Tidbits while I write my thesis

I’ve been writing the following slowly over the past couple of weeks, but I just thought to wait till I had compiled a sufficient number of lines to make up a post.

1. I ought to be writing my thesis, seeing as I’ve only got about 3 weeks before I have to hand it in (at this point, I only have 10 days. Sigh). I have writer’s’ block, I’ve tried (and still am trying) other things such as working on other non-literary parts of final project, but nothing is working. I can’t continue like this though, something’s got to give. Now, let’s see, what have I done in the past month and half? Nothing terribly interesting. Most weekends see me shrieking along to songs I find interesting on Spotify (e.g (I’m Gonna Be) 500 miles) and the radio while washing my hair, then being dragged off to one cafe or the other by my Spanish friend. I’m going to miss her when she leaves in about 2 weeks (I wrote this 2 weeks ago) – her bf (also Spanish) got a job here in my city, so they’re going to get a proper house with extra room for constant visitors like me 😀

2. Ooh! I have a story: Some weeks ago, I got a bike. I work in a chemical company as a process automation person, and it’s on a large site (~2000 people work here everyday). I carpool with someone at the hotel but while his office building is near the main gate, mine’s 15 minutes away on foot. Because of the size of the site, the company provides bikes for people who need to move around and don’t want to drive (or don’t own cars). So, I requested a bike. Okay, okay, said dude hinted that I should request one – why would I willingly choose to ride an unbalanced contraption? I already mentioned my mishaps with bikes elsewhere on this blog, right? So predictably, the first few days I had to ride the bike, disasters occurred. However, I got better with practice. The only problem left is mastering the ‘art’ of braking. You see, some (Dutch?) bikes don’t have handbrakes, so if you need to stop, you’d have to backpedal. For Dutch people, this isn’t a problem, but for a novice like me, it obviously is. Now, because this is a large chemical company, there’s a rail line that passes through the site, for cargo trains to transport chemicals to and from the site. (I don’t believe these trains are commercial. They either belong to the company, or to a logistics company. They’re usually unmarked so I wouldn’t know.) Anyway, the track runs across a major road on the site, and of course this road is one that I must pass to go between the gate and my office building. One more thing about my backpedalling: I have to start thinking about braking, when I’m about 100m away from where I intend to stop. So, some weeks ago, I was going from my office to the main gate, to be picked up by my ‘ride’. All of a sudden, about 20m from the rail barriers, the STOP lights came on and the alarm went off and the bars started coming down. Oh no. I couldn’t even begin to stop because I was panicking and it was either keep going, or jump off the bike and fall. I just thought “crap, these guys want my head” and went through the first barrier. This is where I could have died if I didn’t get through the 2nd barrier, because now I was directly in the path of the train. (Okay, I’m being a tad dramatic; the trains move so slowly and can be stopped if the operator sees that there’s something wrong.) I kept going anyway, keeping my head as low as possible, and managed to get past the second bar *just* before it hit my head. Whew.

3. I recently discovered British Pathé, and I think it’s bloody wonderful. Why didn’t anyone tell me about it before now? The newsreels are especially interesting, so much to see from the last century!

4.  I get sleepy after lunch everyday. Then I have to stay awake by reading all sorts, from The Private Lives of Public Bathrooms to Behind Every Supermom is an Incompetent Dad – This Dad is Sick of the Condescension, to Transcript: Putin says Russia will protect the rights of Russians abroad, to analyses of the latest Game of Thrones episode. Comment sections are, as usual, quite amusing. Speaking of GoT, I’ve started noticing some logical inconsistencies, but still can’t get enough.

Alright, that’s my 1 page of tidbits done, more coming soon. Promise.


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