Geek Confessions

Because I haven’t blogged much this year, I’m going to depart from my more-or-less chronological updates. Clearly I’m not about to confess that I am a blogging geek. I would have to do much more writing, and reading, to be a blog geek. I am a photography geek, especially since I got the digital SLR camera, but that’s hardly news.

My first confession is that I have recently discovered that I am a Metro geek. It took me by surprise, really. It started with organizing a MEETin photo “walk” through the Montreal Metro at the beginning of April. Each station is different and many of them also have major art installations. Because of that, I’ve wanted to take pictures in the Metro since I moved to Montreal. When I set up the event, I was expecting only a handful of my photography friends to come along. To my delight, eight people came out to the event and several more, who couldn’t make it, are regularly hinting that I should set up another event soon. We only saw and photographed about a third of Montreal’s network. I will be setting up a follow-on event or two. I do need to get permission from the STM (Metro authorities).

As I was researching my vacation, I read that Athens Metro, built for the 2004 Olympics, is also a museum of the antiquities found while digging the tunnels. So, I put the Metro on my must-see list. Here’s the confession: I was positively excited when I went down into the Metro to ride one stop to the Acropolis. As advertised, there were all sorts of antiquities displayed and integrated into the very modern stations. In all, I saw three stations: Syntagma, Acropolis, and Monastiraki. All the stations were very clean, spacious, well laid-out with clear signage. I highly recommend the experience.

My next confession involves my Engineering education. I never thought it would come in useful while vacationing in Greece. All the Greek symbols I learned for various formulas and constants have come in very handy to decipher signs and other writings. Most road signs are both in English and Greek, but not ALL signs are bilingual. Being able to decipher Greek letters, though, doesn’t mean I know what the words mean. Though I do have to remind myself when I see on road signs the letter “m” in Greek, which usually stands for “micro” in scientific symbols, that it means “metres” not “microns”.

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