Monday, September 08, 2014

Lago di Garda - Day 1

After returning from Colombia a few months ago, Shadya had a welcome back party. At this party, Shadya, Dana, Tammy and I somehow decided that we would take a weekend road trip together to Italy. We literally pulled out our phones to check our calendars and settled on the first weekend in September. I therefore suffered through the first week of the month until I could leave work early to jump in the car and drive over the Alps and away from the gloomy Munich weather! And oh god we needed this vacation.

The drive took us over the Alps and past many castles dotted in the mountain range. But seriously, the higher the altitude, the worse the weather until we were suddenly on the Italian side and all the rain stopped. It was amazing. Dusk was falling as we checked into our apartment in Desenzano, on the south coast of the lake.
Oh hey, our apartment balcony did have a view of the lake! Ignore the clouds, it was very warm and humid on that balcony as we enjoyed a bottle of prosecco to celebrate our vacation.

Eventually we realised it was pretty late when we decided to stop drinking and look for dinner. This critter was on the wall outside of our apartment when we headed out.

And ready to party!

We ended up at Colomba (highly recommended)

My dinner - pasta with mussels, clams, and this yabby. It was a little bit epic. 

And the first gelati of our trip!

 Coming up next, our trips around the lake!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

BBQ guest Gus

I attended a BBQ this weekend and it was wonderful. Sunshine, great food, wonderful company, plentiful drinks and...well, I fell in love with one of the guests. And that guest was GUS THE CORGI!!!

We were sitting around enjoying our food when all of a sudden there was some rustling in the bushes and then something scampered past our ankles and into Tammy and Caspar's apartment!
I managed to see an orange blur and chubby butt when I realised IT WAS A DOG!!! Gus' owners, then came and introduced him to us.

I seriously then proceeded to chase him to try and get a photo to send to Pooey.

Eventually he obliged me.

After a couple of hours getting to know people, he was pretty friendly. He even came to love me once I fed him some sausage and cherry tomatoes (he catches them if you cut them in half first!). He also shook paws with everyone!

And he didn't use his puppy eyes too much to get food. In fact, he was pretty well behaved given all the food on the low table. The only naughty moment, which was actually kind of funny, was licking some spilled potato salad directly off the table after studiously ignoring it for a couple of hours...then diving for an open bag of chips. The face he gave after being told off for doing that...I was crying with laughter.  

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Change has come.

I think I'm pretty social but I know that in a profession that has many, well...special people, this is not always the case. I'm not the only new arrival in my current department and it was decided that a few of us would go out to dinner together and then have some drinks as a welcome and get to know each other kind of deal. However, I was a bit surprised to find out from not one, but two of the guys who came along that in the entire time that they had both been in the department - a duration of about two years, the lab had NEVER gone out socially. Like, what the hell? I mean, it's not necessary to be best friends with everyone at work, but given the amount of time we have to spend together and the number of people who move to Munich to join the group, the least that can be done is to take them out and show them around! I have sworn that these lonely days group days will be no more and that we would continue this new tradition fortnightly if necessary.

Maybe my new boss will grow to hate me for this, but the group will sure appreciate it! ;)

Monday, August 25, 2014

Girls day out!

A few weeks ago, a bunch of us girls decided that it would be nice for us to go to Lake Starnberg/Starnberger See on the outskirts of Munich to enjoy the 'beach' at the side of the lake. Unfortunately the weather didn't agree with out plans but that was okay - we still hung out at the beach club anyway!
Because we could spend the entire day drinking prosecco while sitting around the fireplaces embedded in their tables. 

We were seated at first in this awesome basket but the staff asked if it was okay for us to move to another place on the terrace since they were pretty sure it was going to rain. It didn't during the entire time we were there!

But it was a wonderfully relaxing afternoon catching up with friends, making new ones, gossiping, telling stories, eating food and sharing 6 bottles among the 8 of us over 5 hours :D

On the way back to Munich, we decided we weren't ready to stop eating and drinking yet so we paid a visit to Ver-O-Peso, a Brazilian restaurant that a few of us had been wanting to check out for a while.
COXINHAS!!!! Little balls of chicke, rolled into shape to look like chicken thighs and then deep fried. Yum. 

I think I actually preferred these though - bolinhos de bacalhau (codfish balls).

As soon as I saw this on the menu, it was destined to be my main dish. Moqueca de camarao - prawns in a spicy/coconut sauce with rice. 

Even though it was washed down with a cocktail, I wasn't done for the day! A handmade ice cream shop was next door and I had a chai-flavoured cone that was actually incredibly good. Clearly I need to spend more time around this end of town!

Friday, August 22, 2014


As can happen in academic research, there was a bit of a post-doc exodus mid-year. As stated before, I joined a new group. That colleague I hated? His contract was not renewed (SCHADENFREUDE ALERT!). And meanwhile, Dr Piller chose to join...the army. Okay, technically he's just there to fulfill his regular duty quota, but On the other hand, I should now refer to him as MAJOR Dr., because that's his official title. Also, his base is just down the road so he can turn up to lunch on campus!

But it meant that he turned up at our campus dressed like this:
Yeah, even he had trouble keeping a straight face. 

Thursday, August 21, 2014


Leaving the gym, I excited to see that someone had parked their awesome vintage Fiat 500 outside. Then I was horrified to see how they had modified it.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014