Saturday, January 28, 2006

Settling in and becoming a good American

Well well - getting up this morning (a bit late as usual) I came to the unavoidable conclusion: I am settling in in the US, slowly but surely, whether I want it or not. Simply due to formal developments (I am now the proud owner of a US BANK ACCOUNT with the Bank of America - but they didn't trust me enough to give me a credit card as well, since I don't have a credit history here ... umpf) but also since I am getting to know my environment better. I accept that there's no New York Times left if I arrive too late for breakfast in the morning, and that there are no sausages for breakfast but just potatoes. (If someone from good ol' Britain is reading this - PLEASE SEND ME SOME BREAKFAST SAUSAGES!! The ones they sold at the Regal would be ideal, but others will do as well.) I know that you microwave bacon before you eat it - my first shot at it was a complete desaster, the bacon was more like chewing gum in my mouth and it took me half an hour to swallow it. (And yes, language is also different, I had a shot at it and I didn't just give it a good old try.)

I am still doing my regular workout (going running at the Charles River) every second day, actually I even got into a certain routine here - leaving work around 6, running, and dinner around seven. Friday night is reserved for pub nights, so not much difference to Britain in this department. Looks like a healthy lifestyle, doesn't it? And trust me - it actually is.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


OK ok, a bit late ... actually I already arrived in the US a couple of days ago, so a quick update on what happened so far ...

Friday, 13 Jan 06

It's time to leave!! Of course I still had to pack my stuff after I got up in the middle of the night, took the flight at 8:20, Berlin-Tegel to Boston-Logan, via Frankfurt.

The nice Novartis people booked a flight in business class of course, but, quite appropriately, the even nicer Lufthansa folks upgraded that even to FIRST CLASS. Means there was someone hanging up my coat when I entered the plane ... they addressed me by my name (but noone told them I am DR Bender ... well, at least nearly ...) and I had some CAVIAR and a nice BED during my flight. In any case: I MADE IT TO BOSTON!!

Saturday / Sunday, 14/15 Jan 06

Time to relax a bit, explore Cambridge. Quite a nice hotel where I am staying - please have a look at this web site for pictures (still need a camera! sorry!):

I am staying on the top floor (16th floor) with quite a nice view over Cambridge (to the north)!

The hotel is quite a pleasant place to be - they have the New York Times and nice breakfast and dinner every day. Since I am not exactly the master of all chefs it was quite a good idea to put me up here ...

(I always wondered why the elevator is so quick until I realized there is no 13th floor ... 12th floor and the next one is the 14th floor. Probably like everywhere here, but in the beginning I was really amused by that.)

Tuesday, 17 Jan 2006

Being a good American I went jogging - of course! Quite a nice path along the river (River Charles) that separates Cambridge from Boston, a skyline of skyscrapers at night ... somehow it looked like this:

When I came back I had a shower ... wearing a nice warm and soft BATHROBE I realized that I actually liked it this way. Still, it was dinner time ... so I had dinner in the hotel restaurant in my bright red bathrobe :-). Anyway, noone killed me, after all we are still in America!

Wednesday, 18 Jan 2006

I just got invited to a cruise on the Mediterranean Sea! - Well ... that's supposed to be a conference but actually a nice cruise along Italy, Spain and Tunisia :-). Just have to find out whether I have time for that as well, but I was quite happy to receive the invitation. If you are also one of those fancy "cheminformaticians" this is the direct link to the cruise website:
- buy a ticket and listen to my groundbreaking talk there (hopefully).