So Tuesday night, I decided that it was imperative that I paid a visit to one really good restaurant (at least) before leaving Santiago. My duties at ICMP2015 were over, and I was tired, so did not want to go too far, but I’d heard there were good ones in the area, so I asked the main organizer and he made a recommendation.
It was an excellent choice. One odd thing: the hotel is in two separate towers, and I’d noticed this upon arrival and started calling it The Two Towers in my mind for the time was there. Obviously, right? Well, anyway, the restaurant is right around the corner from it plus a two minute walk, and…. Wait for it…it is called Le Due Tonni, which translates into The Two Towers, but apparently it has nothing to do with my observation about the hotel, since it got that name from a sister restaurant in a different part of town, I am told. So… An odd coincidence.
I will spare you the details of what I had for dinner save to say that if you get the fettuccini con salmon you’re on to a sure thing, and to warn that you don’t end up accidentally ordering a whole bottle of wine instead of a glass of it because you’re perhaps used to over-inflated wine prices in LA restaurants (caught it before it was opened and so saved myself having to polish off a whole bottle on my own)… Another amusing note is that one of my problems with getting my rusty Spanish out for use only occasionally is that I get logjams in my head because vocabulary from Spanish, French, and Italian all come to me mid sentence and I freeze sometimes. I’d just been getting past doing that by Tuesday, but then got very confused in the restaurant at one point until I realized my waiter was, oddly, speaking to me in Italian at times. I still am not sure why.
It was a good conference to come to, I think, because I connected a tiny bit to communities of mathematical physicists I normally don’t see at more specialist conferences. The only drawback for me was that because I had to moderate most of the sessions in my area, I was not able to to any talks in other parallel sessions and snoop a bit into what’s going on in other areas, but even in our geometry and topology sessions there was variety, with talks about string theory issues right up alongside the mathematics of topological insulators, for example. Have a look at the icmp2015 website for more.
The gentleman in the sketch (click for larger view, but blurry due to hand held snap in low airport light) was one of a partly of cour sitting at the table just in front of mine, at a comfortable distance, so I got some good looks at him and entertained myself with a bit of drawing practice. (Perhaps also the waiters,since they had a station just behind my table and may well have been watching the progress…) I took a break from it from time to time so as not to make him suspicious or uncomfortable. I think I largely succeeded.