Life of a Dutchie

It's all about me, what I'm doing, where I'm going, what I'm thinking, what I shouldn't be thinking…

My first workday (Monday)

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After a very short night (I couldn’t fall asleep) it was time for my first workday. My roommate asked around 8.30 whether I was ready to go, which of course I wasn’t. So I told her to go and that I would be on time. What is it that they think you’re ready at exactly the same time as they are without letting you know beforehand what time they will be leaving? Ah well, I knew the route to the laboratory, so I would be fine. You know that it’s actually pretty safe on the road? Even though it looks like a disaster! I think I’m getting the hang of it. It’s like the survival of the quickest, but in a pretty safe way. Pedestrians don’t look, they just walk. Except for maybe when they cross a large street. Bikers keep their eyes on the pedestrians and keep to their lane (except when the sideways or streets are more convenient) and drivers honk a lot, do crazy things, but most of all they watch out for the other traffic. So yeah, just think of where to go and go, they won’t run you over. If you’re lucky…

20121203 - 001  Breakfast (well, including a banana and some yoghurt)

In the office I could start catching up on my reading, since I got some articles already on Saturday. I got another tour through the lab and got my own bench. So far so good. My roommates are nice. Still have to figure out their job titles and practice on their names, but I think one is an associate professor. She’s from the other group, the genetics group (how convenient), and apparently she’s impressed with my accomplishments so far (or would that be the polite way to greet new colleagues?). I even published more articles than she has.

Like everywhere else in Shanghai, there is no heating in the office. As is the case in the apartment, you can put the air-conditioning on heating. However, the air-conditioners are always placed high and warm air tends to stay there, so it does help, but it’s always a bit cold on sitting height. And it doesn’t help if one of your roommates (of course the guy, it’s always the guy) really likes to have the window open!

20121203 - 002  Lovely lunch 🙂

All meals here are pretty early. Lunch starts at 11 and dinner mostly is between 5 and 6 (starts already at 4.30!). It’s all warm food, which I really like, and there’s plenty of choice. There are a few reasons why you should be there early. First, classes are out at 11.30 (or was it 12?) and then everybody’s heading to the cafeterias (we have 5 big ones at the campus). Second, when arriving early, the food is fresh and warm. Third, if you’re late most of the food will be gone and chances are that what’s left is not so warm anymore. Lots of people have breakfast at the campus as well. So far I’m starting my day with fruit and yoghurt, but you never know what I will get once I live on campus! By the way, eating here is not as social as it is back home. You go to the cafeteria, get some food, eat it, and leave. Really, when the last one finishes, we immediately go back to work.

Taking a nap on your desk apparently IS very normal. Both my roommates had a little nap after lunch. I know from experience that it could really help to close your eyes for a few minutes, but I don’t know about it… I’m the first one when you enter the office, the door is always open, I’m European…

20121203 - 003  Dinner at the campus: I had some goat!

How about the toilets, I still am wondering. I know I have to bring my own toilet paper, and that extra cardigan or sweater to keep you warm is also very suitable to dry your hands with, but now I’m wondering about the situation that at work several cubicles are occupied, but you don’t hear a sound. Nothing! I saw some shadows moving today, so there are definitely people inside. What are they doing there? Hang around until they’re dry? That would explain the lack of toilet paper…

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