I’m in a Hilton Garden Inn, which could be anywhere in the developed world, decorated in hipster anonymity which isn’t really hip at all. Manufactured faux “wood” flooring, scratchy carpeting, uncomfortable riff on a classic modernist chair, in-room keurig coffee maker, pretend art on the walls, dispensers of product in the bathroom. Meeting facilities without any natural air or light.
And a glass of wine for $9.
When I got here I went to the corner hipster market to get some things to keep in the fridge so I wouldn’t spend $20 on breakfast or another $10 for a nightcap. Even though those things come out of my research funds, I am now hyper aware that those funds are limited.
I even took the bus from the airport to the town, then walked from the bus stop to the hotel. All to save $50 that I never would have thought twice about before.
The good part of all of this is time with old and new colleague friends, talking over ideas about how to change the world, discovering new places in a pretty cool town. I love my work, even when we have to do it in a Hilton Garden Inn.