"It's gonna be so boring," said Mohan, waiting at the bus stop, "all
that time on the coach. I'm just gonna get mangled." He got out his
thermos and took a swig.
An hour and a half later, we alighted at Cambridge. "I didn't think it
would be so short," said Mohan, "I didn't have time to fall asleep."
We walked to the market square and sat down to have lunch. Mohan
managed about a quarter of his and then started complaining that his
thermos was empty.
"Are you sure you don't want to give a talk?" he asked Dörte, "You can
give mine. I'm too mangled." Dörte might have been happy giving a
talk, but not that one. She asked, "Did you really have whiskey in
"Just milk, you know. Milk." Right. "It was only half full, anyway."
We headed off past Senate House, down Trinity Lane, across the river
and past the library. Behind us, Mohan piped up, "How far is this,
guys? We've been walking for hours. Aren't there any pubs out here?"
After no more than twenty minutes, we reached the modern complex that
is the Centre for Mathematical Sciences. By the end of the day, after
talks with distinctive Irish, Estuary, and Scottish accents, a
surprisingly sober Malaysian gave a decent talk after all, although he
did stop to ask us if he was making any sense.
We enjoyed another couple of days in Cambridge, with more talks,
more than enough food, duck watching, and artistic works visible just
about every time we turned our heads. Then we headed home again,
although the coach was so late that Mohan's thermos was empty before
we got on, despite his trip to fill it up while we were sightseeing.
Ten points for the best suggestion for what this particular work of art might be intended to represent. Another ten available for naming the Cambridge college whose entrance it sits outside.