Saturday, June 22, 2013

Saarbrucken Week 1

             Germany is an awesome and interesting place. The food is delicious, cheap and generally made of better quality materials. Most of the people I’ve met are very nice but they have trouble understanding me due to my total lack of German skills and my thick Philly accent. The doors don’t open in the same direction as the U.S. which has caused a couple funny incidents. Saarbrucken is also ridiculously quiet. You could probably hear a pin drop from across the University campus. I never realized just how loudly we Americans  talked until I came here.
               Also everything here closes at around 8pm this can be annoying considering we get off work at around 6pm. This combined with a crippling lack of Wi-Fi in the guest house makes going to sleep at a reasonable hour quite easy.
               On Saturday we took a walking tour of Saarbrucken including a visit to the old Schloss which has been converted in to a museum. Underneath the schloss as part of the museum you can enter the fortifications of the old castle. It was really interesting. In one of the other wings you can get a brief history of the region from its early days to post WWII.
The research is going well so far. The first week was spent mostly doing background research and dealing with paperwork. Most of the paperwork is done now and in the lab we learned how to make test capacitors and preform RAMAN spectroscopy. Next week we are learning how to use the SEM, how to electrospin fibers, and some of the principles of electrochemistry. Also I will finally get to try schwenker, a Saarlandish barbecue style that grills the meat on a pendulum over the fire.

               It’s been a great week and I can’t wait to get back to work on Monday.

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