Lunch, Weddings and Chemical Engineer

Main lobby of the Technical University of Warsaw. The posters are showing the “awesome” stuff the electrical engineers did in 2005 or so…
It is a massive building with a real academic feel to it, after Stony Brook Univ. it is rather refreshing.

    Ever since I was in my early teens (thirteen or so years old) I felt as if everyone started to treat me as if I was twenty five or more.  There is nothing wrong with being looked upon as more mature and honestly now that I look back there have been perks to it.  Some examples: never being asked for age verification, being called “sir” and not having my opinions challenged just because of my age.  I was always tall and BFG (Big Friendly Giant) is just one of my latest nicknames, given to me by my students.

    Since I can remember I was treated older then I really was.  This unfortunately has some major drawbacks, you grow up (even if unwillingly) and much faster then your peers, I gained upwards of ten years over night.  Did I have to grow up?  No, well not really.  It is not that I have been given responsibilities exceeding my age, or been faced with decisions well beyond my years.  I was just different, I saw things and I acted upon them.  Always like the company of people twice my age better, and I didn’t get along with most of my peers.  A simple consequence of of being twenty five in seventh grade is that you don’t age for many years.

    I still wake up in the morning and what I see in the mirror is the same face I’ve been seeing for year, not a single thing different.  So when I finally got around to return to the old continent and with enough decency to call up my old friend for lunch, I was surprised.  Now a brilliant Chemical Engineer, and suddenly that wasn’t that girl I used to talk to.  She was a lady, with all the bells and whistles according to this statue.  Even though one could be mislead by the smooth and clear skin, and cheerful smile there was maturity in the way she presented herself and her speech.  This is not an isolated example, out of nowhere my peers (friends) are making me feel younger, as if our age got leveled.  But now I have another issue, a huge chunk of my classmates is married and with kids.  I feel younger but that just does not matter?  Getting married to grow up is much, don’t you think?

Arrival and Day in Homeland

The picture of a out-door thermometer is here to make a point. I was clearly told that the temperatures in Poland were as high as 35 degrees… I felt so cheated… Bottom line I was happy to be back in my homeland, which I missed very, very dearly.

    So I am here!  I have landed about one o’clock in the afternoon and this Journal idea has been bouncing around for couple hours now.  I tried doing something similar some years back and I failed.  Intention is for this time to be different.

    I have to get something out before I can enjoy the rest of the stay.  What is with the temperature?  I was packing for thirty plus weather.  Now back to the topic at hand.  The flight from Helsinki to my Birth-Country was decent, even though slept through most of it.  The snack they have served, on board of the second flight, was very nice.  One can, right away, notice the quality improvement of cheese (from cheddar, that is) right away.  However, nothing compares to home cooked food, viva-las-Grannies cooking!

    Something changed.  I cannot put my finger on it, and although natural things grew and man-made things shrunk there is a profound difference in my experience of Poland.  I hope it will not skew my perception.  Was I that long away, that even things, that have been burned into my memory as a child, have faded to the point that my attachment is to the paper they were on.

Reflections on the flight

What you looking at is the reminder of my dinner from the flight JFK (NYC) to Helsinki on board of Finnair. Water, salad, coffee and red wine (Shiraz)… as main course chicken breast with rice and vegetables. Overcooked and way to oily to be healthy, tasty non the less.

    Every time I stand on the ground my thoughts wonder about the people flying above me.  Now that my royal behind was lifted hundreds of meters of the ground, in this oversized sardine can, I wondered about the life of the people below me.

    The take off was interesting, about forty stories above ground the fog turned so white and thick, sour cream would have been more appropriate as a descriptor.  To-be ant towns disappeared before they had the chance to shrink to the insect size.  Once again I was left to my own lovely self.  I know you know, but now I learned too: me, myself and I don’t go along great when bored.

    I entertained myself three fold.  Food and sleep were very effective, at lower temperature and pressure the dreams get nicely vivid, and NO! I have not smoked VC before take off.

    Second was the great read of the “Art of Loving”, although the first couple pages are…., the book quickly picks up speed.  I’m going say it for the last time, before an actual discussion of the content, I strongly recommended to everyone.

    Third was a post-it conversation with a fourteen year old synchronized swimmer going home for the summer.  Post-it conversation is exactly what it sounds, a post-it pad, a pen and a person sitting behind you so there is no chance for eye contact.  We got to multi-thread and rather complex conversation of existence and American vs European systems.  Brilliant “kid” (not condescending, decade younger though =).

    I like Finnair and with the relatively lucky prices I’m willing to look them up again.

My Travels: The Euro Trip of 2008

This picture is from a night bus ride, line 301. Time: 22:25 Date: Sixth of June 2008.

My “First Real” Vacation in couple years.  I spend most summers working as a teaching assistant for the Chemistry Department at Stony Brook.  Now that I got my long waited break, I want keep all of you updated.