I blogged previously about dreading the trip and everything that comes along with it, but I must say my worries were pretty much unfounded because the field work trip was amazing. Much more than Sitges and Barcelona last year, for both the balance of workload and the time off to ourselves. The people doing Physical Geography were much keen and nicer too.
Of course, although the trip revolved around coastal and wetland work that may put someone off, it was also more enjoyable this time given that we got to choose our preferred projects. The groups we formed were much smaller, and we had much more personal engagements with the professors who would otherwise be busy on a typical working day. It sounds really nerdy but you are truly more keen to learn when you surround yourself with like-minded people, and really enthusiastic professors who would kneel and squat by you to help you out with your difficulties.
I am honestly truly having withdrawals from the trip. I miss the lab, I miss the wetland that I would never return to again because it requires a research permit, I miss the daily breakfast and dinner buffets at the hotel. Free flow of smoked salmon, steamed salmon, squid, sliced roast pork/duck, nutella crepes, seafood paella, fresh tuna, assorted cakes, sorbets and ice cream… oh god I can really go on and on. I gained at least 2kg from the trip no matter which time of the day I weigh myself and I must say I have absolutely no regrets binging and over-eating on the trip because the food was that excellent — it is worth a month of eating low-calorie food just to keep the scales down. 🙂
This picture shows the wetland: it was extremely inaccessible. We had to get a car, park somewhere and walk for about 10 minutes through undisturbed wildlife, carrying the extremely heavy dhingy (in my opinion).
Here are photos of us on the boat where we worked on our lake bathymetry (underwater equivalent of topography) research project! Here I am holding the wading rod for measuring the water depths hehe.
Carrying the dhingy on my back because I decided to act hero, thank god it did not aggravate my back injury even though I am seen here arching my back an neck in the most injury-prone angle ever.
At the lab where we were most of the time, working on our presentations, MatLab, ArcGIS, sorting and sieving through our sediment samples and measuring the turbidity of water samples we collected.
Because they were the highlight of the trip, I must say. Here’s the limited dinner spread and one of my most well-taken servings of food, because I often take multiple plates with the food all over the place hahahaha. I must be a nightmare of a customer because they have to do so much washing.
Here’s my favourite:
Missing my free flow crepes (I had it every single morning!), sugar and cinnamon churros and the most well done omelettes.
My final pictures of the trip, which really shows how beautiful the place was.
I look forward to the next Physical Geography trip in Year 3, let’s hope these trips get better as the years pass. I think this one’s hard to beat though, because the professors and technicians that came along were excellent. JRT has really got to be my favourite lecturer now, he has officially championed the place of favourite lecturer in my heart after RT hahahaha. Very coincidentally, both of them are doing the same module, that I have thankfully taken after a long deliberation. Yes.
Here’s to salad, cereal and milk (only) for the next 12 hours — because after these 12 hours, I would probably be permanently smiling at the fact that HT will be right beside me. I’ve been excitedly counting down the hours to his arrival because his plane has taken off from Singapore, and I am finding it difficult to focus on any proper work. Let’s hope this will not affect my work attitude adversely, but even if it does… I make my own choices. Reciprocation is important and I honestly have nothing more to be thankful about. What more than for all the sacrifices you made, and me being a knowing party with my slight understanding of how difficult it is to take (such a long) leave. All the arguments you got yourself into and trouble just to make this visit happen, just to honour your word that you would visit me at least once a year to make this LDR work. It will be a right choice; you are the right choice.