Posted by: fireweaver | June 28, 2008

wow, thanks

i got a rather random phone call today from a technician at one of our other buildings.  one of his investigators had a visiting veterinarian from another institution who wanted to sit in on some procedures and look around the place.  apparently, my vet colleague who runs that building had taken the am off, so he wasn’t around to approve such things.  i told him it was fine, with some safety-ensuring caveats in place, and said that if he didn’t have the time or answers to deal with a big explanation of our operation, send her on my way.

after returning from picking up the car (and WOW, he’s never been so shiny and clean!  they waxed him!  and yes, all dents are vanished, yay!), i was told that our visitor was indeed on her way.  i ended up spending a little less than an hour chatting with a wonderfully nice person who is one of a handful holding down the fort on a shiny new facility designed to be the hub of singapore’s medical research community.  only issue is that she, and most all of her colleagues, are straight out of private practice, and are learning the lab animal stuff on the fly.  she seems to be getting the hang of it rather well, and was a sponge eager to soak up more info on my varying experiences.  we chatted about conferences good & bad, journals to reference, and she managed to stump me on a weird thing going on in some of her nude mice (clearly a case for the communal wisdom of the industry listserv, compmed).  a brief highlights tour of our facility before her investigator friend came to pick her up again, and we were out of time.  i definitely got the idea she’d rather have camped out all day with us.  as we were trading business cards (theirs have little pictures in the top corner, like some visa cards do, and that is probably the most brilliant idea ever), she handed me a little clear-topped square box.  “thank you so much for taking time on such short notice,” she said, “here is a small gift for you.”  inside was a small silver orchid with pink-enameled petals.  apparently, it’s an actual orchid that is the national flower of singapore.  they plate them and add a pinback & bail and voilà, jewelry.  i tried to refuse, because it’s way too nice for an hour spent in pleasant chit-chat, but she was having none of that.  and it was pretty darn easy to give in.  it’s unusual and very very me.  singaporeans can officially stop by any ol’ time they want.



  1. What a cool visit, though!

    And OMG, I’m so disgustingly jealous over the orchid pin that I’ll have to stop talking to you for a while. Cuz I just engaged in deadly sin and broke a Commandment and all.

  2. Pictures! We need pictures of cool orchin pin-y goodness! That must have been a very fun conversation to get to talk to a future colleague from another country.

  3. orchid ! not orchin.. that’s a whole ‘nothing thing entirely!

  4. you know, i did look for a piccy online, since it appears to be a relatively standard sort of tourist’s souvenir from singapore, but was unsuccessful. googling “singapore orchid pendant” does give you a lot of hits of similar sorts of things, though…

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