November 9, 2011
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Autumn is a magical season. It’s the inevitable transition between extreme warmth and extreme cold, the time of the year where you can wear a light comfortable jacket without feeling sweaty or shivery. Last time I was in Louvain-la-Neuve, it was during springtime, just the opposite transition. This time, I saw the temperature slide slowly from 20 degrees Celsius to 10 degrees Celsius. I’m ready to welcome winter, but not before saving some autumn memories.
Now, I say autumn is magical because it is filled with the colours of warmth and passion. As I wade through fields of yellow and red and orange leaves, I can’t help but feel that my whole surrounding is embraced by the moving flow of life. The leaves, they quietly fly away from the branches they have been hanging onto, and gently wave goodbye to the year, joining their companions on the ground in a sea of heterogeneous radiance. It’s as if the trees were shedding their hair, only to wait for fresh ones to come back next year.
It’s the first time ever that I feel like I’m in love with autumn. Such a short spam of time for the switch from summer to winter, but so calm, so beautiful.
Let’s start with some good ol’ LLN. Then we’ll see what autumn has that got me so amazed and in love.
I always find this sight amusing when I pass by, shoes hanging randomly from a string. Till this day I do not know the significance of them, if there is one.
This entry contains no pictures.
After that bit about travel fatigue, I immediately heeded some friends’ advice (not before re-visiting France, though) to kind of “take it easy” just for a day. Hence, on Sunday, I stopped by Liège to visit some friends and vowed to make it as relaxing a trip as possible. Unlike other trips, this one was purely intended to be a chance for me to say hi and reconnect with the buddies I met in Portugal. I like networking with my “classmates”, if I may call it that, especially over a couple of beers.
Yup, beer was one of the reasons I chose to go to Liège in the first place. It wasn’t that Liège was particularly known for beer, but one of the friends there seemed to be quite a beer fanatic, so I was sure that he’d know of some great Belgian beers. People who know me will probably be surprised that I was the one who proposed having a drink, since I almost never initiate any type of drinking activity, but I figured, we’re in Belgium, why the heck not? Then again, I can’t tell a good beer from a bad one, so even if my friend told me that the worst beer in the world is amazing, I’d probably have believed him.
Do I even like beer? I can honest say that at the moment I still prefer beer over red wine. I guess that’s one aspect where Belgium wins over France.
January 25, 2011
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My official departure date for Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium is March 1st. That means 5 more entries, excluding this one, in Bordeaux. Wow. When they say “time flies”, they’re not kidding.
Also, it didn’t occur to me that it would be possible for me to be busy enough to not update. Or more like, I’m just so tired after work that I want to do nothing except crash on my bed in hibernation and wake up in June. Why June? That’s another story for another day.
Something completely random – have you ever tried “salsify”? It was part of the lunch menu today and I ate it without really knowing what it was. Salsify – sounds very much like a verb, no?
Well, before being told that what I was eating was salsify, I thought it was radish or cauliflower stems or something of similar texture and colour. It was baked with cheese, so it was hard to tell. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of salsify before. If you show me the word, I’d have thought it’s a verb, kind of like “falsify”, you know? Or maybe…to turn something into salsa…I don’t know.
Still, I liked this new vegetable that has been introduced into my life.
Since I’m spending more and more time in my lab lately, I thought I’d give you a brief tour of the lab. Nothing is confidential…I think.
Doyen Brus tram station. This isn’t actually anywhere near my lab, but it is here where I go for all of my XPS experiments in an associated lab.