Saturday, October 15, 2011


So some people like to know (specifically) what I'm doing while here. SO LET ME FILL YOU IN:
I'm doing science. Lots and lots of science. Besides a few visits to the pub with some friends, that's really all I've been doing. Right now I'm doing two things: reading the literature and trying to design my project and learning the behavioral methods we use. So far, my project will be focused on amyloid peptides and how they degrade long term memory. I'm thinking about the PKA pathway and how amyloids are affecting that, but I need to research more. As for behavioral experiments, I'm classical conditioning the snails, then testing them, then injecting them with whatever it is I'm looking for (so like, protein synthesis inhibitor), and then dissecting their brains and running biochemical tests on the tissues.
I'm mostly doing molecular biology, but my co-supervisor is in the chemistry department so I'll probably have a little work in amyloid protein structure. There's also a big electrophysiology unit attached to my lab, so I might do some work in that. I don't know though, its all still really in the beginning!
On Thursday, actually, I explored a little bit. I had a 2 hour time gap to wait for my grocery delivery (its common to have your groceries delivered in this country. Cool/weird!), but I don't have phone reception in my room, so I wandered around outside for awhile. Up behind the housing complexes is an amazingly beautiful area. And I took some pictures!

These pictures are of the campus!

So now I'll go into some of the random things I've noticed. I've had requests to talk about the differences I've seen, so here they are:
- People don't shower as often here. This means that their deodorant is different (they mainly use spray here... I'm guessing to help cover the non-showering stink)
- People smoke a lot more here. But not just that, its not taboo like it is in California. I've seen pregnant people smoking here. Wtf!
- They have their groceries delivered. Yay!
- They use the word "queue" instead of "line"
- They don't eat black beans. At all. I can't find them anywhere :(. Tragic
- They eat A LOT of canned baked beans
- I haven't seen Kraft Macaroni and Cheese anywhere
- Taco Bell does not exist here
- They drink A LOT more here. Its more of an all day, stretched out kind of drinking here. Whereas back home, if people were going out to drink, the time of actual alcohol consumption is much smaller.
- Their shots are 2/3 the size of our shots
- They don't tip their bartenders. Weird.
- They sell Alcopop, which is a premade mixed drink in a can or bottle.
- The bartenders actually measure out the shots and make you pay more for an extra shot (called "doubling up")
- You can walk around in the empty land/ nature areas here without breaking the law for trespassing or being threatened of being shot at
- The people are nicer
- The public transit is WAY better
- The fashion is different. And in big cities, like London, the people dress significantly better than in the US
- Their form of Ramen Noodles is a sad attempt
- Its super expensive to do a load of laundry
- They try to be green (eco-friendly), but people buying plastic bottles of water on a daily basis is very common.
-They don't refrigerate their eggs (GROSS)
- Its much more humid here. The salt in my shaker can't poor out because of the moisture in the air
- The smell of autumn here is AMAZING. You don't get the smell in Santa Cruz, and you get it for a few weeks in Sacramento. But here it is amazing.
- They don't have A/C

Hmmm, I can't think of anything else at the moment. I might add some more in later on as they come to me. Now, I'm just hoping that my light in my bathroom gets fixed (its on a sensor and can't sense me when I'm showering. Every minute or less, the light goes off while I'm in the shower) and I'm HOPING we can get a new oven (mine is a microwave/oven... but the oven doesn't really work, at all, like an oven is supposed to). But we shall see. Exciting things to look forward to in future posts: my first club experience in the UK, Brighton tour, friends from home visiting, the Netherlands, England explorations.


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