over 2 months ago, Scary (see blogroll) did an interview and asked his many readers if they were interested in answering five of his questions and i agreed, so here and now, with some delay are Scary's questions and my answers.
Scary: English is not your milk tongue. What are some of the problems you encounter with an English language site?
Blogkabouter: Well English is indeed not my native language but i'm confident in saying that i understand no less of it than the average educated native english speaker (and probably more). Because of my biology studies i have to read a lot of english (and some french and german) specialised scientific literature and i rarely have to pick up a dictionary to translate something. I guess that local dialects would form an obstacle but i really can't think of recent problems i encountered with English language sites. I like your monster-english bye the way, it's very down to earth!
an anecdote: Years ago when i was visiting Paris with my parents and sister, some american tourist asked me for some information and afterwards they asked me "What part of the states are you from?" (yeps, they had no idea where Belgium was :)) So it's also safe to say that my active spoken english is also at an average level for a native speaker.
Scary: How determined are you to follow your course of studies into the “real world”? What Me means is, when after you graduate from university and you get the chance to choose between two jobs. One pays less money, but the work is doing what you like to do, the other pays considerably more, but has nothing to do with your studies. Which one would you choose?
Blogkabouter: First of all my graduation has been postponed for another year because the master's thesis didn't get finished in time. And now i'm combining finishing the thesis with working 3 and 1/2 days a week for a friend of mine who is an MD PhD leading a research project about the immune response to the influenza vaccin of old people in retirement homes. My job consists mainly of going to the homes and interviewing the people and making sure the requirements for the study are met. This has nothing to do whatsoever with biology or the environment (which i obviously am very passionate about) but i find this very interesting, the paycheck is ok and i get to spend allmost all of my working hours talking to other people or performing small harmless tests on them, something i don't mind doing at all.
I'm not only passionate about biology, i'm passionate about life and people!
So it really depends if the job that pays considerably more but has nothing to do with my studies, is interesting and morally defendable. Especially in the coming years, with a substantial loan payment that has to be paid every month, financial security is somewhat of an issue.
In the end i'm happy doing anything that helps to make the world a better place, be it the management of a natural reserve in Costa Rica or being in an information department helping people figuring out how to file their taxes.
Scary: What is the strangest/ most dangerous situation you have ever been in?
Blogkabouter: Traffic is dangerous. In Belgium it kills about three people every day and many more around the world.
The two incidents that come to mind right are:
Some A-hole running a red light when we were on vacation in Florida some 7 years ago, he almost chrashed right into us.
And the other one is in Tanzania, a little over one year ago. Picture yourself a narrow road in the mountains, one lane for every direction and naturally a canyon on one side and a wall of rocks on the other. I was sitting in the first bus of our 2-busses convoy and we just nearly missed a 10 ton truck rolling down the mountain who was passing another vehicle.
In Belgium there also have been several dangerous moments but i can't really remember any. Maybe i try to forget about them as soon as possible because after all, that's the traffic i venture into every morning ..
Scary: Your favorite food? Were talking about eatin it almost every single day and not gettin sick of it.
Blogkabouter: Chinese Dim sum's (ok they have over 100 kinds at our local chinatown so it's hard to get tired of them :)). I've learned to choose good ones from my Sifu, so if anybody is interested in buying me dinner in exchange for my guidance through the menu, you're most welcome!
And if i'm not too busy i'll probably join you for free if you ask nicely ;)
Scary: What is the dumbest thing you have ever done/said?
Blogkabouter: Well one thing i've never forgotten is a vivid discussion with some friends of mine about having to perform a tracheotomy in case of an emergency. The problem is that i had started it with a tracheotomy in mind but somehow i was using the word "vasectomy".
Some of them had to understand quite well what was going on but I was talking so enthousiastically that nobody dared to intervene and correct my mistake
Thank you scary for the questions and my apologies for the late reply, i could have gotten around to doing this a lot sooner.
Okay here is YOUR chance!!! Do YOU fear an interview by De Blogkabouter?
1. Leave me a comment saying “Do me Blogkabouter".
2. I will respond by commenting back on your blog with your five questions. I get to pick the questions.
3. You will update your blog with a post containing your the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.