Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Working more then 6000 km from the lab

A lab is a lab apparently, I’m working from the astrophysics labs in Madrid and well while the language is way different (tho something with our two Spanish speaker it sometimes sounds the simillar) the ambiance just about the same. The only major difference up to now seems to be that the student lab is not climatized. It might be a problem normally but for some reason Madrid is experiencing an unusually wet and cold spring. Well that and no one is playing poker while complaining that some people are talking too loud, but I guess that this is a particularity of our lab. I just spend the day there, working, differently that when I’m at home I wouldn’t say better but differently. I accomplished roughly the same amount of work I do back home but it was more tiring as my laptop screen is so much smaller then my usual lab computer screen.

Tomorrow I’ll be going to Madrid, visit a little I’m guessing. My colleague will be busy and she suggested, twice, that I should take the opportunity to visit the city. I’m guessing I either look dead tired and in need of an holyday or that she wants me far away not to embarrass her in the day. Speaking of which my lack of Spanish is more and less of a barrier then I though. More of a barrier because I end up being excluded from every natural conversation around here, also even if I can figure the meaning and broad stroke involved in some conversation I can’t get the details and when people are talking normally (I’d say fast but I’m guessing there are no speed speaker amongst them) I have a very difficult time finding individual words in a sentence. It is less of a barrier because well they all understand English and because they do not speak as much as we normally do in the lab. Some people would love that I’m sure.

Aside from that there are minor inconvenience, the dripping water noise the toilet makes is distracting at night, the fact that I couldn’t figure out how to get warm water this morning for my shower, and my lack of energy to get food, well strangely I’m simply not hungry. Well the last one my be part jetlag, part language barrier, try going to a restaurant, a campus restaurant where no one seems to understand English and ordering a meal. Anyway, from my room in the residence I’m feeling lonely, more exactly I’m realizing I’m always feeling lonely lately. I don’t know I feel like I should be with someone else on this trip, you know, a girlfriend type of person.

Oh and one last thing because I go to sleep, if I can kill the headaches that killing me, one thing struck me as I got to Madrid, how much is stunk of cigarette smoke. Everywhere outside you smell cigarette and many place inside! Hell people smoke in non smoking area all the time and of course the doors of every building are crowded with smoker. And of course the windows of the lab open close to an area smoker like so it’s smells like smoke too!!!

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