This week, the MIP2018 conference has been hosted in Jerusalem (Israel)
The trip started Saturday last weekend by train to Kastrup at 07:00, against all odds SJ managed to keep their schedule and arrived at Kastrup on time. This ment almost four hours buffer at the airport, an astounding amount of extra time I have seldom experiences on work trips before. For some reason I was selected for a “random check” and received my “full body scan”. The flight then got delayed from Kastrup as most flights we’ve taken from Denmark, almost an hour delayed. Despite this fact, Lufthansa managed to land in Frankfurt only about 20 minutes late, leaving an unexpected 50 minutes to get across the airport. Slightly less then the 85 minutes we should have gotten though still surprisingly much time compared to what was expected when the airplane was almost han hour delayed.
We made it across the airport, managed to make a quick stop at the taxfree store, past the extra security control we did not expect and caught the flight. This, however, was the most thorough security check I have yet to encounter, our luggage was x-rayed again, which might not be a strange event at the airport. What was however a bit surprising was when I was trying to remove my belt and the women at the x-ray machine told me “it doesn’t matter, we check everyone anyway”. This they did, person number two steps forward with the wand and starts scanning. This metal detector was obviously set to “insanely sensitive” since my entire body lit up like an alarm. This led to a thorough body visitation where the area around my zipper was investigated in detail through squeezing and cupping since (to everyones surprise) the area around my belt buckle and zipper strangely enough set of the alarm like an siren during the scan.
After a couple of nervous minutes (“hold you belt like this”, “do not remove the belt though do not let it interfere”, “pull you pants up”, “put you shirt down”, “DO NOT MOVE YOUR HANDS SIR”, “turn around”, “lift your feet”, “lift your shirt BUT DO NOT MAKE ME LOOSE SIGHT OF YOUR HANDS”) we made it thorough the security checkpoint. After four hours on an over book flight we landed at the Tel Aviv airport. The late hour and the 15 hours in transit was not enough to prevent an admiration for the beautiful airport. The “raining” ceiling, the sandstone details and so much more. With a lump in my stomach we approached the boarder control and after a few minutes it was time to approach the desk. A couple of questions later regarding where I was living and some other things, plus a few minutes of heckling me for Sweden loosing agains Germany in the World Cup I got my entry card and was welcomed into the country.
The taxi trip from the airport was in a luxurious minibuss with working AC, tinted windows and leather seats where the driver was avoiding to put on some sort of 2011 years disko mix. A couple of minutes after midnight we arrived at the hotell and after some hassle regarding the number of rooms we all managed to check into the hotel and pass out a couple of minutes before two.
This might actually be the less problematic conference trip I have yet to enjoy though at the point of writing this, a lot of the week remains and the trip back home remains. Thursday was my time to shine with a presentation scheduled just before lunch. Since this is now written in past tense, the presentation went fairly well, sleep deprived and nervous I managed to put my fot right in my mouth and invoke the slight irritation of a senior researches. Other than that, I think it went fairly well.