Code, jet lag, beer

Arrived in Zurich around 7:30 AM. Navigated my way from the Flughaven to the central station where I met up with Lukas Reiter, one of Mir’s grad students.

The McToilets in the Bahnof are not to be missed. Super clean and super efficient, providing a peaceful quiet environment to rest after a long flight and do your thing. Don’t miss them!

Crashed my way through the first wave of jet lag by writing lots of code and thinking about the proteomics data model with Lukas up at the University. It’s eerily silent, this being easter weekend.

It’s now 9PM and I’m wide awake. Imbibing so that I might sleep. Drinking Ittinger Kloserbrau.

Random thought: The ubiquitous travel experience: how the hell does this shower/toilet work?

American, translated

Okay, so I always try to shed as many of my americanisms as I can when I travel. Some are just impossible. When its 100 degrees fahrehneit, I’m just going to be wearing shorts and flip flops, I don’t care about local customs.

I’m closer and closer to being nationally agnostic when travelling in Europe. Yesterday I was mistaken for a local (or at least a native speaker) three times. I think I still need to lose the carharrts and keens, and that is going to be like pulling teeth…

Preparing for Zurich

I’ll be in Zurich for the next week working with Dr. Michael Hengartner to develop a data schema and custom displays to handle proteomics data generated in his lab.

Yesterday and today were insanely hectic preparing for my trip to Zurich. It all began in the afternoon when I ran down to SLC to renew my driver’s license. The DMV is always an eye opener into just how rude and stupid Americans really are.

A man in front of me was trying to get a driver’s license but he had no identification – none whatsoever. Clearly agitated, he lifted his shirt high up over his head to reveal his astoundingly white and comically fat stomach. The point of this rather grotesque display was not to flaunt his termendous physique but to reveal an unsightly tattoo in his cavernous and visibly sweaty armpit that apparently read his name and should be taken as some proof of his existence.

Onlookers turned away in horror until a faceless woman behind me began yelling, “Let’s go, put your shirt on, let’s get this line moving” over and over. I wanted to throw in a “Si, se puede!” in honor of the protest marches for immigration reform but I refrained.

After a cacophonous hour and a half of waiting, my number was up – now serving number 200! I made my way to the counter ready to be done with this whole ordeal. It was only then that I discovered that the great state of New York had put a hold on my license for some reason. No explanation, only the word “NOT” for my status so I was unable to get a license.

Return to Park City and speed packed. Done by 7 PM a new record and ran down to the No Name for some quick dinner which really just turned into beer after beer with Legend, Matt, Clifford, and Clifford’s mom Carol. Hilarious.

Which brings me to this morning. Up super early to finish packing, check emails, and call New York with the hope of clearing my name and getting my driver’s license renewed this morning.

~~ insert an hour of exasperation ~~

No such luck. $30 later my name is apparently cleared although it will take 48 hours to process. So my license will expire and I cannot rent a car this week. Great.

I don’t think there is anything more annoying to me than mindless beaurocracy and the inability of people who work in it to do anything about or apply rules of common sense.

Jetted down to SLC carrying the heavy burden of my taxes with me but unable to find an open post office. Finally was able to find a stamp machine and PO Box in ATL. Whew!

En route now from ATL to Zurich, listening to the “Border Control” mix that Channy made for Mexico. I’m all sauced up after drinking some wine. I think the best stratgey for trans-atlantic flights is to go out drinking the night before then come home and pack. By 6pm the day of your arrival you are exhausted and ready to sleep the whole night through.