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!)
Getting this far...
Wednesday, 14 September 2005
So many things that have run through my head since I left Wellington.
I was very sad to leave behind my two best friends, D and L. :( Didn't stop crying until attempted to explain independent variable to the two 1st year 'health sciences' students sitting next to me on the plane. They thought Epidemiology was well boring until I explained where I was off to...
A's was great. V. relaxing complete with red wine and antipasto platter. Talked, as you can imagine, about our ex-in-common for a bit. Spoke to Mum and Dad briefly too.
Airport - sent txt to say cheerio. Finally getting really excited...
...and we're in the air. Watched many movies (Mr & Mrs Smith, predictable; Dot the i, brilliant; Sisterhood of Travelling Pants, made me cry) and listened to 'jukebox' (select songs from 100's of albums and listen to them - inflight ipod). Sat next to a guy with HORRIBLE breath - he must have thought me peculiar as I kept offering him gum. Thankfully, he kept accepting - perhaps I was making him paranoid. Honestly, don't people realise that it's their responsability to smell decent when they're cloistered with humanity so?
Shared section with 50 school kids. Yes...lots of fun.
Arrived in KL. Stood behind a guy waiting for free computer. He was writing to a chick he'd obviously just met (I'm too nosy to contemplate, suffice it to say i feel less compulsion to reserve other's privacy when I'm never going to see them again!) and had just left. Very cute message he sent her indeed (aawww).
Checked mail - and repeated a few hours later. This time I stood behind a woman from Japan who got (essentially) a dear jane letter. Ouch. "was fun to see you. I hope we can stay friends." she stared at the message for about 40mins without typing (yes, it was hilarious being the person behind her in the queue!). Despite my heart breaking a little bit for her, I still thought 'jeez woman...let me do MY e-mailing and then get back to the bastard!'. I have no heart.
Had a lie down for a few hours in the airport hotel. Showers are so restorative.
Back on plane. Although L thinks I'm brave and adventurous and not afraid of confrontation etc, I HATE counting off the seats, looking in the right place and then discovering someone is sitting in your airplane seat. Really, would it have made a vast difference for me to take the aisle seat left for me rather than force the lady out of her seat and take the window that I'd requested? No. But damnit - I get the window so I can lean away from my fellow travelers and create a small bubble of space around me.
Not so this woman...her and her chemise thingy (ok, kill me, I'm culturally ignorant!) leaned in my direction the moment I leaned into the window. GO AWAY! After a 13hour continued battle for the armrest, I finally arrived in London. Thank heaven for sleeping tablets is all I can say.
I don't wear makeup on flights (too damaging to skin). But even before going through passport control (which is laughable if you've the red passport: they swipe it through a scanner and then wave you through!) I stopped at the bathroom and washed/applied warpaint. This may be considered a vanity - but not so. It's merely to protect my skin from teh abyssmal pollution hovering over london.
So...bag came through fine. Still damned heavy mind. Got on tube. Came through to Holloway Road without a change (yay!) and then saw stairs. *cry* Some kindly gentleman helped me up them by grabbing the bottom of my suitcase as I hauled the top. Then wandered along the road to Big Red (a pub) whereupon I did order a vodka.
After drinking that, i felt much better. The publican (tee hee) picked that I was from NZ and has offered to show me around London on Thursday! Aw bless. Little does he know that I'm now going up to Ipswich to visit my grandmother and brother in their own houses (for the first time ever in the case of my little bro, and for the first time in about 8 years for my grandmother) on thursday.
M finally arrived and we went back to his flat (where I'm staying). One of his flatmates is currently 'away' so I even have a proper bed. Just as well I'm accustomed to sleeping on a bed with other stuff sharing the empty half as this room is seriously teh width of a double bed!! It's crazy. It's about twice as long as one, but the left over space is taken up by a door that swings inwards, a chest of drawers, a shelf unit and a wardrobe. I'll take a photo tomorrow and post it up! It's insane.
I'd forgotten how oppressive the heat can be in London. It's heavy heat...there's no air between the buildings. It's also difficult to determine what the weather is like - you can't get a good angle looking from a downstairs flat to the sky - other buildings are in teh way.
However, I wouldn't have it any other way. I love this city...and all the crowded, stinking, pollutedness *chess* that it includes. I hate black snot (one tube ride is sufficient to cause you to thank the gods for nasal cilia!) but I love the wide pavements crammed with people and stalls. I love the smell of the city...dirty, hot concrete, diesel and petrol fumes, and concrete powder (roadworks EVERYWHERE). Crazy but true.
Anyway. Homemade dinner (how long was it since my last? CP's I think...) and then out to meet up with friends at 'The Victoria' befor eheading to Koko to see Fat Freddy's Drop. Nearly fell asleep in the pub, but had about 6 vodka redbulls (thanks to the lads we met) at Koko's and managed to stay awake for the full set. It was brilliant - great atmosphere (more kiwi accents than are heard in Wellington!) and the lads looked after me. My host is very drug-naive and didn't even notice when his mates were all, um, powdering their noses. Bless 'im. Due to a possible drug test in my near future, I declined politely (secretly thrilled that the others thought me sufficiently not 'uncool' to enquire).
Made it to 2am...then crashed totally. Home on the night bus, and crawled up the bed, under M's sleeping bag, and out like the proverbial lightbulb (I'd rather be considered a candle though. much nicer to be 'blown' than 'switched'!:)).
Body woke itself one min before alarm at 8:59am. Brilliant. So now, i feel kinda smug that I've avoided all that jet lag crap.
Full cooked breafkfast eaten outside on the picnic set in teh garden (yes, a almost-central London...) and then to this here internet cafe.
Off to meet L's big sister N for coffee and cake next. Am keeping an eye out for a computer too...I hate being without. But this cafe seems to have USB ports so I COULD take photos and upload immediately. Will see.
Anyways, much love to all. Missing you but am so thrilled to be here that the excitement definitely keeps me going. Part of me thinks I should've pushed straight through to Prague without stopping here first, but I love London too much, I would have arrived in Prague feeling like I'd forgotten something! Maybe I need to live here for a prolonged period and get it out of my system for once and for all.
posted by Nomes @ Wednesday, September 14, 2005  
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