Friday, 11 June 2010

Out in the wild

I spent five days at the field trip of Department of Botany.
It was immense fun, the natural science people are more user-friendly, there was no intellectual snobbery or arrogance from the teachers. Lots of crazy, though, but in a nice way.

I'm quite low maintenance (1) so I grabbed the laptop, some reading matter, reasonable amount of clean underwear... and that was it, moreless. Yeah, and chocolate, lots, because the school canteen is what it is. I thought there would be wifi, after all, it's the university, but nope - thus the radio silence and a general lack of online coverage.

It rained. A lot.
My decision that one set of clothes is just about fine because it's a camp, not a hotel, and at the end, everything will be wet and dirty, was perfect. I was dirty and wet but so was everyone.
Also, for messing around in the forest, an umbrella is the best option. You can make notes without your notebook getting wet and it can be used to fend off dinosaurs and evil tree branches. It doesn't look like the true-to-the-bone outdoor gear but botanizing is not a fashion show (some ladies apparently thought it but the hypothesis that wolves might prefer to dine on people sans makeup was not verified due to general lack of wolves).
I wore birks. (2) And jeans, tank top and a merino/qiviut blend sweater. Not a real city chic but in general, I was heavily overdressed. Also, I lacked umpteen insulation layers compared to the rest of the crowd but it was moderately warm, very humid... and, well, in one day, I had Reputation. Blue paint on the toenails helped quite a bit, I suspect. In continued rains, I walked barefoot around the camp and also out in the wild as long as the terrain permitted. I wasn't asked whether I drink anti-freeze but apparently people guessed so.

There's one important thing: I was in average ten years older than the... kids. I knew some Latin, I had wrinkles and half of a Ph. D. and apparently it made me even crazier because at a certain age, one should be done with that booooring school. Also, my cabin mate, aged whopping 20, was totally flabbergasted that I don't have kids (3) and don't intend to have any. WHat surprised me is that she planned to get some asap, and that she believed in homeopathy, for which karma got her on the spot, she turned down the offers of ibuprofene for her menstrual pains because she doesn't eat chemicals and she has some extremely diluted dinosaur shit homeopathic remedies for that.
People-watching is a good hobby.

I brought lots of stuff to inspect and I wanted to keep the moss specimens nicely at one place, without changing them into a handful of indefinable debris. Since I was somehow underprepared in the field of packaging material, I MacGuyvered a box out of a chocolate wrapper (4) which gained me a bit of awe... what the kids do nowadays at school when they are bored, I wonder?
The mosses are now firmly planted in my garden because... because they are pretty and I have a yard to stick plants in.

(1) before you start chiming in about my collection of anti-wrinkle creams and nail paints, rest assured that I can live without. Perfumes are a collection in the narrow sense of the word, they are for artistic appreciation much more than for keeping me trimmed. And now go on reading to get the real point
(2) minuscule b since I'm not referring to the brand name but to a certain sort of orthopedic footwear, which in my case were Schoeller thongs.
(3) and the whole package including husband, ex-husband, mortgage, debts... but that's what my old crone brain adds.
(4) Lindt with pears and almonds,although the pears are made from apples and stuff. I love it and it was on sale and I care a damn about folks claiming that Lindt and Spr√ľngli is bad chocolate.

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