Tree Cum

Ben's week long visit to Seattle begins in the University District where he is hosted by a Portuguese neuroscientist

Having shown me around his working laboratory, Luis led me down a long, clinical corridor that despite being silent had many signs of a heavy and frequent use. The walls were plastered with both chemical symbols and equations and in between were extracts of papers that gave a slight glimpse in to both the type and level of research currently being undertaken...

...Arriving at a door marked "Biosafety Level 2" Luis led me in to a windowless room filled with an array of equipment. "Please. Don't touch anything" he said. Then reaching for a Petri dish out of a tall fridge in the corner of the room, he carefully lifted the plastic cover from a microscope and gently placed the dish beneath the lens.

With an inquisitive raising of one eyebrow I stated my intrigue and after a second or two focusing the lens he said to go ahead and take a look.

So peering down I could clearly make out the structures of individual cells and as I went to open my mouth to ask, Luis had already second guessed my question and revealed the cells to be embryonic.

Most incredible was all this was happening thanks once again to my gut which had hand-picked Luis from a list of thousands and as with Erica before him, did so with little to no tangible information.

So what of this Luis fellow? Well in his early thirties, Luis grew up in Portugal and after some time living in Germany moved out to Seattle in '08 to begin his post-doctorate research in his preferred field of study - neuroscience.

This for me was I think what attracted me to Luis as now the 20th person to host me on CouchSurfing, I have not yet stayed with anybody who is such an academic and having read his profile I had many, many questions.

And yes, whether it be over curry or coffee, burgers or beer, Luis and I spent the whole weekend immersed in conversation where I discovered a great deal about this fascinating guy. I found out his work is done alongside a Nobel prize winner and that his current research could have real life implications for the future.
Whether it be over curry or coffee, burgers or beer, Luis and I spent the whole weekend immersed in conversation
Best of all though I discovered that Luis is a very keen host on CouchSurfing and along with taking in nearly a hundred travellers in his time, he in fact married the CouchSurfer before me! Yep, he actually married her.

So whilst it was unlikely I would provide such a lasting legacy for Luis, I did leave feeling I had once more gained a new friend and with plans to move back to Europe next year I hope indeed this isn't the last I see of Luis.

Oh, and if you're wondering why this entry is entitled "Tree Cum" it's down to what Luis described his car to be covered in after parking it beneath a tree that had leaked its sap upon the windscreen. I nearly died laughing.

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