Friday, December 29, 2006

Five things you don't know about me

I hate chain letters. But Raph tagged me with this one, and now I have to tell you 5 things you don't know about me, and then tag 5 other people, or a terrible Egyptian curse will strike me down, or something like that. :)

1) I once destroyed a bus stop by driving my car through it. Fortunately nobody was waiting for a bus there. It was a cold winter's day, there was a large patch of black ice from a cracked water pipe, and I did the worst thing that you can do on ice: I braked. The car span out of control, hit the bus stop frontally, and broke through the corrugated tin wall, ending me in the ditch behind. I was lucky in that one, nobody injured, and the totalled car was old.

2) My first trip to the USA was to the University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, situated right at the Iowa River. Lovely people there, but they do need to work on that coming-up-with-original-names thing. I spent one month in a frat house, participated in all sorts of student activities, and got to know the real heartland America. Very interesting, it is hard to judge a country just from TV and books.

3) I worked as unskilled labor in a factory for 7 months. After finishing my Ph.D. in science I was unemployed, and at that time it was very hard to find a job with that qualification. So I had the choice between welfare and lower skilled work, and I much preferred to work. So I ended up mixing ingredients for dental fillings and doing a number of odd jobs around the factory. It turns out that if you don't have a specific diploma as a "skilled worker" in that area, you automatically count as "unskilled", even if you got a Ph.D.

4) I'm an "economic refugee", a migrant, working in a foreign country whose language I didn't speak when I came here out of purely economic reasons. Now fortunately I'm legally here, and with a Ph.D. in science you are a lot more welcome than as lets say a landscape gardener. But it still gives me a different view on the whole immigration debate.

5) I don't drink alcohol. No, no, nothing to do with temperance or a moral objection against alcohol. I simply can't stand the taste of it. I just don't like the taste of organic solvents in my drink or food. You'd spit out something containing acetone too. Evolutionary speaking, the tongue is designed to detect poisons and prevent you from swallowing things that are bad for your health. It is a curious development that most of humanity rather likes the taste of ethanol.

So now that this is done, I get to tag 5 other people with gaming blogs, who have to post 5 things we don't know about them. You better hurry up, because after 14 steps this method is covering 6 billion people, and then it will be hard to come up with a new name. I tag Grimwell, Michael Zenke, DM Osbon, Relmstein, and Xaylissa.

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