Hiking report

Hiking to Ratingen!

March 8, sometime in the afternoon, I wrote a message to the mailing list of Ph.D students at MPI, announcing the hiking to Ratingen. At my institute in France, I had a hard time going out with my colleagues (although they were still lovely people). So initially, I did not think about this possibility, which I decided to explore, since I’m having thrilling time with my new colleagues here.

5 people replied. Well, I guess it makes 10 % of all Ph.D students. Anyway the interest has been nucleated. Let’s see what’s gonna happen in the future.

I would like to make one thing clear regarding this hiking: for the very first hiking a couple of weeks ago, there was only Chaomo who came per CS (although there were my flatemates, Théo and Alfredo, who came with us, too). Last time, we were 9 in total. And this time … 22. This gang of hikers marched through this small village called Ratingen, which I didn’t have the slightest intention to take the responsibility for.

Until three days before the hiking, the weather forecast predicted rain. Two days before, it became cloudy. In the end, it was sunny. I’m proud of myself having the courage not to cancel the event.

Not only the weather, but the timing was also an important thing that worked perfectly today: right in the moment that we needed a break, there was this great village called Homberg, where we could have a short break of 1 hour. Then after the hiking there was an outside bar. I don’t know how much I was enjoying my weekend.

Next day, I had a long discussion with a Mexican guy over whether to create a WhatsApp group for hiking. Indeed, I decided to create a group for every session, but I don’t have the intention to continue to use it after hiking, even if the same people participate. This is because I just find it beautiful to say that the connection of the people is something personal, and not based on the WhatsApp group. And by creating a new group every time and adding each single person, I can think of the person for a moment, even if it is just something instantaneous. It is true that I may forget some people and they may have to remind me of that, but still I think there’s something humane in it. Especially I don’t want to be a person who simply sends a message to a whole group of people without knowing who is actually in the list. Lastly, I guess there were people who would not see each other anymore, but the memory remains. In order to allow this memory to be eternalized, it is important that the event altogether goes to an end every time and not to have an open end discussion.

Next hiking will take place next Saturday, on 3/18/2017 and we’ll go to Neandertal. Looking forward to your participation!

Today’s trail can be downloaded from this link (kml-format) or this link (gpx-format)