Madison, Wisconsin

Hey all,

Right now I am writing from Madison, a town up north from Chicago. Madison is really pretty, it's so small but still very beautiful. The city has a capitol located between two lakes, actually it has multiple lakes. But Madison has a lot of farming, and that's probably why they have so many lakes.. Madison also has a university which seems to be very good in research and medicine. Today the weather is perfect to go swimming; clear blue sky, good temperature.
But yeah, why am I in Madison. I have told you before I am in Chicago for a research project. Research is all about conferences, talking to people, networking and listening to stories from others about their research project. We'll that's what I am doing in Madison. There is yearly conference about cardiac dysfunction so we have 3 full days of oral presentations and posters about the heart. It's really fun though, but does get kind of boring after a while. In the mean time we are drinking a lot of beer (after the conference of course) and getting a lot of free food and making fun of each other! What bring me to this point, Americans really love talking behind one's back. Yeah, it's really funny though, but it's also weird. I don't know if it's per se worse than in the Netherlands, but it's just that I know so much about everyone, but I don't actually know them. You know what I mean? I know stories about colleagues I actually only know from a "Hi" and a "Bye"!
But whatever, stories are always fun to hear... Today we are having diner at a fancy restaurant somewhere near the capitol and tomorrow we're heading back. I am absent at today's morning session, but I had to finish something before wednesday and now I am going for some breakfast and a t-shirt to wear under my shirt. They have a gap around the block.
It's funny how America is build. Everything is so far from each other. To go grocery shopping you just need a car, to go clothing shopping you need a car (because most malls are far). They have public transportation all over the place, but no one uses it. The buses are always empty (Except for in Chicago, but that's because it's a big city). But seriously I live in downtown Chicago and I still need a car to do grocery shopping. Sigh..
But I have to go now.

Here are some pictures of Madison.

 What is this huge thing doing in such a small town.

 My funny colleague Dave presenting his poster.
 My funny colleagues Brian (Chinese guy) and Jason (guy with glasses in the back) presenting their posters.
 There was a 5 miles bike tour. Looked like fun! Even little children were biking.

 Taya on the right.
 What I ordered.

 Taya's steak
Dave's burger and Alex and Taya as background

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