conference in thailand

Well, I am writing this from Maha Sarakham’s Academic Resource Centre’s Director’s Daughter’s bedroom.  Does that make sense?  Don’t worry, the daughter isn’t here, she’s in Chicago, of all places.  But her parents have WIRELESS INTERNET AT HOME.  This is really exciting for me.

I was invited to attend the following conference with the director of the Central Library:

“Local Information Network: Local Wisdom as Power to Social and Economic Development”

You can read my paper there if you click on this year’s meeting link.

I originally expected to be attending this meeting simply as an observer.  On Monday, I received an e-mail from the Thai Director asking me if I would like to submit a short paper about “Cultural Heritage Materials” from my home country.  I quickly wrote something up about the Notman Photographic Archive that I worked with at the McCord Museum in Montreal, and sent it by e-mail.

I guess they really liked it.  On Monday evening, I recieved a response inviting me to be one of the presenters at the conference, which would include an honorarium.  So, I had about 1 day to turn my 3 page paper into an hour-long presentation.  The title turned into something like:

“Digitization as a Preservation Strategy for Local Information Resources and Heritage Materials: A Case study of the Notman Photographic Archive at the McCord Museum in Montreal, Canada”.

The director of UCL and I took the bus from Talat Sao (near my house in Vientiane) to Kohn Kaen today at 2 pm.

Right as the bus left, sitting next to Mr. Chansy, he said to me “You know, I often get sick in the car”.

And I said “How do you feel?”

And he said “Not so good.”

And I said “What did you have for lunch?”

And he said “Fish.”

And I said “Fermented fish paste and insects?”

And he said “No, Fish Laap.”

And I suddenly imagined myself covered in the director’s fish laap vomit.  And then I told him to look straight ahead and turn the air vent full blast on him.

Anyway, there were no fish-laap vomit incidents, I fell asleep, and woke myself up snoring when we arrived tin Kohn Kaen around 6pm.  Some guy picked us up at the bus station and drove us another hour to Maha Sarakham, where we met the Thai director and her husband for dinner.  Dinner was delicious, Dr. Surithong and her husband are lovely!

Then we dropped Mr. Chansy off at the hotel, and came back to her house to sleep.  Now I am comfortably using the internet in my pyjamas.


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