We literally have a month left here in Taiwan, but we don’t talk about it. I am trying to get as much done in lab as possible, even though it still seems like there is not enough time. Although things don’t always work out in the lab and sometimes I end up re-doing the same thing multiple times in order to get some data, I am hopeful that I will reach the goals set at the beginning.
The lab was closed for a few days. Sandbags were placed throughout the university and the hospital. I went to the supermarket and stocked up on food and water (we had no water for daily use as well as drinking water). Good thing electricity did not go out though, as that air conditioning is what allows me to sleep. There was plenty of rain and wind, but the worst happened around the mountainous areas. This meant that although there was a typhoon happening, I still managed to go out and eat outside something other than the ramen I bought ( I still ate my provisions of course). After the event, there was just trash everywhere on the city, but cleanup crews (aka the military) were quick to make the city nice again. Dealing with the weather that a super typhoon brings with itself was not too bad. Since the typhoon happened, it feels that Kaohsiung has gotten a bit cooler.
As time progresses, it feels like there is not much to write about anymore aside from what has already been said. I am still in love with the awesome food and milk tea. I still love Kaohsiung and I definitely still do not want to back anytime soon. This whole experience has been great overall. It will be a challenge adapting to life back in the US. Were it not for the fact that I am actually moving in the fall, I think I might have an even more difficult time going back.
In total, I have to genotype at least a hundred DNA samples from hospital patients. There is one month left. I have already spent more than half my time here. I have to make these last weeks count both in lab and out in the city. I think this means that I will most likely be consuming copious amounts of pearl milk tea and dumplings while I am running a PCR in the lab (there is a 2 hour break while the process is running). I tried doubling the amount of samples in every experiment to increase efficiency, but ironically, that resulted in a complete halt in progress, as the end products left much to be desired. Since I had to repeat everything, I decided to simply spend longer hours in the lab while running a small number of samples each time. I need more time. I miss Mexican food.
I have discovered a newly found fascination for fountain pens. It is not completely random, as when writing Chinese characters, fountain pens make the whole process very enjoyable. I have two books about learning Chinese characters, but considering all the time I would need to learn a significant portion of them, I believe it would have been more beneficial to have done so long before coming here (which would h=not have been possible considering there were a few months between finding out my acceptance to the Taiwan site and actually traveling here). I am now seriously considering learning Chinese as a third language. Maybe I would be able to take classes while in my PhD in the fall. Considering the portion of the world whose mother tongue is Mandarin, and the amount of scientific papers published by China overall, I do believe that this would be a wise choice to make. What I do know though, is that I would not miss Mexican food so much if I had a kitchen to cook in.
I am going to get some pearl milk tea. Carlos out.