One might think that being a PhD is just another few years of extending your study time, evading the "real job world". It's not. Being a PhD is already a job on its own. We are so called Jr. researchers as we are trained to be independent reasearchers planning and conducting our projects. We don't often work based on our contract hours, but rather more than what we should. Coming early, staying late. When necessary, we come on Saturday's and Sunday's just to make sure that our machines are running without trouble. However, in between our busy hours, we slip in time to have fun.
This time, the PhD Network of the Martin Luther University organized an excursion to Magdeburg. I knew most of the people who came, but it was the first time that two work colleagues came with us, bella Camilla the ballerina and Ya Ming. Together, we visited a number of places: Elbauenpark and the historic side of the city center of Magdeburg.
Two weeks late but better than never. Once every year, Halle Saale and Leipzig organized the "Museum Nacht" (museum night). The museum nacht usually starts at 18.00p.m. until midnight. Two years ago, I attended my first museum nacht and this year was on Saturday, 11th of May. Tickets were sold in every museum, in the train station as well as the marketplace. They cost 8€ and this allow you to access most museums in Halle and Leipzig; transportation included. Since I visited a lot of museums in Halle two years ago, I decided to go to Leipzig this time. It took me half an hour to travel from Halle to Leipzig. Meanwhile I filled my stomache a bit with a Bretzel. Weather was not too nice, rainy and wet.
After getting recommendations from a lot Italians that I know here in Halle, I finally went to try the pizza in Stella. Rumor says that this is the best Italian restaurant around!
At first, my colleagues and I wanted to eat there for dinner. Foolishly we didn't make a reservation and it was full! Second time I went with 2 of my friends and this time we got reserved some seats. That evening, we shared a portion of bruschetta and I ordered gnocchi with Prosciutto e Funghi (cream sauce, cooked ham, and grana padano cheese). The bruschetta had cut tomatoes, basil and garlic with olive oil - fresh, juicy and crispy. The gnocchi was super creamy and tasty; to me it was a bit salty because of all the cheese but this will not be a problem for cheese lovers. Portion was big and I was super stuffed and satisfied.
Once in a while, I get tired of cooking at home. Usually, I would go out to eat and pamper myself with good food.
It was not my first time but rather my 5th time back in this restaurant. Real asian food, not Germanized.
Restaurant Zhang is a Chinese restaurant located in Leipzig. I knew this place from a Chinese and Korean friend. They really recommended it to me. They mentioned that almost all Chinese people around go there to eat because it tasted more or less like the food they would eat in the mainland. They served quite a range of dishes from dimsum to pork ears, darms and chicken legs.
A day after Good Friday, I finally decided to go out of town. I've been spending these past few weekends in the lab and it was time to step out. It took me 1.5 hours from home to Leipzig markt by bus, tram and train. It was another lovely afternoon, and I was craving to eat some junk food.
This year’s Good Friday, I decided to stay in Halle so that I could focus on capturing, via online streaming, the Word of God conveyed by my spiritual parents in Jember, Indonesia. Especially this day, they made me understand more about the power of the cross and realize that we should be strong as long as we are connected to the right source.
After thes session, it was around 3p.m, without any plans in mind, I walked along the path, passing over the Saale river to the Peißnits park. The weather was super nice, 24 degrees Celcius bright, sunny and cool breeze. Over the distance, there were lots of people having a picnic, and kids running about. As I approached the lake which was in the middle of the park, I could see a big rainbow up close. It was interesting to observe how the sun ray is being diffracted by water droplets from the fountain forming a color spectrum. Moreover, the size of the rainbow was being determined by how strong the wind blew. I don’t know about the millenials these days, but although I’ve always been living in big cities, I could easily be pleased by simply having a nice walk in nature, observing the trees, and being sprayed by water from a big fountain.
After a week of hardcore science in Chiang Mai, me and Kathleen made a short stop in Bangkok. But before I jump into the main story, I’d like to introduce two friends who joined us and shortly mention how I came to know them.
During the second year of my bachelors, I was one of the delegate that was sent to study for a semester in Kasetsart University, Bangkok. During that time, I came to know a lot of nice people and we kept in touch since then. Let me introduce you Aun and Oil. Both Aun and Oil studied engineering. I met them in Thai studies and advance English course back then. Currently, Aun runs her businesses (e.g. RUT Coffee Love สาขาลาซาล58 บางนา) and YouTube channel, whereas Oil is working hard in a company.