CERN Diary #2

More than three months have passed … and I get the impression that whenever I announce new postings, they get delayed even more! (now let’s try it the other way round: I will not write more on this topic for at least two years ;-))

Let’s turn chronology upside down for a moment. I have safely returned to Graz in the beginning of October. On the journey from Geneva to Graz I stayed in Innsbruck for some days. This is because my girlfriend is now working in Tyrol and living in Innsbruck with her sister. She dared to jump into the cold water, applied for an open position in July, and was immediately accepted. I am so proud of her!

Since this posting is entitled “CERN Diary”, let us return to the chronological style …

Sports. Besides drawing A0 format state diagrams for Eowyn and T0MS, I was also elected team captain for the “Austria+Germany” team in the Summer Student Soccer Championship in July 2007. But our team was rather multinational – Irish, Japanese, and eventually Portuguese players joined forces with the German-speaking folk. We defeated both Italy and Commonwealth 4-3 and then lost the semi-final against Gli Stronzi (an all-star team with Brazilians and what not) 1-2.

Rafting. One of the most outstanding experiences was the rafting trip with a dozen “Summies” on the Dranse river. After changing into our neoprene suits (heavy metal style! :-)) we learned the most important commands from our boat guide. Then we had the chance to jump into the wild waters from a 5-7m cliff. I am a little scared of heights, but I thought I’d like to see it from above. When I arrived there, I thought more seriously about jumping – and so stimulated my fear. Knowing that “there is just fear rising and passing” was not enough to calm down. Then eventually I stood at the 5m edge, said to myself “this is crazy” … and jumped. The cold air, the rushing waters … coming back to the surface, I felt incredibly relieved! What an experience.

The rafting itself was quite exciting. Never really dangerous, however the other boat capsized at some stage. Afterwards some of us went to the Geneva beach and swam in the freezing lake.

Squats. On that evening I went around in Geneva with Fabian (one of the German “Summies”), and we saw a “protest” doom metal concert on the street – people protesting about the seizure of a famous squat, and a lot of police making sure that no traffic was coming through from the one side & no squatters from the other side (reconquering the building). Most squats are quite well accepted and popular in Geneva, like autonomous areas with bars and social institutions and what not. But sometimes the building owners have all squatters kicked out by the police, renovate the building and raise the rents.

We then watched a mind-boggling movie called “Waking Life” at Fabian’s place. On the next day we had some insightful conversations while listening to readings by the Dalai Lama. And life was very interesting!

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