23
03
2014

160 days, 6 hours and 52 minutes

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Half a year before our thesis due date, you can see the change happening amongst the final year students. There’s an increased pressure to finish up experiments and get as much data as possible to include in the thesis for an on-time submission. You see some people putting in more late nights and weekends in the lab, while others continuing their experiments as per normal, while writing their thesis in whatever free time they can get.

That’s the life of a PhD student – you spend your first year learning techniques and figuring out how this whole PhD thing works. Your second year is largely spent figuring out the direction of your project and coming up with a sound hypothesis based on whatever data you have. Your progress then increases exponentially starting from the third year, escalating to the final rush to complete enough experiments to prove your hypothesis if you haven’t already done so by the middle of your final year. And then the time comes to start on your thesis, and you start to spend more time looking at your computer screen than your cells, pipettes and eppendorf tubes… until the day you submit your thesis and you can finally relax for a while till your thesis gets returned.

It’s in a way pretty scary how 4 years is about to pass just like that, and you’re once again forced to think of what you want to do in the future – to stay or to leave; to continue with what you’re familiar with or to go somewhere else and learn something new?

There are so many things to consider, so many decisions to make, so many changes on the way and yet so little time.

 

 

08
03
2014

After You Dessert Cafe @ Bangkok

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It’s been a long while, hasn’t it? I’ve spent close to a month in the USA since then, and catching up on work after getting back. I did take a short trip to Bangkok with some of my lab mates last week though. We had a good time eating, shopping and relaxing, and we didn’t encounter any problems there during the whole trip, despite some concerns my boss had about the protests.

We came across After You Dessert Cafe when we were looking for somewhere to take a break after a hot morning at the Chatuchak Weekend Market. The place looked cozy and inviting, and we ended up having tea there. Pictured is their signature Shibuya Honey Toast and Panooki. The Panooki is small, but tasted really good! The presentation was great as well. The honey toast looks like something you can easily find at other cafes, but their version is nicely done and very satisfying. I personally think it’s better shared than eaten alone though, since you might get sick of the taste once you eat too much.

They have a lot of desserts that look great as well, and I’d love to go back to try the rest of their menu if I’m in Bangkok again. 🙂

 

 

04
11
2013

Ghibli movie marathon

Had a mini Studio Ghibli movie marathon the past weekend since I’d rather stay at home than to squeeze with the public holiday weekend crowd. I caught up with the more recent Arrietty and From Up on Poppy Hill, as well as the very much older Kiki’s Delivery Service. The Wind Rises doesn’t have a DVD release yet, so it’ll have to wait. I enjoyed what I watched, but my favorites are still Spirited Away and Howl’s Moving Castle.

I have a certain fondness for the studio’s productions and I’ve watched all their more recent works, though I can never get used to the English dubs and opt for the English subtitled version instead. I’m too used to listening to Japanese tracks and reading subtitles I guess. The only problem is when the subtitles used are the exact script for the English dub and not an actual translation of the Japanese audio. You end up with cases where what the Japanese track is saying is not what is appearing on the subtitles, or in more obvious situations, subtitles appearing when nothing is being said because the characters have extra lines in the English dubbed version. It usually doesn’t affect the story though, and having the option of subtitles is better than nothing, so I’m not going to be too picky about that. I think most people watch the dubbed version anyway…

 

 

15
10
2013

Osaka: Umeda Sky Building & Osaka Aquarium

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We went to the Floating Garden Observatory at Umeda Sky Building, since it was one of the attractions covered by the Osaka Unlimited Pass. The observatory gives nice views of the city, and there’s plenty of space where you can sit around to enjoy the view. I think the view would be lovely during evenings, when you can see the sky change it colour as the sun sets. At 700 yen, I think there are other attractions that are more worth the admission fee though.

 

 

01
10
2013

Osaka: 道頓堀 Dotonbori & 心斎橋 Shinsaibashi

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I’ve mentioned that I spent half my time in Osaka shopping, and of that, most of it was spent in Dotonbori and Shinsaibashi.

 

 

 

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