I have arrived in Oberwolfach, and nature is still incredibly gorgeous. It works quite well to do math here, with only few distractions.
The major distraction being the amount of food we are offered; three times a day a solid german meal is served, cake in the afternoon and left-overs in the evening. Naturally, I wouldn't want to carry the result of five meals times three months up the cliffs of the world; I have therefore been fighting back, going for runs up the backyard mountain monday and wednesday, biking 50 km monday and driving to a climbing gym 60 km away tuesday.
Yes, driving; tt turns out that I can rent a car cheap on a day-to-day basis from a local mechanic. This makes it easy to get out in the civilization should the urge arise (I have to say that three days in nature made even the hippie-settlement of Freiburg seem like a very stressful be). My first car-purchase will wait till I can actually afford a Porsche.
Even more so, I might not even have to rent cars that often: We are presently four postdocs at the institute, and below me lives a turk that has been doing her PhD in France. As a conversation-opener I asked her how she managed to transport her flowers here, and as she told me that she drove here from France. I jokingly asked if she happened to use it to go climbing with -- this is really the only thing I can imagine you need a car for. With a look of be-bafflement, she told me that she loves to go climbing a lot but that she had left her climbing gear at home because she expected to be around a bunch of underarms trained only for pressing keys on a computer.
I was told at my Vipassana course that if I keep on practising, improvements are bound to happen to my life, and how wonderful is this: A brand new climbing book of the local area, along with someone to take me there and up the cliffs. I just need to convince her to buy some climbing shoes soon -- and not put so much effort into her research.
Apart from a climbing partner amongst the postdocs there is also a fellow topologist that I know from beforehand. We have both been working on String Topology, and want to see if we can reach some common ground. This excites me quite a bit as well.
The last postdoc hasn't revealed his skill in keeping me from going insane yet.