Dublin is compact and modern at my end of town. Everyone is dressed so nicely, so European. All the women are in heels and look very sharp and the men wear dainty shoes. And oh how they talk! A musical quality with a bright rhythm that is so captivating.
I arrived yesterday about 10 am-ish for the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution meeting (SMBE). Crashed for a bit and then went for a walk to the Temple Bar area known for it’s pubs. Bright sun and cool breeze which according to the predictions, I won’t see again during my stay.
Rain, rain, rain. A good fast walk along the cobbled walking and biking path along the River Liffey. Found a small cozy place and who could resist the seafood chowder and a pint of Guniness. My first Guiness and unlike other virginal experiences, it was so good.
I have some Euros in my pocket and credit card standby and now the big question is… do I tip? A query that provides a chance to chat. I want some genuine local advice. So, how do I pick out a real Irishman? Hmmmm. Meander through the little pub and listen and there. Two fellows talking fast with good humor so I interrupt them flat out. They are delighted.
“I’m from Minnesota.” Ahh, they say. Nodding at how fascinating this is. “Yes, I’m here for the Molecular Biology and Evolution conference.” Ahhh… more nodding but now, fuzzy expressions. “I have an important question. Do I tip?” That made us laugh and so deserved a discussion about all the variants; was it a large meal, was it expensive, did I get good service. The conclusion is no, tipping is not expected. Just say TANKS.
OK. I say TANKS. I say it a few more times to makes sure I get the right inflection. There is no “h” and you clip the “ks” off quickly. Getting dark and starting to rain, rain, rain, so back to the hotel where I crash and of course, wake up at 3 am with the jet lag special.
The 4-day scientific meeting is the first one I’ve attended where a half-day symposia is devoted to the relatively new field of paleogenomics — the study of ancient genes. I gave my talk, “Finding Family in Bones and Genes”, after the seminar on Paleogenomics — research on ancient DNA from fossil bones.
About the images shown above
1) One of the illustrations in my talk about Paleogenomics.
2) Trinity College in Dublin where a reception for the EMBE conference was held.