I’m Flattered

I’m now such an “internationally recognized expert” (direct quote) that I’m being invited to Germany to speak at a symposium, all expenses paid.

This is a big deal because until now, I’ve never been invited anywhere, especially by people I don’t know. I normally have to apply, wait to be accepted, and then wrangle with Ruby in Accounting over reimbursement of my expenses.

I mean, I’ve been invited by friends but it’s not the same thing. This time, though, I’m actually being invited by complete strangers who clearly have read my work. This is obviously very flattering. And it’s also very funny that Germans want to pay to bring over a Ukrainian from the American Midwest to talk to them about the crisis in Spain that they kind of caused. And Americans caused. The only ones who are clearly innocent are Ukrainians.

Hey, is anybody here going to be in Bavaria in October? And should I nip into Prague while I’m there? Because it’s super close, and I’ve never been.

18 thoughts on “I’m Flattered

  1. Great news!
    It’s been years since I’ve been in Prague but it’s generally totally worth it. But be aware, a friend who was there recently said it’s more crowded than ever…


  2. Congratulations on getting invited to give a keynote!

    I was in Prague last year. It is as beautiful as ever, but extremelly crowded, e.g. I waited almost 90min in the security queue to get into the Hradcany castle and passing through Charles’ bridge consisted of literally pushing people away, there were so so many tourists (so I walked to the other bridges when I wanted to cross the river again). During the day there are masses of tourists from every possible country, Japan, Italy, Spain, Germany, Sweden, US, but in the evening the centre is full of drunk rowdy Brits on bachelor parties. My Czech colleague who lives in the suburbs of Prague and whom I met for dinner, said the locals are avoiding the centre because of overcrowding and she hasn’t actually been there for 3 years and wouldn’t be, if I wasn’t visiting…

    So if you have never been, maybe go, but expect horrible overcrowding. Or go somewhere else, maybe Salzburg or Innsbruck (both easily accessible with train from Munich in 1-2 hours) or Vienna.


  3. Congratulations on the invitation. I have to teach about Oktoberfest in some of my classes and I never want to go to it. It’s crowded, very expensive, and full of really drunk people in folk costumes. Not my scene.

    Prague is wonderful, though it has changed a lot over the years and become very touristy. My first visit was in 1992, no one spoke English and everything was a little shabby, but charming and amazingly cheap. I was back again several times in the 90s and most recently in 2013. The tacky tourist stuff is worse than ever and the prices are as high as Germany or Austria, but the city is gorgeous and definitely worth a visit. We stayed in a wonderful little hotel called the Red Chair Hotel, it’s near the center, but on a small side street that was very quiet, and the staff was really friendly and helpful. I would stay there again in a heartbeat.

    Vienna is also wonderful, but I imagine you won’t have time for both.


      1. I’m not anti-alcohol or anti-beer at all. One of the best things about Munich are all the lovely beer gardens in park-like settings, shaded by trees, and wonderful spaces to spend a summer afternoon. I probably would have liked Oktoberfest if I could have gone when I was younger and/or before it became such a huge draw for international tourists.

        BTW – if you do go to Prague, you should try to find a tankova pub, where they serve unpasteurized beer brought straight from the brewery in refrigerated tanks. It’s very good stuff.


        1. I’ve decided that I’m going to Prague for sure and tourists be damned. How can I miss an opportunity to go to Prague? A train ticket from where I’ll be is only 28 euro. It would be stupid not to go.

          I have the best job ever.


          1. Yay! Even with all the tourists, Prague is worth the trip. Do take a look at the Red Chair Hotel, we really loved our stay there.


  4. Congratulations!

    Depending on when you go, Oktoberfest could be over (looks like it ends the seventh). My experience is that after a holiday/festival more touristy places tend to be a little less crowded, because many people have headed home or back to work, but my experience is limited to the US and Canada.


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