The Adventure Continues...

Rants, raves and random observations from an itinerant epidemiologist.

100 in 1000
  1. Spend a week up a mountain learning to ski
  2. Visit Karoline's place in Moravia
  3. Hold a conversation in Czech (only)
  4. Drink 500ml of each of the following beers:
    1. Pilsner
    2. Staroprammen
    3. Budvar
    4. Velke Popovice
    5. U Fleku
    6. Gambrinus
    7. Krusovice
  5. Respond to at least one GOARN request (WHO and MSF are also acceptable)
  6. Travel across the Atlantic
  7. Return to South America
  8. Read a book to, or with, an impressionably aged child
  9. Participate in one NanoWriMo Challenge and come within at least 10,000 words of the goal length
  10. Have my nose pierced
  11. Have my next tattoo drawn
  12. Purchase the perfect jeans (x 2 pairs)
  13. Attend a spin class 3 times a week for 8 consecutive weeks
  14. Bake Viv's cheesecake
  15. Make David's casserole
  16. Make David's Chicken Cashew-nut Stirfry
  17. Invite 4 people who don't know one another too well to dinner
  18. Ride from Vienna to Venice on a motorbike (pillion acceptable, those less desirable)
  19. Attend a book group for at least two books
  20. Go on a choir weekend (learn and perform difficult piece in two/three days)
  21. Visit Madame Tussaud's (in London)
  22. Take an architecture appreciation course
  23. Join an all-girl group and sing a solo
  24. Publish in a scientific journal (top two authors)
  25. Cook a duck or other 'waterfowl'.
  26. Locate the Al-Timimi's from Doha Veterinary Practise
  27. Have a pedicure
  28. Maintain a Brazilian (ouch) for three months.
  29. Find a trustworthy Czech hairdresser
  30. Treat my inner-6-year-old twice a week (at least)
  31. Do the liver-cleansing diet properly (12 weeks)
  32. Don't eat out for one month
  33. Find a flat and flatmate
  34. Purchase one Joseph sweater
  35. Purchase one of the following pairs of designer shoes (they MUST also be COMFORTABLE, and be able to be worn with 4 different outfits and 2 types of occasion): Jimmy Choos, Manolo Blahniks, Christian Louboutin (Ebay or 2nd hand are acceptable)
  36. Send 5 books to the booksphere and track them.
  37. Go hanggliding
  38. Read 10 'classic' books (from 1001 Books to Read before you Die)
    1. Moll Flanders
    2. Everything is illuminated
    3. Madam Bovary
    4. Zen & the Art of Motorcycle Maintainance
    5. Catch-22
    6. Odysseus
    7. On the Road
  1. Run (non-stop!) for 5kms outside (preferably in a street race thingy)
  2. Send Christmas Cards on time
  3. Make a collage/mural out of street lights on my wall
  4. Buy a bed, build it, and sleep soundly in it
  5. Go to Africa
  6. Host an 'event' (classified as and when)
  7. Organise a 30th Birthday Party
  8. Wear a costume
  9. Sing on stage
  10. Buy a painting that evokes memories of Prague (cannot involve queues!)
  11. Learn a god-damned card game that stays in my memory (other than fish/snap)
  12. See sunrise. Be sober. Have woken for it. Excludes months Nov-Mar
  13. Take a walk and flip coins at each intersection
  14. Win something
  15. Draft a will
  16. Take a roadtrip
  17. Go to Italy already
  18. Sea Kayak around Abel Tasman Park (NZ)
  19. Get plants
  20. Take a train to another Eastern European Destination (accession countries are acceptable) alone preferably.
  21. Get UK to give me a provisional motorcyclists license and simultaneously get a 'card' license.
  22. Go SCUBA diving again - at least two dives lasting 30mins each.
  23. Go to a dentist. *sigh*
  24. Do a Czech Wine Trail. And live to tell the tale
  25. Make an 'outbreak emergency kit'.
  26. Go to bed prior to 11pm every night (inc weekends) for four consecutive weeks.
  27. Marvel over lack of tiredness
  28. Dine at a Gordon Ramsey restaurant (or Nobu)- preferably for free.
  29. Bet on the nags
  30. Do something for charity (applying and getting a 'red card' will count)
  31. Walk along the Champs Elysee
  32. Do 100 sit ups in a row
  33. Do 50 pressups (arms in tight)
  34. Make branston pickle (or nearest substitute)
  35. Cook something 'new' and 'adventurous' at least once a month
  36. Find a mentor
  37. Be a mentor
  38. Learn what mentoring is all about
  39. Meet an online person in real life
  40. Resist the flirt. Once. Just one night. It's okay if people don't immediately succumb to my natural charm. Really it is.
  41. Spend time at a spa (spa towns in the CR don't count)
  42. Send a care package to someone
  43. Get a Tata Bojs CD
  45. Order new contact lenses.
  46. Make a list of things I take with me when I pack for different occasions
  47. Eat lobster. Prepared by someone else.
  48. Back up the blog
  49. Put everything onto an external hard drive
  50. Find a DDR mat and console and 'dance, I say dance!'�
  51. Go to the beach and lie on the warm sand. For an hour. (with sunscreen on, natch)
  52. Take and complete a course in either: Tango, Salsa or Flamenco
  53. Join the Municipal Library of Prague
  54. Move to another country
  55. Go to a live concert of a band I actually like
  56. Pay off debts (student loan excl.)
  57. Send thank you cards for every gift I receive (other than the gift of happiness, blah blah blah).
  58. Get an agent (literary or theatre)
  59. Go to a sports bar without cringing, by personal choice
  60. Ride a rollercoaster
  61. Hold a snake
  62. Spend a day wandering around a museum (not art gallery!)
Ahoj there me hearties!
Wednesday, 21 September 2005
The Czech for Hello (colloquial, ie. "Hi") is "Ahoj". It's not pronounced Ahodge's pronounced Ahoy. So, as I've started adding this word to my ever-growing vocabulary (Dobry den, Dikuju, Ahoj!) I've felt more and more like a pirate than ever.
Yesterday I wandered across Charles Bridge (Karlov Most) to the Lesser Town. Instead of getting into the castle (see pictures) as planned, I got side-tracked by the idea of the torture and spider/scorpion museum. Yes, I was a little concerned I was walking onto a set of that daft program about Fear (who's name I momentarily forget). And I did think it slightly ironic that the signs to the museum ALSO directed one to a McDonald's. Hmmm...
So, first I tackled the spiders and scorpions. They are, quite frankly, AMAZING. I've never seen a collection so vast, and so humungous (individually). Check out some of the photos. The only slightly disturbing bit was that some of the tanks had leaves growing between the glass panes - out into the area that I was in. But the spiders are so huge...they were unlikely to squeeze through the gaps. These are spiders that crush when you drop them, due to their weight! Oh - that and the sign that says "we have no responsibility if you break the glass and are caused harm by the exhibits". Charming. So I definitely heeded the 'do not tap on the glass' signs. I'm glad there weren't any 'no photos' signs, because surely, these are fascinating critters. Not that I'd like one to bite me (as apparently, one of their much much smaller cousins did last night!) but they're gorgeous in their own way.
They certainly didn't freak me out as much as the next museum did. I don't know what they did to the air conditioning, but when you round the corner (with all the 'do not take photos' signs) and confront a beheading block, complete with grooves and stains, it's a little unnerving to feel the hairs on your neck prickle. Mine hardly went down at all through the whole area (twice as large as the spider section) and I was, honestly, appalled. Some of the things that were done in the name of the Spanish Inquisition.
So I learnt about the garrott, the original one with the screw that got screwed into the base of the skull (soon replaced by the simple neck tie version favoured now), the wheel (first they hit you with one, then they tie your broken limbs in and around one, hoist it on a stick in the air and leave you) the rack (did you know that the body stretches 30cm before the muscles tear? They used to cut the muscles to hasten the process for some people) and various other tasty things. Truly, I did feel quite squeamish - and I'm not usually like that. Might have had something to do with the fact that these weren't 'replicas' of artefacts, they were (purportedly, they felt it from an empathetic point of view too) the actual machines themselves. I think the most horrible must have been the saw - two handed - which was used to cleave a body hung by it's ankles into two - longitudinally (the upside-downness made sure that the victim remained as conscious as possible - blood going to the head etc). Ouch.
Anyway, as I was signing the visitors book (Nomes, NZ, '05) a spider (approximately 3cm diameter) crawled out from underneath. And THERE, ladies and gennelmen, was the adrenalin rush.
Back along Karlov Most to purchase plugs. Have now successfully changed most of my electrical appliances to the European plug, which means that my toothbrush, hairdryer, iPod and camera are all charged and primed. Then off to visit a flat (as mentioned previously). It was quite small and only had a single bed, but the flatmates seemed v. cool.
Then off back across the river again to dinner with current flatmate and her friends. I had half a roast duck, sauerkraut and czech potato pancakes. It was surprisingly lovely, the company was good - and there was even a traditional (czech version) Mariachi band. They played Que Sera Sera, and Roll out the Barrel (among others) which I claimed as being a traditional English Drinking song, only to find out (having been beaten down at the table) that it was actually composed by a Czech composer, Jaroslav Veyvoda way back in 1929. So much for that claim again.
Had a good discussion about the Commonwealth (thank you 5th Form English Oral Speech Competition!) with the Canadians. Seems that they used to send loads of people down to NZ to school, but have stopped that of late. Hmm...NCEA anyone?
Today I went to work again. Takes me 30mins door to door including a pause for "hang on, this isn't the right station...oh...wait...this is the link to the other network...maybe if I go down this corridor" thoughts. Don't need to sort out my medical (yay) until I get back from Menorca. And have to pay for hte lab tests myself (huh!?). So I handed them a few more forms, a few more proofs of identity and learning, and then sat at my boss's computer (he's already in menorca - presumably learning how to be my supervisor or something) and composed my first presentation. Which was great, only there are four characters on every key on the Czech keyboard, so my typing was slower than my handwriting is! Still, an hour later, I'd got my presentation sorted. Now I just have to make sure that it's okay to do it on that topic - rather than the one requested (since I know nothing of any particular disease in any particular country of the EU) - and I'm sorted.
Am listening to Elaine Paige and Barbara Streisand in order to get me into some form of singing shape. I have my audition tonight. First part is FINDING the damned place, there's (seriously) a page of instructions. So...wish me luck. Or at least perfect pitch! Okay then, how about melodiousness. That'll do for the time being.
posted by Nomes @ Wednesday, September 21, 2005  
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