going away (pretend you have a TARDIS and read this yesterday)

I’m drafting this sitting on a train. On the way to the airport. On my way to get a plane to go to Mumbai. Which is in India, where I’ve never been. For work, which is also a new thing (‘cos, let’s be honest, going to academic conferences overseas – even when you’re giving papers – feel a bunch less like work than they do an excuse to catch up with people you’ve not seen for a while, hopefully somewhere nice: at least, they do if you’ve done the actual work of writing the paper before you get on the plane).

At first the idea of being being packed off to Mumbai to sit down with a group of people to organise a conference next year was a nice kind of fairytale. Then it became a real tale of booking tickets and organising visas and planning itineraries (and appropriating old iPads and loading them up with fun stuff to take with you). And suddenly, about 45 minute ago, it became really really real, in the breath-stopping, trying not to freak out, I’m-so-not-grown-up-enough-for-this-kind-of-thing.

Yesterday I was making lists of all the people my parents would have to call if I fell out of the plane and joking with my boss about how I was being sent away as a punishment for not having any food more exciting than an apple for him to steal. Now I’m having all the omigosh-am-I-going-to-the-right-airport and do I have my passport moments it’s possible to have (yes and yes – though I did just realise that I’m flying back to Heathrow and not Gatwick, which is a pain).

So. I’m excited. And terrified. Because actually, India was not too near the top of my travel hotlist so I have very few expectations or ‘things I must do’ on my list. But mostly I’m the excited kind of terrified, because it is clearly going to be ace and honestly I can do venues and budgets and meeting people and play nicely with others in the conference organising sandpit. And in about 24 hours I’ll be back on the blog going, ‘HAI, MUMBAI, I AM IN YOU,’ to tell you all about it.

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