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!)
Coke Accounting - 101
Thursday, 3 November 2005
Just when you think you’ve got this city sussed, it throws you a curveball (Rowland: please rescue once more, what defines a ‘curveball’? Can it ‘curve’ to either side? What about in a vertical parabola – does that count or is it merely a case of general ballistics…?). To start with today, it was in the form of my laughable contract and salary: 4,000Kc/month before tax. That’s a hilarious NZ$240. Or two grams.

Still amused from early morning salary humour, I used the miraculous to arrange my trip from work to home via the post office near(ish) work, then from home to singing, and back home again. Sounds simple right? So I type in all my destinations, the places I want to go via, and realise that I have to leave after lunch in order to get to singing on time at 7pm.

Recalculating, (I’d left my passport at home therefore couldn’t go to the post office) I realised that the trip home would be fine. However, the trip to singing rehearsal is not so straightforward. According to the computer, I had to take bus 201 from Vychovtelna (where I now live), to the metro station Nadrázi Holésoviže which I’d then ride to Prázskeho Povstańí, before jumping on the 193 bus to Palouček. A little complex, even without the accents on the letters, so I wrote it in my phone.

Let me explain something at this point. Tram stops are in the middle of the roads, and indicated by giant tram lines, lit shelters, barriers, neon flashing lights and carnival music. Bus stops, on the other hand, are a little more discreet (read: invisible). I decided I’d walk the tram line (on the pavement to avoid ‘tramdeath’) so that I couldn’t possibly miss the bus stop. I found it. Or so I thought, until the 102 (yes…that IS correct) bus with the label “Nadrázi Holésoviže” went past. So then I realised that I wasn’t at a bus stop at all, merely a temporary shelter for people tired of walking who need a ‘sit down’.

I accosted an old lady with a shopping trolley (they’re as popular as mullets here, and so much more attractive), who informed me I could speak English with her after my embarrassing “Prominte, prosim, kde z autobus…er…stop?” She told me that it was “just up past those two streets, see where those lights are, well, it’s between them: in the dark patch.” She ended, “na schledanou and good luck!” so I was less than inspired.

Then I stumbled upon a stump of a post that may have held up a corner hem of the iron curtain. Attached were the number 102, and an overflowing bin. It smelt of stale urine. I’d arrived.

Finally the 102 came along. By now, I’d completely missed my original planned connections, but, having made no contingency plan (idiot, I know), I continued on my way, blithely (i.e. with just sufficient ignorance to remain optimistic) assuming that I’d be fine.

Metro trip was uneventful. I was doing fine.

Or so I thought. Remember I mentioned that I had to get another bus? Now combine the general camouflage of a Prazdan (?) bus stop with all the possible exit permutations available at a Metro Station. Some of you may recall the Tottenham Court Road underground station in London. I believe there are no fewer than 8 exits – on various sides of a large junction. Then introduce the freezing, foggy cold and dark. Divide by one ‘hungry’ Nomes (I had crackers and sardines planned for dinner, until I realised there was no can opener. Mmm…crackers!), and goodness me: X (for this is what the equation describes) is fucking lost, cold and rapidly losing patience.

After taking each of the 5 possible roads outside one exit of the metro station for at least 500m in each direction without successfully locating a scrap of paper indicating a 193 bus may be along sometime this year, I called the girls and apologised for my tardiness. After explaining my situation, I was advised to take the metro back one station…and then “exit by the Corinthia Towers, keep them on your right, pass a carpark, go one road over, to the right, and that’s my street”.

Again, the metro ride went fine. So did the ‘keeping the towers on the right’. Only – I had ‘arrived at’ another penta-directional junction, this time complete with a flyover (which made spaghetti junction in Auckland look like an intersection in Palmerston North!). And I ended was facing the Škoda building (never something to which you want to admit). This time when I phoned, a newly arrived English girl pointed out to the American (giving me directions) that she’d said to ‘keep the towers on the right’ when what she’d meant was ‘go to the right of the towers’. No wonder they suffer so much from ‘friendly fire’!

The phrase, “One road over, to the right” will also remain a mystery, I’m afraid. I assumed that this was shorthand for, “you are now parallel to where you want to be, and you’re one block too far left”. So after wandering around the general Paloucek area for another 15 mins, I went into a restaurant on a corner (in a right huff) and phoned the girl giving me instructions and asked her to explain in Czech to the bartender where the hell I should go, so that he could POINT me in the right fucking direction!!! Having listened to his explanation of where the restaurant was situated, she didn’t even know how to give HIM directions.

Note to all who may come this way (and self): tourist maps don’t cut it here – unless you don’t plan to travel out of the centre at all.

Tomorrow, I’ll explain my new dům (doom = home, ha ha). I don’t want you to die from the hilarity.
posted by Nomes @ Thursday, November 03, 2005  
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