rested enough to not fall asleep during the talks I am moderating. That would be rude.