My experience at 45th EPA congress.

Since a very long time, I had the intention to write about my journey and include a diary section to my blog.

I believe today is the day, and the 45th EPA congress is the best event to start my journal. Each year, in September, the association holds an annual conference where members and others with interest in Prosthodontics can meet and make scientific and clinical presentations to foster interest in the study and development of Prosthodontics. So, they named it EPA which means Euro Prosthetic Congress. And it is happening for the 45th time.

This year, the committee had decided to hold the conference in the university of Siena which is my university. I feel proud and lucky. Coming from Sri Lanka and being part of one of the biggest conferences in dental prosthodontics is something I haven’t even dreamt of. It is really a big deal for me.

I want to journal this first-time experience and register it forever. If you are reading this blog don’t forget to remind me about this experience, whenever we meet.

Today is the 25th of September, 2022. But, the conference started on the 22nd and finished yesterday which is the 24th.

First let me explain how was yesterday for me.

I woke up early in the morning at 5.30 am to be on time at the conference because the event had planned to start at 9.00 am. As soon as I woke up, I checked the official website of the EPA congress and I started playing a song on YouTube. Otherwise I would have felt sleepy. But, this time I had to prepare my suit apart from my normal morning routine. Never mind, I thought I will prepare my suit after the breakfast. I quickly had cornflakes with milk. Somehow and somehow, I was done with all these stuff by 7.00 am. And I checked the official website of EPA for the second time to download the program time table. I viewed the time table but, I did not download.  

“My coat and the trouser were ready in the cupboard already. But, I had to iron my shirt. Ok. No problem. I have time, I need only 30 minutes to go to the hospital. The conference starts at 9am. Now, it is only 7 am. I will quit house sharp at 8 o’clock.” This is the only though came to my mind when I saw the time. All is well.

I ironed my shirt and dressed up. All was set. I looked at the time. It was 7.30. I felt good. I had 30 more minutes to exit. So, I rested a little. And, sharp at 8 o’clock I went out. My time was really good. The bus S77 which directly goes to the hospital arrived as soon as I came to the street. I got in the bus. And, I was happily checking the EPA website to download the time table again to check which presentation I should visit at first. I downloaded without any problem. I read the program and decided which presentation I should visit first. Then, I wanted to check YouTube to play a song. When I opened YouTube app, suddenly the google chrome which was working in behind opened. Google chrome had the EPA website.

When I saw the page for the third time I was shocked. I could not believe my eyes. Because, the venue of the event was not the hospital. It was Via Piero Andrea Matteoli 10. By that time I was near Hotel Anna, which is 40 minutes by bus to that specific venue. I could have waited on the same bus and get down at Piazza del sale and walk to the place. But, I thought it will take a lot of time. So, I immediately got down. And walked near the McDonald’s expecting for a S10. Luckily an S4 came which is much more faster.

With the bus I got down at Garibaldi stop near piazza del sale. Because that’s how the google map showed me the road. And, in the map it showed by the bus it is 20 minutes. By walk it is 50 minutes. So, I thought taking a bus is really good. And, I waited. After about few minutes, I realised I had to walk towards porta Ovile to get the bus.

Ohh….. Again walk…. And I am almost running out of time. But, it is ok. The congress is much more important. So, I walked and somehow reached the porta.

I was waiting and waiting. The bus didn’t appear. I thought I will walk to the place. But, I was stopped by Sam Ca’tel who was passing Porta Ovile. He asked me where I am going and I explained the whole scene.

He was like. “No no no. Don’t walk. It is quite far from here. You could have gone from the Siena center. It is only 10 minutes away from there”. He suggested me to wait for the bus and go.

By that time, he went somewhere. I could not see him for few minutes. I was waiting and waiting. The bus was not showing up. The time was running too. I was so nervous. Suddenly, I saw Sam was coming towards me with a cup of coffee. He offered me the coffee.

“Oh man. Thank you.” I said. But, I refused. I highly appreciate his hospitality. But, I was not in a mood for a coffee at that time. Simultaneously the Bus number S2 came. And, boom. I hopped in. Then the driver helped to get down at the correct stop to take the next bus which is S54. And with the bus numbered S54 I arrived at the venue exactly at 10.07 am.

I directly headed to the reception. The lady at the reception welcomed me with a warm smile. “Welcome doctor! May I know your kind name please?” She asked my name. I looked behind me. I thought she was talking to someone else because, it’s being a while people called me “doctor”. Wow.

“I am Antru Anthonisamy” I replied. She gave me my badge and a bag containing the necessary material for the congress. I thanked her and directly went to see the posters. I actually was looking for presentation rooms. But, when I was passing the posters, there was a room filled with people, I entered it. When I was looking for a place to sit, there a space near a Japanese boy. I had my seat and officially started to participate in the event.

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