Posted by: Chris Kim
Writing this while waiting in line for our accreditation badges. We awoke at 5 a.m. Copenhagen time and got to the line by 6:30 a.m. with the line expected to open at 8 a.m. So while everyone shifts and tries to stay warm, I grab a seat on our duffel bag of brochures to write/blog.
After a less-than-expected one hour of sleep (such is research at SSRL), I started my trek to Copenhagen via San Francisco, Charlotte NC, and Frankfurt, Germany. My farewell image of the US was of the Stock Car Café™ in Charlotte, nicely contrasted with a modern buffet restaurant and bar in Frankfurt, where I grabbed a bite (and obligatory stein of the ubiquitous Beck’s).
Arriving in Copenhagen, I quickly found compatriot Manny Smith and with the help of a number of chipper COP15 information guides, we collected keys at the three separate apartments we have leased for the week. [In 2004 I attended the Goldschmidt geochemistry conference in Copenhagen and leased an apartment with a bunch of other attendees; that positive experience led me to suggest we do the same for this week.] Renting in a foreign city is: 1) a much better value than hotels on average if you have a group of people; 2) more personal, as most of the apartments are rented out by the tenants/owners themselves; 3) usually in a local neighborhood instead of the most touristy hotel-dense areas; 4) more livable, with kitchens, refrigerators, dining room tables, couches, TVs, stereos, etc. Most importantly, I suspect that renting a flat is much more sustainable than hotels, as we use the same towels and linens throughout the week, clean up after ourselves, and can even cook if we want (which we plan to do at least once this week).
With much coordination and a good chunk of fortunate timing we located Paul, Menas, Susan, Mary, Deepa and David and got everyone set up in the three apartments. Kudos to Manny for orchestrating the considerable logistics, and a shout-out to Anders at HKS for his assistance in identifying Copenhagen apartments and translating numerous Danish Web pages for us. A late-night meal at a well-lighted restaurant (Bang & Jensen, on Istedgade), and we were off to bed for the aforementioned 5 a.m. wakeup call.
Looks like we’re about 20 minutes from the line opening up, and I can’t really feel my fingers anymore anyway, so will wrap up for now.