Monday, July 24, 2006

Guess who's back!

After a three days at Bran, where I slept something like 12 hours a day, I'm back online. The break at Bran came after what I currently consider to be the most important event in my life: the International Physics Olympiad. Not only have I been the farthest away from home (almost 9000 km) and visited Singapore, but I have also obtained quite an important award: Silver Medal at IPhO. Let's take them one at the time.

I shall begin with the coutry of Singapore. At the first sight, it seems like an utopia. Everything over there seems (am probably is) brand new: all the buildings, outdoor and indoor, look like taken from an US movie that depicts a luxury neighborhood of, let's say, New York. The catch is that New York also has poor neighborhoods; in Singapore, as far as I have seen, there aren't any. Everything is clean. Nobody throws anything on the street. Smoking students are a minority. You are not expected to tip the cab driver, and he gives you the change to the last cent. Oh, and the 90Km/h speed-limit on the high-way is respected by almost everybody (the cab drivers make the exception Image ). Needless to say the people love their country in a manner Ceausescu could only dream of. This is only my first impression, but it's a strong one. It might change only if I live in Singapore, and I don't see that happening too soon.

Now about the Olympiad. It was nice. I found two of the three problems easy. The last one... well... had I only known relativity Image. I crawled my way trough it, but feeling extremely unsecure in the subject, I just failed to do it right. They however gave me 4.5 points for it. Nice. As for the experimental paper, I think I speak in the name of the whole team when I say "We blew it!". Unacceptable mistakes at very simple things. All of us. Weird, huh? Now, I guess other students blew it at the theoretical paper, where Romania had some strong scores. The conclusion: one Gold, two Silver and two Bronze. We can not compare to countries like China, Taiwan or South Korea (with 4 or 5 Gold), but it is nevertheless a good result. May it be better next year!

Why is this in English? Well, I will be going to Britain this year and my blog must reflect it. Plus I want the people I met in Singapore be able to read it (Hi Cheryl!)

"Pe curand!"

P.S. I almost forgot. Singapore is heaven for those who like science and engineering. It's two technical university (NTU and NUS) conduct lots of research programs. H.E.A.V.E.N. Take my word for it!

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