Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Life under construction

Lately, the worst plague of our Institute has been the renovation. More precisely, the building is growing, adding two new wings to itself. And our lab is, as always, in the center of attention. This time it’s the attention of the construction workers, because the lab space is side to side with the new wing. We’re essentially living at the construction site. Some of the most fragile equipment has been already moved, to avoid it getting damaged by the dust.

Don’t get me wrong. It is necessary. Moreover, I should be at home with the situation. I’m Polish and Varsovian, which essentially means I have been living in the midst of construction for my whole life. As a kid, I had moved to a completely new district and started my education in a freshly built school. After several years, the school has proved to be too small anyway, but there was already another one built in the vicinity, mint quality, still smelling of fresh paint.

Somewhere in between, people decided it would be best we stop building communism and build some capitalism instead. There was a completely new political system, and if not everything was working as it should right away, that was because it was still under construction. New buildings started sprouting everywhere like mushrooms. I went to the high school the first year they have opened metro (the subway system) and even if that high school wasn’t new at all, and it has prided itself on its tradition, the curriculum was rewritten every year of two.

And guess what? I had a brand new university building as well. The Department of Biology got one when I was in my second year, and believe me, it was needed!
Afterwards I had lived in my parents’ new house for a short time. They haven’t bought it, of course. Buying houses is for pansies. A marriage of two MSc construction engineers can only build one. Sure, there was a crew of workers and an architect, but my parents wouldn’t be themselves (and Polish, and Varsovians) if they haven’t been directly involved in the project.

I should be in love in the sound of impact drills. I should breathe dust with delight. Some of my neighbors sadly do – renovations are, apparently, their favorite hobby. Unfortunately I can’t overcome my fondness for peace and quiet.
There’s a good side to it, however. To build, to construct, to create is to make something new. And new is exciting, even if it means change, alongside with the chaos it brings.

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