Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Basel and surroundings

So this is a bit over due as I have already been in Switzerland for 3 weeks. However, I apparently have not yet managed to integrate into the Swiss way of life as I find myself wandering to supermarkets to get food for dinner 10 minutes after closing time. I feel like I am still back in college, working late enough to miss dinner.
But on a much happier note, the work here is exciting and inspiring. Besides struggling through learning a new programming language, I am quite enjoying my time here. The most of my first couple weeks has been working on background reading and getting an understanding of the models we will be working with the next couple weeks. I will be attempting to understand how children acquire language and if there is a difference in the way slow learners acquire language as opposed to normal or fast learners.
My boss is an American and all my work is in English so I am not getting to use my German major quite as much as I hoped (not that Swiss German is anything like the German I know...) but I am definitely integrating myself with the RAs (HiVis) in the lab. Which has been great. Already have invitations for dinner and visits across the whole of Switzerland, if I could only afford it. I am also starting to participate in a reading group. The papers are in English mostly but I am hoping to discuss the material in German.
My weekends have been thus far filled with travel guests. The first weekend I visited my friend in Freiburg and the last two weekends he has visited me. We tried to go hiking in the Swiss Alps but the rain changed our plans. It ended up being a great change. We went to this smaller town outside of Basel, where I am currently located, by about a 10 minute train ride. We ended up hiking up to the top of this hill, about a 2 mile hike. It gave us a great view of Basel and the surrounding area. On the way down we stopped at the most beautiful castle ruins I have ever seen. It was absolutely beautiful. Unfortunately all our picture are on his camera, I will work at getting a copy so I can post them.
Just today I found out someone in my lab is just as into mountaineering as I am, maybe more so, and he promised to take me along if the opportunity presented itself.
There is so much to look forward to!

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