Sunday, July 12, 2009

So, Paula and I went to Amsterdam for a week, for the IAFL09 conference. It was generally pretty good. Intense - 4 days of solid presentations, 4 sessions running at a time. Some of it was interesting, some left us with 'so what??' bouncing round in empty heads (well - mine, at any rate) and some went slightly above my head. There was a whole lot of police interview stuff and discussions about the role of the interpreter in the courtroom which really doesn't interest me. Not much on speech BUT it was good to see what else is out there - and the IAFPA conference will cover that stuff.

It was really good to meet (or at least, see) people whose names you've seen in palces, such as Maaike Verrips, Ton Broeders, Margaret van Naerssen, John Olsson, Diana Eades, Tim Grant... etc.

Amsterdam is very odd. I'm not sure I liked it. Parts were lovely, some parts were run down (like you get in any city, I guess!) and then there's the Red Light District and similar areas. We walked in very much by accident (no, really) and it was... odd. I can't think of a better word to describe it. The windows & the girls were the least odd bit. They kind of just stood there with massive grins on their faces. But the odd bit was.. well, all the lights. And the guys/men just stood staring. Not only at the girls in the windows but at any woman walking past. How weird it must be to grow up in Amsterdam, especially as a bloke.

Best leaflet we saw all week though - 'get your photo taken in a Red Light window' ... I'll leave you with that thought.

Will post some photos soon - no, not of me in a window.