Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Crab's Adventures

There once was a crab named Crab. Born a hermit crab but not really wanting to follow Rule 1: Your shell is your best friend of the Hermit Crab village, Crab boldly threw off her shell and decided to explore the world. Crab was fortunate enough to get an internship in a lab in Lausanne, Switzerland, so she hopped on a plane and flew over to Switzerland.

The first weekend, Crab was very hungry. The stores closed too early on Saturday, and Crab was too tired from the flight to go grocery shopping before the stores closed. On Sunday, Crab's hermit nature emerged  and she stayed in her lair the entire day, which was not such a bad choice except for the lack of food.

comfy couches

table that no one uses

Crab's room!

The kitchen

  Work started the following Monday. Like a lost tourist, Crab got very confused at the metro ticket machine, but successfully arrived at the correct metro stop to meet up with her supervisor . 'WHARBARGLE! Today is such a challenge!' thought nervous Crab. Despite her worries, everyone at work was friendly and fun, and over time, Crab became very fond of her lab.

What did Crab do in her lab? Well... she worked on a project to increase the half life of bicyclic peptides (or monocyclic in some cases depending on the number of cysteines in the peptide) by binding them to human serum albumin. The lab's overall goal was to synthesize therapeutic peptides that can be used as effective drugs. Crab liked the project very much, and was very happy with her lab: half of her lab mates were Italians, and they invited her to their social gatherings (where almost everyone was an Italian), and the view from her desk was just splendid. 

View to the left from Crab's desk - the city of Lausanne (a bit far away)
View to the right from Crab's desk - Lake Geneva and the Alps

For the first two weeks of Crab's stay in Switzerland, the weather machine was still being fixed, but clouds had finally fixed the weather machine by the second weekend of her stay, and Crab and her lab mates and their close-knit Italian community (with occasional Germans) went to a park for barbecue (people bring their own portable grills in this country!). When she was not eating, Crab tried to understand Italian and absorbed the Swiss lake culture by observing:

There were people playing recreational sports and chilling baking on the nearby grass....

There were people just socializing.... 

and some people even brought their own picnic tables.

Crab also got to swim in Lake Geneva with the view of the Alps (including some snowy peaks) and the little French towns on the other side of the lake. 

The water was cold, but the view was amazing
After lunch, Crab's friend decided to "cook in the sun", so Crab joined her. Crab has never gotten sunburned before, so Crab thought that she would be okay without sunscreen. The intensity of the sun was however, too damn high and Crab became an "oompa loompa" or a "plum tomato".

The nice weather also made Crab aware of an interesting fact. One day, Crab was hiking back to her flat from the metro station, and turned onto her street. After a step, however, Crab noticed something different from usual and took a nervous glance to the first house on the street, and saw...

Crab was tempted to go befriend the goats but alas, the fence stopped her. So instead, she just took the above picture, went home, and just thought about the goats for the rest of the week.

Narrator's note: 
Crab has not yet updated herself on what comes after the second week, so this is all that can be written of her adventures so far. Crab apologizes for the abrupt end to the post and would like to console the possibly confused and annoyed minds of her dearests with the following picture.

stray cat?