After nine months of being cooped up in Leicester, I’d had enough! Only four days after FINALLY ending my active treatment, I was on a plane. Destination: Furrybootstoon, the Granite City, the Silver City by the Sea, the oil capital of Europe, and home to the largest, most vicious and ferocious seagulls known to mankind: Aberdeen.
Entertainingly enough, as the plane landed I noticed that the airport hotel appears to emulate a famous illusion. I found this quite fitting, seeing as this is the place where I developed an interest in studying visual perception.
After the less than optimal year that I’d had, I wanted to reward myself by meeting fantastic friends, and indulging in some of the best sushi I know.
I was craving to see the sea again, and the amazing skies you can find in Scotland:
But I also managed to meet up and reconnect with some friends and supervisors from the psychology department at my former university. We chatted about our current projects, and developed plans to meet up at conferences (and potential collaborations!). It was so great to experience everything I love about this place in such a condensed manner!
After 5 days that felt like 5 minutes, it was time for me to move onwards and upwards. Or, more precisely, southwards and eastwards? Christmas time is family time after all, and since my family lives in Germany this means
a) Christmas markets
b) Soaking up the culture available in Duesseldorf, my birth town and one of my favourite cities
c) And apparently, barbecues on Christmas eve (which are amazing, and you should all try them at least once).
To start off the new year, John Turfboer, a fingerprint examiner with the Dutch Police whom I met at the fantastic second meeting of the European Division of the International Association for Identification, appeared to sense my travel needs and was kind enough to invite me to his department in Zoetermeer. This was a fantastic opportunity for me to present my research, discuss the potential to collaborate with his department, and gain an overview of their training and work procedures. I met a group of very motivated people who seemed more than happy to discuss their ideas. Yvonne and Jeffrey patiently answered all my questions about their procedures, especially their detailed reporting structure, and training guidelines.
I had a great time with John and his colleagues, and am really looking forward to visiting them soon. Dank u wel, en tot ziens!
Next chapter: Writing, coding experiments and collecting data.
Looking forward to: Doing proper PhD work (I know I’m going to regret saying this…); AAFS conference in New Orleans, followed by San Francisco with my dear friends Heather and Marta
Listening to: Johannes Brahms, Jan Delay, Ratatat
Reading: Giles Whittell – Bridge of Spies; Eduardo Galeano – Las Venas Abiertas de Latinoamerica