After a filling lunch, we went to the boating place. Though the initial plan was to use canoes and kayaks, given the size of the group, we decided to go with two rafts to increase the bonding. Santosh and I were with two fourteen year old boys and a ten year old girl. The energy and competitiveness of the kids got us to stay ahead of the adult group throughout the ~1.5 mile route. We went down some rapids. Later we got stuck on some rocks because the water levels were lower. I sat at the back muttering ‘left back, right forward’ to remember how to paddle to keep the boat straight despite the occasional imbalance in rowing from the two sides. B, the coxswain of her rowing team, the niece who’s grad party it was the next day, was at the back of the other raft. Apparently she became exasperated with her rowers’ lack of coordination.
The crowd was excited and consisted of people of all ages and races. There was a lot of cheering in the beginning and one (I assume drunk) enthusiastic young person yelled out ‘God Bless America’ every once in a while much to everyone else’s amusement. There was a thick fog in the sky which dispersed the light of the fireworks in unique mysterious ways. At times, it looked like the whole sky was alight. The fog also made the fireworks that burst in the lower heights look ultra sharp in contrast. Nothing says welcome to the USA like these fireworks and these people.
I present my studies for half an hour and then face questions from the committee and audience for the next half an hour or so. I have been practicing in front of my group and incorporating feedback so it looks pretty good now. My colleagues have been so helpful and sweet. I need to work on the smoothness of the presentation and do some reading for possible questions in the time remaining.
I’ve been working from home a lot recently as it is easier to write like this. I can access food anytime, sing as much as I want without disturbing anyone, and work as late as I want without the hassle of getting to and from the office.
my first first-author paper got accepted a few weeks ago and published this week. I’m still waiting for a response to my second paper after resubmitting with revisions. And the third paper is being written right now.
I get a little uncomfortable around too much flatland but when I got off, greeted my friends and walked close to the water, I really felt the beauty of the land. The birds were flying in swarms so large they looked like black clouds. The air was so clear that you could see the buildings in Bremerhaven on the other side of the water. We saw lighthouses flashing light periodically back from the south where the backwaters lead to Bremen. The water we were walking along had very gentle waves lapping the sandy shore and there were plenty of parks in the form of boats for children to play on. The vegetation was specialised for sand and mildly saline waters.
The sound, smell and sight of a storm are reassuring and comforting to me. I sit here thousands of miles away listening to Ghanana ghanana from Lagaan for a moment transported to Bangalore. The breeze outside is warm and whispers promises of a downpour. I feel peaceful and content.
I’ve been having smell hallucinations of various things which just take me back to moments and feelings of when I was a child, and dreams about family and boats.
Edinburgh still felt so familiar, like I had never left. I was happy to hear English all around me but have to admit I missed the German too. Edinburgh is such a great city with so many people from so many places, beautiful old buildings, not half as modern as my area in Oldenburg. Old in a cosy way. Catching sight of Arthur’s Seat and walking around campus and familiar areas, I felt reassured. Pleasant nostalgia.
I think perhaps moving out of Germany for good is too much to feel. I have all these rays of kindness that have soaked into and nourished my heart. I want to find ways to keep coming back.
As the anaesthesia wore out the pain slowly began and I took the painkiller. I made apple juice and mashed carrot for my dinner which I didn’t have until late because I had eaten a full lunch as a precaution. I managed with such baby food for the next 2-3 days, eating softened bread for breakfast instead of cereal because I was asked to avoid milk products. Apart from that on the to do list was; avoid smoking, drinking alcohol or coffee; which was easy because I don’t normally do those things anyway.