Work has been very busy and I really need a break, which thankfully is coming in about 3 weeks - I've got to the point where my attention span is seriously lacking and I have to lock myself up in a room somewhere, out of the way of any electronic devices in order to concentrate on reading. In the mean time I got a new paper out last week and have a new one due in the coming days. The one coming has been a big effort, of numerics and of understanding but in the end we're very happy with the result.
On the going out and having fun front I discovered a new place last night. Planning on spending a quiet night in I got a last minute text from a friend, suggesting we head to a drum and bass and dubstep event - This was not to be missed, and in the end it was as much fun as I'd hoped! I've been going out about once a weekend recently, last weekend to the tenth anniversary party of a magazine that a friend writes for - lots of good music, lots of fun, especially with the two Russians and one Ukrainian Couchsurfer who were staying at my place. Most of the events I've been going to are full of the pretty fashionable strata of the Munich scene, and frankly I can't keep up. I get the idea of fashion, and I'd hope that compared to the stereotype (not necessarily the reality) of a physicist I do just about ok. But I find myself questioning the meaning and motivation behind fashion frequently and frankly I find myself confused most of the time. A very fashionable friend lent me some of his clothes when, after a dinner party, I was considered not well-dressed enough to go out to the place we were heading (this wasn't as harsh a decision as it may sound - I just wasn't dressed right for the place we were going). I was given some great clothes and headed out. The result was that I got a fair few complements on my clothes - but this did nothing more than dissuade me. I was the same person as always, just with some different colours and cuts. I didn't see why I was deserving of a compliment, or, put another way, why I was supposed to be somehow 'better' than my normal self. Although I do understand it, the whole thing feels more or less meaningless when I try and analyse it and I end up frustrated with the seeming weight that is given to the different facets of those we meet. That said, yes, I'm human, and yes aesthetics are important to me too, I guess though that on the fashion front I just don't attach that much value, though I also, hypocritically, appreciate it when someone dresses well. Perhaps this is all a self-pitying statement trying to excuse my lack of fashion senses - who knows?!
Anyway, the whole point about the above schpeel is that the event last night was completely the opposite. At a drum and bass event nobody cares what you're wearing and this felt really refreshing. People are there to dance and have a good time and this lack of pressure is wonderfully refreshing. I'll continue to go to the more trendy places, as some of my good friends here are fashionable enough and kind enough to not only go there but to invite me along too, but it's nice to have found a good contrast to this part of the Munich scene as well.
Anyway, I have 1000 Chinese flashcards to catch up on, two papers to write and a dozen other tasks to finish before I can head to the gym - better get on with it!