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!)
Oscillations in the Nomes Orbit
Thursday, 10 November 2005
So I’m still uncertain about being here. Okay, it’s beautiful – at some moments Prague truly deserves it’s nickname of the Golden City. But the bureaucracy is interminable, the language inhospitable (not to mention incomprehensible) and the city planning (with regards to guessing which street to turn down next) is totally counter-intuitive. Also, I take a tram at least twice a day at the moment; I see it pull away from the stop JUST as I arrive at least once each day.

But, on the plus side, the Stereo MC’s are playing for one night on the 25th November, and I don’t leave for Budapest until the morning of the 26th. Talk about fortuitous. Incorporate the fact that, by then, I’ll have been paid and will be able to afford the NZ$30 or €17 ticket and you’ve got one very happy excited Nomes – who thinks she should pack on Thursday evening so as to avoid making the mistake of turning up in Budapest with nothing but ‘going out’ gear.

The downside is, of course, that I’ve no one to go with.

Have you ever watched people of different nationalities eat? There are only a few people on the planet who can make me feel like a total klutz at the dinner table (I prefer to use the term ‘expressive despite cutlery’) but the Czechs sure ain’t likely to win prizes for ‘neatness with food’ either.

I’ve noticed they hold their forks in their left hand, like a spoon. Then, when they need to pierce something with it, they put their fist around it, not over the top as you or I (the more proper of us) may do in a rare moment of ‘must-eat-now’-ness, but underneath – as one may do to shovel more ice cream into my mouth - apparently. So that when they take their food to their mouth, they’ve got their left fist held inner-wrist-upwards, with their little finger closest to their mouths. To think I’ve made at least two people hold their fist as such on the other side of the world – merely with my words! Mwahahahahahaha! Where did I put that ring with the funny inscription…

Seriously though, I’ve never seen cutlery management more awkward. And instead of ‘carving’ with a knife, they tear. I remember my Dad telling me (when I was all of 7 I think) that knives aren’t claws. I think it was the imagery that did it…I’d loved to have thought of myself as a giant cat, mauling my way through my pork chop dinner, but obviously – big cats don’t have poles stuck down the back of their clothes (long story) so I wasn’t one. Yes mum, snort with laughter all you like now dear, but you won’t be snorting when you get my therapy bills. Or, more satisfyingly, the therapy bills for my offspring!!

Today, I thought I would get the keys to my new place. But alas, the holder of the keys has already departed for home; it is, after all, 3.30pm. And I also thought I might have been reimbursed my relocation expenses. But again, alas. It’s still a good day though. Because I had a good Czech lesson this morning, following a night where I spent at least four consecutive hours in blissful unconsciousness.

And, because I am just so impressed with myself, I’m going to show you something I wrote. Press print, cut it out, and put it on your fridge – if for no other reason than to confound the person/people you live with!

Moje rodice bydlíte v Gladstone, bizko Brisbane, v Austrálie. Ron, můj tatínek je inženýr. Moje maminka, Vivienne, je v domácnosti, tak ona dělá oběd a večeři každý den. Ona vaří dobře. Muj mladší bratr, Rowland, bydí v Anglií s Julia, jeho přítelkyní. On dělá hezký nabylek: skřín, polici, stůl etc. On má narozeniny v sobotu! Julia je v úřednice záležitosti. Těším se na vánoce, jsme spolu.

Not bad huh? I should really leave it at that – since it looks impressive. But, damnit, the honest bone in my body tells me I ought to inform you that it says:

“My parents live in Gladstone, near Brisbane, in Australia. Ron, my father, is an engineer. My mother, Vivienne, is a housewife, and she makes lunch and dinner every day (not true – you KNOW you get takeouts sometimes! J) She cooks well. My little brother, Rowland, lives in England with Julia, his girlfriend. He makes nice furniture: wardrobes, beds, tables etc. It’s his birthday on Saturday (see…I haven’t forgotten yet!). Julia is an environmental health officer (though I’m not entirely convinced the teacher understood what you did!). I look forward to Christmas, we’ll be together.”

I bet you’re less impressed now huh? From the eloquence required to “adopt and express the Central European malaise” © (Brett) to writing a bunch of verbs, nouns and adjectives in the present tense. It’s enough to make a grown woman cry (on several occasions). See what I mean about sounding like a four year old!?

And how’s my reading going – I hear you BEGGING to know? Well, every day I read a few pages from a children’s encyclopaedia (published 1959) to Tamara, complete with the finger under the word, and the pauses to ‘sound it out’ when I get to a word like nejmocnějším! I have no idea what I’m reading – but at least it’s unlikely to offend if I mispronounce too horribly. And on occasion, we have drawings and actions to describe particular words (today: tears, bush vs. tree (we concluded that an angrešt is a gooseberry – so don’t laugh!) and thorn).

This learning another language thing is hard bloody work when your brain is set to ‘science’ and ‘rules’. Sure – there ARE rules…but first I have to figure out what the grammatical terms are. “What’s the first person, past participle, masculine inanimate object of the sentence? Funny you should ask that, Paní Kořanova, I was just wondering about it myself!!”

Oh – and for a final task - next week: I have the domácí úkol(doh-mahtsi ookol = homework) of writing a one act play comprising a scene between four characters. It has to contain at least 80 lines of dialogue, and be set ‘at home’ or ‘at a restaurant’ or ‘in school’ or ‘at a public transport place’. If someone wishes me to include anything, now’s your chance to say! Any assistance will be gratefully appreciated, and you WILL of course, be duly acknowledged when it wins a Nova (Czech telly award).
posted by Nomes @ Thursday, November 10, 2005  
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