Archive for ethiopian food

NeurIPS without visa

Posted in pictures, Statistics, Travel, University life with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 22, 2019 by xi'an


I came by chance upon this 2018 entry in Synced that NeurIPS now takes place in Canada between Montréal and Vancouver primarily because visas to Canada are easier to get than visas to the USA, even though some researchers still get difficulties in securing theirs. Especially researchers from some African countries, which is exposed  in the article as one of the reasons the next ICLR takes place in Addis Ababa. Which I wish I could attend! In the meanwhile, I will be taking part in an ABC workshop in Vancouver, December 08, prior to NeurIPS 2019, before visiting the Department of Statistics at UBC the day after. (My previous visit there was in 1990, I believe!) Incidentally but interestingly, the lottery entries for NeurIPS 2019 are open till September 25, to the public (those not contributing to the conference or any of its affiliated groups). This is certainly better than having bots buying all entries within 12 minutes of the opening time!

More globally, this entry makes me wonder how learned societies could invest in ensuring locations for their (international) meetings allow for a maximum inclusion in terms of these visa difficulties, but also ensuring freedom and safety for all members. Which may prove a de facto impossibility. For instance, Ethiopia has a rather poor record in terms of human rights and, in particular, homosexuality is criminalised there. An alternative would be to hold the conferences in parallel locations chosen to multiply the chances for this inclusion, but this could prove counter-productive [for inclusion] by creating groups that would never ever meet. An insolvable conundrum?

Toukoul, Brussels

Posted in pictures, Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 10, 2018 by xi'an

While in Brussels this week, I realised I was staying near a well-rated Ethiopian restaurant called Toukoul (from the name of a, Ethiopian hut) and went there early enough to secure a table before it got full. For plenty of good reasons as the food is terrific, with enough spice for the taste

to linger in the mouth long after the dish is gone. (Contrary to the few other Ethiopian restaurants I tested and tasted in the past months.) And plenty of injera available on the table. And a highly friendly service. A place to remember for future trips to Brussels. Definitely! 

Washington snapshots [day 4]

Posted in Travel with tags , , , on August 5, 2009 by xi'an

It is most often a fairly interesting experience to take a taxi in the US, at least in cities, because one almost invariably meets taxi-drivers with incredible stories from all over the World. I remember the Somali taxi-driver that took me to the airport in Philadelphia, telling me of a trip back to Somalia with his sons where they had been so shocked by the poverty there that they left all their spare clothes and shoes when they came back. Here in Washington many taxi-drivers are from Ethiopia and they have interesting stories as well. They tipped us on the good Ethiopian restaurants around and we ended up eating at Dukem, in Washington’s “Little Ethiopia”, where I liked very much the spicy—too spicy for the rest of the party—food served on thick pancakes called injera that reminded me of the saracen wheat pancakes of Brittany. The taxi back was from Nigeria, instead, and after talking about his trip to Ireland, the taxi-driver told us that Nigeria was still brewing the original Guinness, according to the “true” recipe. Which brought us back to Statistics via “Student” Gosset’s employer…