Saturday, December 23, 2006

Magnets and the car park

As a child, I wanted to become a scientist, nothing else. The image of two mad-haired men standing in front of the blackboard, scribing equations all over the place, for hours and hours on end, has stayed as an icon of insanely great fun and excellence throughout my childhood. I did very well at school, and teachers advised me to become a medical doctor or a lawyer, but these career possibilities never touched my heart as an actual life's option, until much later into adulthood.

The beginning was a bit strange. I was collecting butterflies as a kid. Then, at the age of 8, magnets suddenly captured my imagination. As I walked to school, I would wonder why it was that magnets attracted metals and sticked to each other in the specific way. I still remember how at one period I went on thinking about the mystery of the magnet for about a month, every morning and afternoon, as I meandered through the small streets of the rural town I was living in at that time.

There was this particular car park, where the sun shone on the ground and you got a shimmering and white impression. As I passed by it, there was something about the scene that made me think of the magnets in a deep manner. The small child that I was associated the car park with the enigma of magnets. To this day, I don't know why.

It is impossible to go back and verify in person, as the car park is long gone.

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