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Two cats (or bosses) and five rats (labrats or “rats” who work in a lab) went to Winterberg on a Wednesday morning, on official business, using the institute’s car (shhhh!) for skiing. Fun in the snowy mountain filled with evergreen trees with their everblooming ever green green leaves decorated beautifully with fresh snow like a powdered sugar atop a chocolaty cupcake.  (They looked fantastic!) It was a gloomy freezing (!) day. Nevertheless, the ski resort was filled with people, mostly Dutch from the neighbouring The Netherlands, as evident of their yellow plated cars, as opposed to the white plated ones of Germany.  The two female rat ski rookies were lucky enough to be tutored on Skiing 101 by Cat #1.  And there we went trying our way for skiing.  Skiing is hard work!  A very hard work.  Much harder than being in the lab playing labrats. Even harder than doing an experiment.

That’s what I thought. At least in the first hour or two. Of trying to learn which is horizontal versus vertical.  Which is downhill, and which is uphill. Learning to bend forward and not leaning backward, where the former means you go faster (which is scary! and even made scarier by the fact that I may hurt people who BTW is not covered by the shitty health and accident insurance policy in Germany.  Are people hearing me? Do something about this please!), while the latter means you stumble down with your battered butt into the cold snow which, BTW melts in your ass and gets your battered butt wet (!).  Well, as I’ve said, that is what I thought – hard work.

After an exhausting hour or two, the two rookies gave their battered butt a break and decided to stock up energy for later.  Nibbled on some comfort foods, high energy of sort, Currywurst mit pommes (Sausage with potato fries) and heiße Schokolade trinken (hot chocolate drink).  After getting full, we set our minds and mentally run the “Skiing-is-fun program”. We bought our lift passes, went up the hill and tried skiing down.  This we did for the next 3 hours or so. After indefinite number of falls (which I hate because it is very hard to get up as your legs and feet have very limited movement, and I am too embarrassed to be picked up by the boss, I mean Cat #1, every time I fall), I started enjoying the “play” as I learn to balance, ski down, go faster, snow plow, turning left and right to create beautiful curves, slowdown and to break.  Oh boy, I was loving the slopes! It was so much fun!  The cats and the rats were all very tired and happy by the end of the day. The two rookies, especially, have battered, aching, exhausted, at-the-verge-of-hypothermia bodies, but a refreshed mind. Our bodies ached for at least 2 days, but it was all worth it.  Who gets to have a hard core scientist as a ski trainor anyway? Not so many I guess.

Ski rental, 10 euros

Lift Pass, 16 euros

Currywurst mit pommes and heiße Schokolade trinken, 10 euros

Smiles on our faces, fun bonding time together, refreshed mind, PRICELESS.


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