Letter of absence

Dear Dr. R,

I am sorry but I cant come in today. I have been vomitting since 5 in the morning. Think I ate something bad. I just need to rest.
Have a nice weekend!

Best regards
Ghazal F. (21-05-2010)

Persian Prince and an Orchid

Dear Ghazal,

Hope you have a nice evening. Sorry for bothering you, there is
something I”d like to hear your opinion about. Today I saw an advert for a movie called “Prince of Persia” (You can see a trailer right away on the youtube wellcome-page). What I saw there reminds me a bit of bad hollywood blood-and-battle films. Have you an idea if the movie is worth viewing ? Maybe there is already some discussion about its value going on in the iranian community, which of course I can”t follow. Maybe you heard something.

waiting to see you tomorrow

PS: I asked today in the flower shop about what the orchids like and what they dislike. They need about 50ml water per week, they don”t like heavy sun, and they don”t like to be carried around. I also heard from a good friend who is an orchid breeder himself, that they stay longer in full blossoms if somebody speaks to them with a warm, dark voice. I”m absolutely sure that they will have all of this in your appartment.

Michael (20-05-2010)

A nice Day

Dear Ghazal,

I very much enjoyed the afternoon the entertaining conversation we had today.
I hope you arrived well in Unterschleissheim.

have a nice evening

Michael (19-05-2010)


Dear Ghazal,

I think I forgot to tell you that I won”t be in the Institute on Monday, since I have to give some lectures in Bonn. I told MA and his secretary to make sure, that the documents for your contract are handed over to the personal department by tomorrow.

I hope that you had a nice weekend. I”m a bit concerned that you might feel alone in the guesthouse in this remote suburbia Unterschleissheim. Please, don”t fall into despair. Before you came, Prof. T told me that you so much wanted to do your Msc project in Paris, London (maybe even in New York, who knows). I convinced him to give you the project here in Munich, and I”m absolute serious you wont regret it at the end. Munich is a provincial spot, of course, it has little glamour and no mystery and on the first glance it can be a bit boring. But it has some absolutely unexpected spots worth to visit (like the Isar-Wave next to Haus-der-Kunst, where Surfer ride and what was recently documented for an international movie), the English Garden with Chinese Tower, the waterfall at Unterfoehring, and flocks of sheeps. There is Horse-Riding near the place where I live, a multicultural sceenery in Haidhausen, some good places if you like to hear life-music, in Summer time there will be open-air theater, good museums that I”m sure you will enjoy like the Lehnbach-House, the Pinakothek, the Museum for Archaeology, Museum for Antropology and the Yewish Museum. And of course outside the town there are plenty of castles and lakes and other cosy places to discover.

You know I spend some years in places that by far were not my first choice, a remote city in the north of the Netherlands were I did my first postdoc and later a small-town south of London. In both instances, I hatet these places when I first arrived there, but later, after meeting nice people at work and in the neighborhood, I decided to stay a bit longer. Only after a few weeks I started to discover that both places (Groningen in the Netherlands and Sutton near London) both had their own charme and their hidden secretes and soon I felt there at home. Therefore, the best thing one can do if your are “damned” to live at a new place is trying to find out as soon as possible what this place can give you. And there always will be something unexpected to discover and enjoy, something not neccessarily recommended in the travel guide.

Best greetings, see you on Thuesday

Michael (16-05-2010)

… something funny to read ?

Dear Ghazal,

Don””””t worry, there was indeed not much to do today. About the form that I mentioned: it is printed and I put it on your desk, where you can find it on Monday. There is no urgency with the bank account. They can probably give you the first salary in cash.

Enjoy the weekend (I hope you have something more funny to read other than the copied articles). If you need something, let me know.

greetings Michael

Cat got used to bad Weather

Dear dr. R,

Thank you for being so helpfull and kind!
I am used to this weather so its no problem for me:) Its just that I did not have any labwork to do today just reading so I thought I concentrate better at home on the reading. I have read some of your articles. Hope it is okay that I stayed home.

I think you forgot to give me the form that I have to sign? So I sign it and bring it on monday and give it to prof. a? I do not have a printer here, can I print it on monday in helmholtz and sign it then?
Do I have to open a bankaccount? To open a bank account I need proof that I am doing a project here in germany at least 6 months. Thank you for all the help and for organize everything for me.

best regards
Ghazal F

Under a Grey Sky

Dear Ghazal,
I hope you are doing fine. I guess the rainy weather discouraged you from coming today. There were only very few people around here anyway. The canteen was also closed, but we called for some pizza.
I prepared everything for your contract today (not the guest-contract, but one as a student technician, so you will have a salary). The documents for this have to be given to the Helmholtz-Administration on Monday, otherwise we lose another two weeks. So please sign the form on the page that I have marked, and then ask the secretary or Prof. A. to bring it over to the personal department.

I hope you”ll have a nice weekend and that you don”t got depressed by the grey sky (I promise it will get better soon).
see you on Thuesday.

greetings Michael

Über den Gletscher

Mit tastenden Schritten gleitest Du über den Gletscher
Wie eine verirrte Perserkatze,
Umfangen vom Kristall der Stratosphere
Schimmert der Eishauch eines erstarrten Mondes
Durch Deine dunklen Locken.
Ein übermütiger Gott gab Dir azurblaue Augen,
So als wollte er hier seine neuen Schöpfung vorstellen
und mit deren überirrdischer Magie unsere Wissenschaft beschämen,
unseren diletantische Versuche, die Welt mit genetischen Mitteln zu verschönern.
Ghazal, Du treibst mir die Glut hinter die Stirn
Und lässt den Boden unter meinen Füssen gefährlich schwanken,
Wenn ich daran denke, dass Du gerade erst Deine Augen aufschlugst,
Deine ersten Schritte durchs Leben machtest, als ich im zweiten Jahr Physik studierte und zum ersten mal im Leben die Erschütterungen einer jungen Liebe erfuhr.

Wie Bahnen verstreuter Himmelskörper, die sich nie hätten begegnen sollen,
Wenn Cauchy und Sofie Kowalewskaja recht gehabt hätten mit ihrer bedingten Wahrscheinlichkeit, so sind wir uns begegnet im Zufallsraum,
wie zwei menschliche Lichtstrahlen, die 24 Jahre durchs All irrten auf der Suche nach dem Anderen.
(Zugspitze 24-03-2010)

Oscar Wilde says …

I knew that I had come face to face
with some one whose mere personality was so fascinating
that, if I allowed it to do so,
it would absorb my whole nature
my whole soul
my very art itself.


Today it is 1967, May 19th, and its my 6th birthday. I still go to kindergarden, but in 4 month time I will enter school. Thats nice, because than in the 6th course I will learn – among other things – English. But I will also learn maths and literature, and science. In 8 years from now, I will change school and enter Highschool. For another 4 years there I also have to attend lessons such as history and politics, which will be a pemanent fight with the teachers. They will always try to brainwash us and infiltrate communist ideology. The only two subjects I really surrender are sports and Russian language. This is funny, since 40 years later, i.e. sometimes in the new century, I will be the only one of all my former class-mates who is physically still very much in shape (can wear the same sized jeans as when I was 20) and the only one who decently speaks Russian.

But before this, in 1979 or 12 years onward from now, the army will call my duty and I will serve there for 3 horific years. At least I had plenty of free time there to read and to learn guitar playing. In  1983, 16 years from today on, I will be a proud freshman student of physics at Leipzig Karl-Marx-University (hip, hip, hooray). I will absorb everything about natural science, but still not enough to stop me from later on (in 1988) to add a biophysics and later a molecular genetics career. But first, between 1983 and 1988 I am a decently committed student, except that political activities almost caused my dismission from the Uni.

After graduating as a PhD in biophysics, my hobby activities as a political street fighter are somehow rewarded and the Berlin Wall comes down and exposes us to the free world with all its unknown wilderness. In 1992 I first go as a PostDoc to Groningen in the Netherlands. This is still a sort of intermediate state to allow a smooth transition from a social wellfare state to the free capitalism, which I experience the following three wundeful years in London.

Oh, I almost forgot, that in 1990 I will marry a young girl from Russia, and a year later I impress my young wife the most when I smuggel her in the car-boot through the German-Dutch border (In this years, the European borders are still existing, and they would not let Marina to come to me to Groningen without a month-long application procedure). So I solve the problem my way, as I use to do throughout life whenever I face some stupid obstacles.

I think in 1991 in Groningen it is also the first time that we see the Internet working, firstly to simply exchange e-mails with my parents-in-law in Russia.

In 2010, which I can’t believe is still 43 years from today on, I will start writing a Blog. Today, in 1967, nobody has ever heard about social media or blogs or Twitter. All these inventions will come down to us in the new century, and I am already keen to see what one can do with them. But today, I still have to be patient. I have just discovered that the steel tracks of my electric train give a funny prickling sensation if I lick them with my tongue. So many secretes are waiting to be discovered.