Tuesday, July 12, 2011


307. While it is almost unheard of in Australia, here in Belgium researchers can apply for travel funding for individual conferences and research visits. The good thing is that they usually do provide the funding, the bad thing is that they require you to write a report afterwards. Still, if they are willing to fly you to Lisbon, Melbourne, New York and Stockholm, telling them what you have done during in these trips -- besides gatecrashing the movie set of Man in Black 3, going to the M&M World in Times Square approximately three hundred times, and appreciating the art of nudity in Stockholm -- is the very least you can do in return. Having written this kind of reports before, I am still looking at Geluck's ones, just in case. He is now showing me his New York's report, which is in French, so I am just glancing through. In the last sentence, he thanks the French national research centre for their generous support for his trip. Recognizing a familiar word, I cheerfully point out, "Oh look, how nice, you even mentioned Stockholm." 
"Merde!" replies Geluck.

308. Late afternoon. Sitting on a desk located in the middle of the floor where the two wings of the building meet, we are discussing our holiday plans. No flight has been booked, no concrete dates are chosen, but we know that Croatia is vaguely there, somewhere in the beginning of the trip, as Daisy has promised to drive us across the Italy-Croatia border for a glorious day lying on the beach and doing nothing.

"You should check to see if Croatia is in the Schengen area," Zoe tells me. "It probably is," I reply, because Croatia sounds European and, "there are 26 members, surely Croatia is one of them." (There are 25, and no, Croatia is not one of them.) 

"Still, just check to make sure. It's my holidays..." I completely understand her because I too would hate it if we couldn't go to Croatia because of my not having a visa. "...and I would not like to have to leave you at the border, while Daisy and I go to the beach..." continues Zoe.

309. Love is all around.
Me: Oh, do you want to make yourself useful for the second time today? 
Gaston: How? 
M: I forgot my laptop charger at university...
G: You can die.

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