LOG 1.20: Chickens and Seals

13th June, 2011

Hello everyone,

It’s been half a year since I left home the second time and luckily I will be back home for some time without as much gap as last time. I’m looking forward to it. Last time, after booking the tickets, I was so happy I put on weight just out of happiness!

The weather here has been drizzly, stormy with some sunny days to balance. Pleasant I suppose if it wasn’t for the Hay Fever which blocks my nose and makes my eyes water from time to time.

I will be heading out for Monday-Movie nights with my downstairs neighbours and friends in another half hour or so and I have also joined a choir on Mondays from 6-8pm (not today because its another Christian holiday.)

I have been taking care of my supervisor and head of lab’s four chickens. They are extra fluffy and feathery- two brown, one white and one black. They look very unlike Indian chicken species and almost like they have punk-rock hair styles 🙂 But they are not very intelligent animals. Nor was I the first evening when I had to put them to bed. In an effort to finish the chore early in the day I went over at 7:30 (where the sun is like Indian 5:30pm) and it was far too early for them to sleep in their little houses. So I made two trips the first of which included water and food replacements and a lullaby (improv) and half an hour of chasing them, and laying out seeds on the steps to their house trying to trick them into going in. The second, at 10pm was very short…I just had to close the gate because they were in and resting already (like 7pm India type of light)… Their behaviour is nothing like cats (they were easy to trick and communicate with) and more like stubborn helpless old ladies of the 1800s, the type you picture in Gone with the Wind, fainting all the time… Yesterday was far more straightforward. I force myself out of bed early (even though it’s supposed to be a long weekend) to let them out earlier in the day. They don’t like being cooped up once its bright outside, naturally…

Yesterday I went to Wilhelmshaven with my officemates to visit the same colleague who had me over for Christmas. She is expecting a child in the end of September 🙂 We got on a ferry which took us out near some islands, protected area, where luckily, we saw some seals sun-bathing and some swimming as they came up for air. It was so nice 🙂 Of course it wasn’t very close up but through binoculars, the view was good. We also saw many kinds of birds and the biologists on board fished out sea bed animals so we got a good close look at star fish, shrimps (translucent and small) , different types of fish, crabs, and some graceful jelly fish too! Children volunteers carried these around in small glass containers. My favourite was the Star fish… their undersides have tentacles and it reminded me of biology lessons in school where learnt about how they breathe…

I evened out my until then sharp tan line and we went back to the apartment for some good food. I was exhausted by the time we got back to Oldenburg.

In the week to come, I will get to try out the timing of my paradigm in the main lab and hopefully, when it works, I can gather some pilot data! So begins stage 3 of the project. German classes are coming to an end and in fact, we have exams coming up for all the things I have been attending classes for. Not written exams since my undergrad…. feeling a bit weird about it.

I hope you are all well and enjoying life. Do write back with interesting things you have seen lately 🙂

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