Wednesday, August 7, 2013

No More Cities, No More Castles, No More Being a Tourist

A Change of Priorities
After being here for two months and touring around every city, every castle, every museum, every mountain, every river, every church, and every other tourist trap you can think of, I think I am officially done.  I do not want to be a tourist anymore.  In fact, in the last week and a half, I want to work and spend some time with some old friends.
This picture was taken 3 years ago in Karlsruhe with my best friend, Lisa.
Actually, I think I was done after visiting Berlin because that city was huge and there was just so much to do.  After I experienced Berlin, something just snapped were I was like I do not need to see any other city (besides Paris) now.  I do not need to see everything because that is an impossible feat and honestly you stop enjoying Europe when you just see one thing after the other.  Everything, every city and every castle, start to blur together, and, in the end, do you even really remember what you did and why you enjoyed it?  That is why for the last week and a half I have decided that this weekend I am going to a German spa and getting a lovely massage and I am going to visit my best friend and her grandparents where I originally stayed three years ago.  I hope to catch up with them and have some lovely conversations.  I hope that there will be a lot of laughter and happiness to be shared and that is what I want to remember about Germany.

When I think about all the moments of this trip where I had a lot of fun and enjoyed myself the most, the moments that come to mind immediately are Europa Park with Matt and Alex, going to the Biergarten with Jenny, Alex, Aquil, Matt, and Daniel one night and almost getting thrown out for laughing and being too loud, spending time in Primark with Lisa and blowing 100 euro easy, and just moments like that.  Seeing Europe is fabulous, but I think I have a higher priority on who I am spending time with.  The moments where I have laughed the most have definitely been the best.  At the same time, I was seeing and experiencing Europe but in a more relaxed, joyful manner.

I believe that's why when I go to Paris.  I want to see Paris, but the only definite tourist trap I am going into is Versailles because it is the one thing I need to see just like with Switzerland I needed to see the Alps.  For the remainder of the time, I want to find a Parisian dress. I want to hang out in a cute little French cafe and enjoy my company.  However, I do not know if I want to do anything else in Paris besides just hang out with Jenny, Alex, Matt, and Aquil.  I also hope we can see Dr. Emilie so we can say goodbye to her.  That is how my priorities in Europe have changed.

Chocolate, Swatches, and Roller Coasters
When I was in Lucerne, I thought it was beautiful and charming.  With Matt and Alex, I saw the Alps and the city.  When I saw swatches, I was like I NEED A SWATCH; however, I waited to buy it in case I changed my mind.  I did not, and I kept complaining about not having the watch the entire day.  I listed benefits of having a watch and having a Swiss made watch.  I probably drove Matt and Alex insane.  At 4:04pm. I went back to the Swatch shop only to find that it had closed.  Well, I complained even more about not having a watch and kept thinking of different way to get a Swatch.  I decided to wait until I got back in the USA to order one.  Well, while Alex and I were exploring the city and looking for a movie theater, we decided to ask someone where to find one in a watch store.  Guess what this Swiss watch store had?  SWATCHES!  So, I got my Swiss watch which I am still in love with even though it ticks like crazy when I am trying to go to sleep.

After Switzerland, Alex, Matt, and I decided at midnight to go to Europa Park at 5am in the morning.  We hopped on a train the next day and had a relaxing time going on water rides, roller coasters, and more.  I have to say Europa Park has to be one of the best experiences and I am glad that I had the opportunity to go there again.

If you want to watch what we did, it's located in this video here.  Keep in mind I did it in less than two hours and the music transitions are horrible and I added some cheesy quotes so it was more than just pictures, music, and some video content.

All Work and No Play... There's No Such Thing in Science
Even with some major setbacks like no tubing and no electrolyte, I still have been able to get pretty far with researching separators.  These past weeks I measured the thickness of the mats that I had spun and found the rate of deposition for Chitosan.  Unfortunately, I have to repeat my tests with Polypropylene because something went wrong.  I also made a poster for the INM poster session which is tomorrow and I am a little nervous for.  We shall see how everything goes.

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