The Atlantic was born today and I'll tell you how...
The clouds above opened up and let it out
And thousands upon thousands made an ocean,
Making islands where no island should go.
Death Cab for Cutie sang "Transatlanticism" as I celebrated my 21st time across the Big Water Pond. There, and back again - once again. In fact, it was my 5th time over in less than two years of graduate studies in Germany. No, it's not a routine thing; see the Ausnahmezustand post from a few weeks back. And yet, yes, I have to accept that my life is now here, but I was born there. Just how does one live normally with that?
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That was early May, and I had just flown over to Brazil for my father's 60th birthday party. I flew on a Tuesday, and by Friday I was back home in Erlangen. We're now in July, and I'm about to begin a new series of trips abroad. First, Whiskas is going Down Under - I'll be presenting some results at the Tenth International Conference on Quantum Communication, Measurement and Computation (QCMC), in Brisbane, Austra-li-a. I'll extend my stay for a few days, hoping to get some snorkelling and backpacking before flying back. My time in Erlangen will be kept short, though, as after two weeks I'll be crossing the Atlantic again, this time to Canada, where the Institute for Quantum Computing in Waterloo will host me for a semester abroad. And I should still visit Brazil one more time while there, let's see how that will work out.
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For two days in a row this week, I arrived at the office with a desire for a night at the Mulligan pub with my old gang. No matter how many new friends I have made over here, some people are simply irreplaceable. However, the converse is also true. I've been enjoying great rides while training and racing in company of my teammates; the PhD enjoys favorable winds, and has thus far provided a unique experience allowing me to meet people from all over . In fact, I've recently made a count, and in the course of my PhD, I have made friends from no least than 19 different nationalities and virtually every continent. Yes, it'll be tough to get them all together someday, but maybe it's a small price to pay after all...