Saturday, March 01, 2014

The year that was

So February is almost over, and here I am, only just now trying to wrap up last year.  2013 was a busy travel year.  As you can see by the map below, I went a lot of places (red: destinations; blue: stopover countries), almost all of which were work related.  But building high end mass spectrometers is a funny business.  We travel halfway around the world, only to sit in climate-controlled windowless rooms and work on machines that we built.  So there is this strange friction, between trying to work as quickly as possible in an environment where we can’t understand any writing or speech which we might need to get suppliers, and trying to actually pick up a thing or two about the bizarre and wondrous cultures which we find ourselves dropped into. 

As the map above shows, I went to countries with a total of 6 different languages written in five different character sets (“alphabets” doesn't do Asian languages justice), not counting Arabic, since I was barely on the ground there long enough to grab a coffee. So that, in addition to trying to master the technical aspects of my job, means I haven’t had a lot of spare brainpower left over for blogging.

Hopefully that will change, though. Most of the places I’ve gone since starting this job are places I haven’t been to at all before (e.g. Asia).  So I’ll try to at latest make an occasional observation or insight into the myriad was that humans can organize themselves. And if I actually manage to get far enough outside to look at the rocks or the trees, well so much the better.


Thermochronic said...

Q: "How was China?"
A: "18°C and Fluorescent"

C W Magee said...

I don't get it.