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University Impressions

May 23, 2008

As an addition to the second entry of this blog, it’s time for some further – though kinda random – impressions of university (though the pictures are probably more interesting that this text here). Lately, there had been some activity going on, like an a-capella group, or some people practicing taiko drums. If you click on the corresponding pics below, you’ll also find a link to short (& small) videos, with sound.

In our lab, there is a typical Japanese water boiler, which not only boils it, but keeps the water at a certain temperature – e.g., 90°C, suitable for green tea. It’s quite energy consuming, but also pretty convenient. However, the water coming from the one in my lab smells and tastes strange, despite recent cleaning. Somehow sweet, like something died inside and is now slowly molding. And the worst thing is: I asked people from my lab about it, and they reacted surprised, then totally agreed … and then continued drinking. Rather strange. Fortunately, I can get my water from a room one floor above.

Some people here have this good tradition of going jogging, about 1-2 times per week, during the workday. So at about 3 or 4 p.m., they ask around who wants to come along, and jogg for a little bit; only 5 km, 30 min., so you don’t feel too exhausted afterwards, but rather refreshed. It’s great, and of course I participate. Though in the future, I have to pay more attention to their running speed, because the one time I was in front, everybody else was seriously sweating & panting afterwards [cf. this pic] 🙂 Anyway, maybe we should implement this tradition in our lab in Germany, too, once I returned.

Now being summer, there are some places where you can pick fruits (e.g., strawberries) by yourself. In Japan, this is called “(strawberry) hunting”, which gives the whole activity a rather strange touch ^_^. When hearing that term for the first time, a picture of us standing in a field and shooting at strawberries unavoidably entered my mind. Unfortunately, we just missed the time for picking berries; someone in my lab got the idea of “tomato hunting”, but this was just a joke (at least I hope so).

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