I arrived in Sweden a week ago, to spend the next 3 months training and working at this kick-ass lab. I got my first glimpses and impressions of the country on the train from Stockholm to the University town. I was instantly comforted by the fact that the flora here is very similar to my home country. I also loved the crazy amount of lakes and all the random rocks and, were those mountains at the horizon?
I was tired but the person who met me at the train station in the University town had to go back to the lab, so it was the first thing I really saw after landing in Stockholm airport. Although I was tired I thought that was pretty cool, you know, a sign of the true kick-ass-ery of the lab. They showed me around a bit – a long hallway lined with rooms cluttered with a lot of cool things and machines of mysterious scientific purposes – I‘m sure I‘ll find them out in due course.
My dorm room is pretty unremarkable apart from the fact that there wasn‘t an internet connection at the ready. I mean, what?! But after a week living like this I find that it‘s actually kind of fun spending my evenings reading or listening to music or audio books and going to bed early because there‘s no internet or TV to absorb me: no emerging from a sort of stupor past midnight wondering where the evening went. I‘m only missing my kitchen back home.
I‘ve started my training now – basic cell culture stuff, some of it I’ve done before during my very first epic-fail of a project as a Biophysics undergrad when I was trying to get cells eat… stuff. I might as well have been trying to shove those things into my cultured cells with my bare hands. I blame a bad batch of stuff. Unless the cells just didn’t like me or something.
That failed project was more than 3 years ago now. I have stayed away from cells, not entirely purposefully – I just happened to fall into a project that was something entirely different, but also I think, I (un)consciously tried to block those memories (or you can alternatively read: move on). But now it‘s coming back to me, and not in such a bad way as one could have expected. Although, being a rather low-maintenance gal (I flatter myself to be), I’m sometimes annoyed at what high-maintenance little divas those cells are. But then again, we‘ve ripped them from their nice soft homes where they were surrounded by just the right extracellular stuff and all other different cell neighbours and we‘re asking them to grow in hard plastic flasks all by themselves. It‘s natural that we need to put some extra work to keep them happy.
Missing my kitchen worse than I realised,
P.S. I seem to always be promising myself to try and always failing to keep this blog a regular thing, but here I am promising again and I really really really mean it this time.