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Archive for November, 2009

So..how’s it going?

People say that here. Often. Instead of ..”Hey, what’s up?”
I don’t really remember what I wanted to write here. It’s late and I should probably sleep, because, as usual, in the morning I never get enough.
Well..yeah..today by the question “How’s it going?”, Michael Smart actually meant “How is the presentation going?” and the answer was “Yeah, fine, I just have to patch some pictures and that’s about it.” – I was asked to give a presentation here…

I am sure this is of absolutely no interest to you, but I thought I should just check in, because I haven’t done it for some time now. I have reached some sort of a plateau..things are happening, but they don’t excite me so much anymore. I cannot wait for this weekend. 2 days of sailing at the Great Barrier Reef..just me and my book and the sun. Hopefully things are gonna settle a bit. It’s just too much information coming from everywhere and it’s exhausting. Sometimes I wish I were…it would be nice if things would just be plain and simple from time to time.

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Baby’s got temper

I got home. There’s news about Robbie WIliiams having had proposed to his..girlfriend. Who cares?! I like the bunny videoclip though.

Today was hot, I wasn’t in such a happy place, but not unable to make some notes on the things I saw in the city.
There are tones of optics stores (glasses) downtown. Therefore you think: „How difficult can it be to get a pair of contacts?“ The answer: „Very. You need a prescription!!!!“
Lots of ..different types of people:
–       I saw a self-harmer or how do you call those people who cut themselves?, a woman who had lot of scars all over her forarms and also several fresh wounds. She looked scared, always trying to catch the look of a guy that she was with (he was wearing dark sunglasses, that’s why the woman’s effort seemed hilarious)
–       Several obese people eating disgustingly fat foot. As usual as that might be here, it still surprises me all the time how careless some are about their health.
–       A woman with very high heal sandals, red, stripper like. She was also wearing socks – short white girlie look-a-like with some lace at the margins. In a weird way it looked chic. She also had very nice silver rings (3).
–       The entire trip home (by train) seemed a commercial for Apple: everyone had either an iPHONE or an iPOD. And as much as I like Apple I gotta say, these people here take to the extremes. Of course the iPHONEs are all nice and cool, but they are so pointless when you are a nothing more than..a student for example. It’s just ridiculous!
–       This morning, at the bus station, there was a guy, fat, stretched skin with countless tatoos with skeletons. You could even notice an evolution of the tatooing devices and style one used on his skin.
–       Huge boobs! In the train there was a woman sitting. Since there weren’t any seats left, I was standing beside her. Looking down was………..I simply cannot understand how God makes them so big! 🙂

I don’t know what else..there were more things earlier…Now I am watching John McLane who is going to save the world for the 4th time.

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Homesick

After so much traveling, well not soooo much, but some, it just occurred to me that I can feel home pretty much anywhere I feel good. So this notion of “home” is..a bit abstract to me. Home is where your toothbrush is – I always say.

But now..now I am longing for something old. Something familiar, something I can do or know with my eyes closed, something…something. 🙂 What is it? I don’t know, how should I? My family, my friends, my German friends (hihi!), the warm floor from S.’s apartment, my S., my cat, the fallen leaves from Munich’s autumn, my old room in my parent’s home, the sea (ah, the sea!), the red walls of my current room…

So, I guess, I re-redefined the notion of “home”.

 

 

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Excruciating pain

No, no, everything is ok.
There isn’t actually much to say. On Sunday I was lazy as hell. Even Wii fit couldn’t stir things up.
Monday and Tuesday..a bit of work, reading, preparing the presentation I am about to give here, etc. I also tried to book a nice boat trip around the Whitsunday Islands. I was very excited about it, because they take you from the harbor and for 2-3 days they are sailing around these islands..mostly nearby nice beaches and coral reef. There is a very nice beach I will hopefully see. It’s called..well…I shouldn’t say anything right now. Better later, after everything will be in the past, because this way you will be able to understand my enthusiasm.
I wanted to say that my excitement was a bit killed when I came across a website with information about all the dangerous species you can find in these tropical waters. And which words do you think were common in all descriptions of the symptoms one experiences when getting stung, touched, etc..by a poisonous animal?? I will tell you: EXCRUCIATING PAIN. No kidding! If you are in the mood, just take a look on wikipedia (I am too lazy to look for that link, maybe tomorrow) about box jellyfish, irukandji jellyfish, blue-ring octopus, lion fish, etc. Especially the jellyfish is tiny. The irukandji is at most 1 cm long, the body I mean, while the tentacles can reach 1 m. that is bloody not fair!
Luckily this on the boat there will be some sort of protection costumes, which, however, don’t cover the face area – and I saw a documentary on Discovery, where a guy died because he got stung by an irukandji on his cheek. 😀
So..just wish me luck!

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Ocean drive

On Saturday, Shannon, my flat-mate who will eventually get an entire post here, was very nice and agreed to drive with me to the Pacific coast, Bribie Island. Even though driving there, especially on Saturday can be a bit exhausting because of all the traffic in Brisbane…it was totally worth it. And I got to admit, the Pacific rose up to my high expectations. The word to best describe it is…overwhelming I guess. Coming from the tiny Black Sea to see the ocean is like moving from H&M clothes to…Tommy Hilfiger. I cannot believe what comparison I made! Sure H&M is all comfy and funky, but Tommy Hilfiger takes it to another level. It was quite weird because you cannot swim so much in the open, because of..well..many reasons: very strong currents, the water is deepening very fast and last but not least..the old bull-sharks which might be waiting for a treat.. 🙂 So I stayed close to the shore, in the beautiful waves. It was…amazing!

Again..being used to my Black Sea..my eyes were not so happy to meet the very salty water from the ocean, but I didn’t really care.

Until now I’ve seen some beaches and I started to appreciate much more what my home-town sea has to offer: wide sandy beaches (not like in .. Croatia for example, where, as beautiful as the Adriatic is, being around it doesn’t make it by far as pleasant as being on the beaches around the Black Sea; lot of stones, lot of people, lot of everything), safety (see the sharks and all other mean, even poisonous jelly-fishes you can meet well..almost at all ocean beaches) and large swimming areas (again ocean beaches are a bit short on that).
I don’t want to be misunderstood. The ocean does not compare to our small lake. And I believe if I would’ve been raised down here on the coast, I would shrug my shoulders in disgust if someone would even dare to think of comparing the ocean with that tiny lake there in Europe. But since I haven’t been raised here and since I went to high-school just 2 min away from the Black Sea, shared lot of joys and sorrow with her (in the meantime “it” has become a “her”): beers, bathes at midnight or veeery early in the morning, like 4am or so, parties, sports, wave racing (something we did when it was very cold and very cloudy outside, sometime in late autumn; wave racing is about you against the wave… ruuuuuuun!), we even shared winter evenings when outside was freezing…so, because of all those reasons and some more which I can’t think of right now, I am a bit subjective when it comes to choosing my sea over the vast ocean! 🙂

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Friday in a glass

Oooops, I did it again! Just when I was on the verge of going home, all pissed off at my day…someone whispered in my ear something about a trip to the Whitsunday Islands. Naturally, when it comes to going away (I would use here the Romanian “hai-hui”), all my antennas were re-directed, all my neuronal mechanism started to go all “tica-taca”. So I stayed and talked to some people trying to establish a plan for getting away two weekends from now. And then there was the French guy, whose name is Breece (have no idea how you spell it, it just rimes with Greece), telling me about what cool CFD simulations he did on the SCRAMJET inlet. So I got carried away. My desire of being grumpy and happy with my grumpiness disappeared like “Poofff!”. And when Thomas came and asked if I wanted to go for a pizza, I was all..yeeeey! By the way, it was the most delicious pizza I’ve ever tried. Maybe because I was hungry, but it was not too thick with all the goodies on it..MMMMmm!
And what do you think goes well with a pizza? A beer, of course! But this time I precisely remember how many tiny glasses I had. 🙂 I took some nice pictures that I thought I’d share with you.
What was cooler was that walking home from the bus station I got on Beatrice street which is, like most of the streets in Taringa suburb, veeeeery steep. The breeze coming from the city made trees shiver. It was so pleasant! I said to myself like Natalie Portman in Garden State “My hair is blowing in the wind!” and smiled. It was a very nice feeling to do some “Ueeeeeaaaaoooooo, neeeeeeaaaaoooooooooo!” with the hands spread like wings and fly downhill. 🙂

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It was Friday, what a black day!

Uffa!

Yeah, I don’t have any cool pictures, my day was…&%$^&!!!
I guess not everything can always be all lollipops and candies. The entire week I’ve been trying to wrap my head around all sorts of equations and..well..it turned out that I couldn’t get some things figured out. Bleah! It’s one of those times when the curiousity which made me start this PhD feels a bit outdated, insufficient, stupid, childish, etc. But oh well! In the spirit of momentum conservation I will keep on trying.

The cool uncool thing about today was that after I woke up I tried to kill some time waiting for a certain phone call. After the phone call, which was for me not as cheery as other times…I got dressed and prepared for the office. On the way out of the house I discovered that my iPOD did some funny stuff messing up some of the songs I had copied on it. “Oh well..a small inconvenience!” – I naively thought to myself. Then, just ouside the house, in the street, getting the first bite of a grape … I choked. The kind of choke you need someone to pat you on the back. Guess what? In the suburb where I live there are no other people!!! Together with Shannon, we are the only ones! 🙂 Seriously, there was no one on the street so I caughed and caughed for a few minutes. Luckily I didn’t miss the bus!
I safely came to the uni and was happy to taste my latte for today (I cannot not think about Carry Brashaw when I am ordering latte). So I took out the money (2 coins of 50 cents and 1 coin of 2 dollars) and guess what now? I dropped the 2 dollar coin in a drain hole. Pointless to say it was impossible to get it out. “Oh well”…AGAIN!
Theeeen I finnally got to the office. But just on the corridor I saw the guy who sits on my right in the room heading towards me. He was also looking at me so I was just preparing to say “Hello” – because I am a well behaved person, or at least I like to believe that. But, what do you know? Exactly when he was like 1m away, his eyes preferred to shift to the floor. I was a bit annoyed by that and so..hadn’t it been for my weird morning I would’ve just let it go. Buuuuuuut..I didn’t. I came very close to him and shouted in his ear “Hiiii!” Not shouted that everyone could hear me, but just enough for him to think I am a psychopath. And exactly in this instant, he is quietly sitting 1m away from me, trying to learn Python. Everybody say “Hello Jasoooooooon!” and wave!

The thing is that we know eachother, I mean..I even helped him to print some stuff. Apparently it’s not such a strong bond these days anymore…:)

I think I will skip this Friday’s beers and just crawl in my bed and ask for my mommy who is 300000000000000km away. 🙂

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Koala? Where?

At the Lone Pine Koala sanctuary, that’s where. I went there on Sunday with Arianna.
Useless tu say it was at least interesting.

Q:„So..where is this place?“
A:„Just 10 minutes drive from Taringa suburb, somewhere in the south-west of Brisbane.“
Q:„What is so spezial about this place?“
A:„Well..it’s more like a zoo, but with less animals and the biggest number of koalas in captivity.“
Q:„How many?“
A:„About 130…“
Q:„What kind of koalas?“
A:„All kinds you can meet in Australia, all ages. They have the young ones (up to 2 years old, while the longest lived koala reached 23 years in captivity; the ones living out there only make it up to 10-12) – very playful and active; the adults who look nothing more than a stoned bear..aaa..marsupial, I appologize; the mom&cub area where you can really see small koala on top of large koala; and the retiring home with grannys over 12 years old who are, remarcably, more active than the adults.“
Q:„What does a koala feed on?“
A:„Eucaliptus and nothing else.“
Q:„Don’t they drink any water?“
A:„No.“
Q:„Isn’t that weird?“
A:„Well it might be. Not sure. But that is definetely the answer to why are they so..still? It’s because eucaliptus is toxic…it kinda gets them high. And it also contains no sugar, so they don’t have so much energy.“ – That’s also why the sex is probably very boring! 🙂
Q:„You said this place is more like a zoo. What other animals are there?“
A:„Errmm..Kangaroos, wallabies (meaning smaller kangaroos and nicer I might add), dingos, Tasmanian devil, wombat, a bunch of handsome snakes, a crocodile, some sheep dogs, emu, lot of cuckatoos and other screaming birds, some huuuuge bats (they are called something like fox-bat or so…Geeee! I wonder why?! They were just hangin’) and..other stuff that I forgot.“
Q:„Something special about any of these God-given-creatures?“
A:„Mmm..no. Oh, wait. The Tasmanian devil can eat the equivalent of their body mass, around 12 kilos or so. And they are not big. Nor scarry. Just bigger rats. And..the wombat looks like a weasel, but is actually a disguised koala. It lives underground. The dingo didn’t look so dangerous. Was expecting more! And..the koalas make ugly noises when they mate. Some sort of snorrs.“
Q:„Would you recommend the place?“
A:„Definetely! Except fort he ridiculously expensive food, it’s awesome! You can sit somewhere in a field and read and the kangaroos and wallabies are coming to you out of curiousity or something. It’s more like a nature park, not like any zoo I’ve seen in Europe. The koalas are sitting in trees and there is just a 1.20m fence around them..nothing else. You are not allowed to touch them or jump the fence of course, but they feel very close. The other biting animals are, of course, kept somewhere behind a higher fence. Everything is relaxing, because the place is in an unaltered nature. So yeah, go there!“
Q:„All right so..thank you for your time!“
A:„:)“

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Saturday – resting day

Resting in the sense that I didn’t go like crazy somewhere. But I did go to a mall to buy some short trousers. Yeah right, of course I ended up buying some hippie colorful ones and some reddish „make love not war“ skirt. But I got used to those deviations. 🙂
I did however find some very ..well..abstract or…inspiring „piece of art“ at the train station: two old sneakers in a Footlocker brand new bag and box.
And..the second thing, I got to see the city center by night, because I was invited to eat the most delicious spaghetti bolognese (they were actually tagliatelle) and the previously mentioned Apfelstrudel. It’s maybe just as fascinating to see the city by night as it is by day. The thing which was very pregnant is that the bars are quite loud. I guess the people here have another notion of party…NICE! 😀

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Friday’s few beers

I am not the „water with 2 slices of lemon“ kind of girl. I like to ..have „a few beers“, like the Aussies would say. This is precisely what we did on Friday. By „we“ I mean the few SCRAMJET geeks at the institute: Arianna and Melrose, colleagues from the PhD project, people I met back in Germany (but this shouldn’t fool you concerning their nationality: Arianna is Italian, Melrose, whose actual name is not Melrose, comes from Scottland) , the French under-age guy whose name I always forget, James – the „Dude, 35 years old?!“ guy (it’s actually a joke whose responsibility I bear: given the fact that most of us are under 30, when I found out his age, my reaction was like „DUDE!!! 35??“; it happened on last „a few beers Friday“), Wilsooooooon, the Singaporean guy who does have a Ching Chong name but doesn’t use it with us, ignorants…who else? Ah, yeah, and Tom, the author of the best Apfelstrudel I’ve ever tried – yeah he is German and always makes fun of my „Dude!!!“-reaction.
It should be mentioned that here you buy 1.2 L of beer in a bigger container and then you get glasses aditionally. The glasses have around 0.3L I would say..and therefore is hard to keep track of how much you drink. 😀 It’s like with the Kölsch beer in Köln. You never realize it was quite enough until you stand up to go to the toilet. 🙂
It was fun!
After we closed the Staff Club on campus, we went to eat what was to be the best Kebab ever! Ok, maybe not as good as the one in Constanta. I will always stand by that! But goooooood! Especially because it came at the moment when I was freakin’ hungry!
As usual: enjoy the pictures!

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