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Monday, July 13, 2009

"The one with the avid tourists, the bright light and the cute sisters..."

Last week has indeed been long and arduous. The many hours I've spent in the lab makes me sometimes regard the space as, well if trying elucidate thoughts onto a more proper statement of words - more of a coop rather than a workplace. Translucent beakers and flasks hogging every corner of a 10x10-feet fume cabinet, along with bottles of chemicals and reagents filling up in between. That pungent sourly stench of acids, infused with an aroma of thick musty scents, entirely a mixture of your own drench of sweat, rules the common atmosphere. Time remains not a constant parameter, as your mind easily falls astray of the clock's ticking being in such isolation. Having said this, it is undeniably hard to think of research work as being a very inviting, lucrative and alluring carrier.

Alas, the fruits from its labor would more than merely speak for itself - that pure adrenaline-induced excitement you get when the science works as you've planned. Nothing triumphs a geeky soul and flutters their hearts more than the products of a successful syntheses of theory and invention.

So in case you're wondering what I was (and am) working on for the past month (or so), here's a bit of a looksy;

It's not as small as I'm hoping for, but I'm getting there.

Speaking on destinations, I've also bid farewell to Fifah's parents the weeks' past. Fresh from their visits to the serene land of the kiwis, I'd hope that they've had a fair share of wonderful experiences as well as memorable moments. Alhamdulillah, from our conversations and feedback from both Uncle Ijap and Auntie Noriah - it does very well show that the past 10 days have been nothing but pure fun. I had the opportunity to grace my doors to them a few hours prior their flight home, and as usual they exchanged many nice tales and warm advices to remind us of our priorities and origins. Kind words of encouragement, which goes a long way when studying abroad.

Last Friday I've also had the opportunity to pay the Australian Synchrotron facilities in Clayton a visit. There exists only about 15 such facilities in the whole world, which means this institution has been generating and garnering a lot of international interest from the scientific community. A synchrotron produces the brightest light in its purest form you'll be able to achieve in its entity; about 10 billion-times greater than an average light microscope and about a millionth-greater than an electron microscope. So, in theory the level of magnification and detail you'd be able to get from this toy would be on par as to looking upon the galaxies under a magnifying glass.

Such great science, and a marvel of modern engineering indeed. Gives you that sense of awe for man's advancement in thought and conception. Efficiently put, I quote my post-doc friend Mark when making remarks of the instrument; "..staring at the synchrotron induces orgasmic thoughts for physicists..".

Ironically, he's an archaeologist by profession.

The weekend brought forth a chance to sample one of the best briyani's I've had so far in Melbourne - this time through invitation by my friend Thariq in Footscray. A close distance away from the city, Footscray itself is a self-sufficient hub with a good collection of stores and markets to fulfill your daily solitary needs. This, thanks to a population made entirely of immigrants and internationals. The city suburb wasn't dubbed "Melbourne's Saigon" for nothing, as I recall that you can't help but constantly confuse yourself of being in either Australia or Vietnam while there.

Thariq was a very wonderful host to me, Chua and Edil - food was abundant, and every single dish was as much delicious as it was inviting. Suffice to say, no one left the table without their stomachs filled, but instead were whining for takeouts of the meals we'd had.

Such great company, lots of laughs and stories. All of us caught up a lot on each other's rantings and rambles, spent about 4 hours with food stuck in our mouths and smiles carved onto our faces. Not to mention Thariq and his wife had been endowed with three very friendly, sweet daughters! Easily approachable and very cheeky at times, I had a handful trying to keep up to their antics. Having had to listen to them reiterating their experiences at school, giving me a tour of their class pictures and uniforms, new bags and school projects - rather reminds me so much of Adi, Ayad and my dear Ainul back home. Everyone with their own little minds and feeble thoughts.


As we all parted ways at the train station that day, each one of us left rejuvenated from the weeks' work, and high in spirit to live on another as Monday comes by.

Sunday was another packed day for me as well, as Camberwell, an outing with the Elisha-clan, and picking up the boys from Sydney filled the rest of the weekend. But that's another story to be shared on another space. It's always busy here in Bundoora, with things to do and places to see. Every day's a blessing, and every person's a gift from God. When you're all over here on foreign land, you get to make the best out of the things you're given - like making lemonade from lemon.

-JeP

1 comment:

SuMmeR_Ra|n said...

hiya jep... cindy here. T.T missing my fellow researcher friends here. glad 2 knw u're doing so well in research... hmm... shall i join u guys once again??? give me some feedback, friend. send my love to fifah!