T-minus 5 days...

I leave the country very, very soon.

So, naturally I thought it would be a good time to start learning the German language. I mean, how hard could it be?

As Andi so delicately put it, "You've managed to avoid learning German for 15 years!" Which, I suppose, is true. My mother was a German teacher for a dozen years before giving it up for cooking, and then the Peace Corps. Maybe it runs in the family, this knack for language - after all, she can speak English, German, and now Romanian.

So, am I on a fool's errand? Probably. I know that every waking moment in the next five days is going to be dedicated to a study of German (which is a much prettier language than anyone gives it credit for, by the way.)

On to more sane topics: Travel - I love it. I love the idea of packing light, and moving fast, of catching trains and blending in. I love getting a feel for new places. I love those moments that make you feel like you're on an adventure.

I filled out a form to tour CERN. As much as I'd love to go, and stand in awe of the incredible reach of human curiosity, I don't think it will happen. I misread the form - they would like notification three to four months in advance. I just gave them three or four weeks. Oh well - it's a shot in the dark that may bring great reward. I'd love to know how the largest physics institute in the world interacts with local schools.

So, in five days I rush in where angels fear to tread. Either I'll sink, or I'll swim - either way, you'll be able to read all about it here.