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!)
Remember me?? I'm the one who...*mumble mumble*
Thursday, 15 December 2005
Gosh…over a whole week has passed without an update. By now, you’ve probably all forgotten who I am.

Why has it been such a long time? Well, to start with, there was nothing to say. I mean, I know this hasn’t stopped me from writing before, but my X chromosomes were channelling some ‘man’ proteins – consequently I was thinking ‘nothing’. (actually, on the re-read, that sounds like a hideous euphemism…but it’s such an authentic turn of phrase, I’m gonna leave it there for your amusement).

And then I had a whole load of ‘things to do’. Namely, get ready for the weekend ahead. That meant the laundry (argh!! Bane of my existence...) which didn’t melt or go crunchy in the Czech dryers (hooray!), but did require hours of my time. I’ve never appreciated how nice it is to have a washing machine on-site, but believe you me, I’m never taking one for granted again!

Thursday night I met a serbo-croat photographer in Prague – who regaled me with tales of the war. Not a terribly amusing topic, I’ll admit, but hearing how someone shot themselves in the arse with their borrowed rifle? Hilarious. Especially after getting lost (read: cold) and drinking vodka and orange on an empty stomach. EVERYTHING was hilarious.

Friday I went to a short film collection – part of the international short film festival that was screened over the weekend. I really enjoyed it – but since so many days have elapsed, I can’t recall much. I remember one film that really ‘depicted’ the sensation of loneliness. And I’ve never seen as awful a game of hide and seek as the one in Czech (there was only one film…it was counting then searching – I think I pretty much caught the gist of it). Followed by a CANZA drinks evening (Czech/Australia/NZ Assoc.) where I didn’t meet a single NZer. *sigh* Instead, I spent the evening ducking to avoid the Sydneysiders – their accent doesn’t get any smoother with distance. A few mojitos and I was home by 5am. Restraint personified…that’s me.

An early morning rehearsal for Intunition saw three people still in their ‘going out’ gear (and I wasn’t one of them!) and the rest of us singing far far far far below par. Which led to the emergence of some serious nerves – which then combined with the nerves I was feeling about Umit visiting – and left me feeling slightly queasy for the rest of the day/evening. But the performance went far better than expected, even despite the lack of foldback on the stage. Things are SOOO different when microphones are involved. But we managed Dream a Little Dream and the audience didn’t throw rotten zeleniny our way (vegetables, not tomatoes). The audience were a little, how shall we say, lacklustre. Something (perhaps, though I’m attempting to refrain from judgement here) to do with the organisation they were there for: some mission that was bringing Christianity to the Czechs via language. You can well imagine. It seemed to be very church of England; no one appeared to have muscles in their arms. And here’s a bunch of 7 songstresses turning up in black with red accessories, all looking mightily ‘hot’ and singing saucy jazz numbers (oh, come on!! Santa baby is saucy…hurry down the chimney?? It’s hardly subliminal messaging is it?). Of course, the lack of enthusiastic response (we knew we’d nailed the songs because they smiled, their applause was just a little, well, “cake” I guess) caused some of us (okay,!) to go a little overboard, consequently, when I did my verse (Santa cutie, fill my stocking with a duplex etc.) I may have “inadvertently” performed a little leg-action too. *shock*

I thought that perhaps the butterflies would stop once we’d sat down at the end of our second set. But no. Not a bit. You tell me how you’d feel if you were catching up with a guy who you had a HUGE crush on when you were 15 – and you haven’t seen him for 14 (we re-counted…surely two smart people can get it right…FOURTEEN YEARS people!) years. I mean, I’ve got friends in NZ who’ve known people for that long (next-door neighbours, childhood friends etc.) but I don’t usually count myself in a group of long-known friends. And yet…here I am, late!, on my way to the Movenpick (yes…very yummy Lira) hotel in Prague to catch up with Umit. PANIC. Just as well a) I was really really really late (one really per 30mins) and b) the girls were on the metro with me, else I’m sure I would have combusted.

But, somewhat surprisingly (as far as I was concerned) I needn’t have been worried, and Umit and I hung out for four days as though we were still in school. Albeit without Mr Aldridge and the spectrophotometer results (though now we can both interpret a chromatogram…we certainly couldn’t in lower 6th!). And he did disappoint with the Toblerone (see previous entry but one). First off was a visit to a jazz bar where we were asked not to smoke and not to talk during the playing. I mean...come ON! No smoking, fair enough, it can get pretty nasty; but no TALKING?! It’s a jazz performance not a damned opera. You can get into the music AND talk at the same time you know! Weird. After that it was a gay club (okay, I had to have it pointed out to me that there were very few females here…doh!) and then we tried Roxy (it was shut?!) and gave up and went home.

So the verdict? What should YOU do if someone from your adolescent past calls you and says that they’re on their way to visit? Invite them in, by all means. I had an absolute blast. We wandered around the castle (a little bit, though we were too late for most of the places), and the city (the astronomical clock really wasn’t worth the hype) and took photos (yep…I played tourist…and LOVED it!). All that, despite having to rug up warm all the time. I love this city sooo much. Most importantly, we found a café, where they serve amaretto coffee (mmm…winter’s all of a sudden looking a whole lot better) and cake. And a guy plays the piano (VERY WELL) after 5pm. Is it a Piano Bar? Not quite…but it’s directly opposite the national theatre – so it may well become my ‘local’. Over the weekend, conversation was enhanced (though, I hasten to add, not dependent upon) by the Book of Questions (Lirachick, thank you!!!!) but I fear that we only got through about 6 of them (questions where we both answer ‘yes’ aren’t really conversation pieces) over the course of some very long dinners/lunches. We even missed a movie and a ballet because conversation was too good. But isn’t that how life should be?

So a big thanks to Mr Oncu (Snr) for buying tickets without even hesitating to ask whether I’d be free that weekend…otherwise I may have chickened out “the weekend of the 10th? Um…you know what? I REALLY need to clean out my goldfish tank…”!!

Last night I raced up to the tram to go grocery shopping. But in my haste, I slipped on one of those longitudinal joins in the wet concrete (it finally rained, about 1mm) and essentially collapsed in the middle of the road, twisting my ankle the same way I did in Menorca. After inarticulating “Feck…that hurts” in Czech, and being helped up by someone who clearly understood, I hobbled to the grocery shop. After all, a girl who does not shop does not eat dinner…and I was damned hungry. I wasn’t annoyed because of the pain (though my first stop WAS the pharmacy: Diclofenac) but it took me so damned long to get anywhere…and I was permanently on alert in case someone kicked my ankle too. It’s not like my ankle usually gets kicked when I go out – but I was hyperaware (or was that a side-effect of the diclofenac!?). So, due to the ridiculous amount of pain shooting up the outside of my shin, combined with my inability to request an ‘ankle brace’ (the list of things needed from the UK gets weirder by the day!), I gave rehearsal a miss, and sat reading on my bed with my ankle in a puddle of ice (wrapped up in a stolen napkin – it almost counts as the perfect crime!!). Damned loose joints.

Tomorrow I go Christmas carolling in Old Town Square (where else?) which should be great for the tourists. Then a quick catch up with Marketa (since we didn’t really speak much at Stare Pani – the jazz club) before meeting Nis and doing whatever it is she wants to do. I’m hoping it’s ‘visit the café’ and then ‘decide our plans for the weekend’ though Sat night is already taken care of – party at which Intunition are performing. And then next week I’ve got a modelling job (yes, really), and socialising most nights because on Saturday I’m off to the UK!? Is it really Christmas already??

Speaking of which: those that want cards had better make sure I have their mailing address…else their mailboxes will be sobbing by Easter! J
posted by Nomes @ Thursday, December 15, 2005  
  • At 11:59 am, December 16, 2005, Blogger Mums said…

    Hooray, news at last!!!
    I gathered you were deep into talk festing with Umit. I had NO doubt that you'd get on like a house on fire, once over the initial difficulties of a 14 year lapse. I'll let you into a secret - the 14 years gets shorter and shorter as you get older; and you find you need all 14 years, cos otherwise meetings feel like yesterday, and who stole the time in between anyway?
    Delighted you've "found" a cafe, and a "piano Bar". Almost as good as our finding a Thai restaurant - yum.
    Weird to think that this time next week is Christmas. I can't say I really feel it yet, but then I haven't started decorating, that's for the last week, isn't it? However, quite a few of our neighbours have decorated a la American house style, ie Santa, reindeer, candy canes, all out on the front lawn. Sorry to those who like that style, but I think it sucks. Thank goodness it is chaque'un a son gout (fill in the accents pls).
    We're off to NZ for the last week of January, so we'll miss Australia Day. We will get to see Oriental Parade completed, as well as pick up MOGBOF and drive him to the depot for transportation to OZ - we got our permit to import today, yay. We're staying with Anne, which should be interesting, if not totally un-dry.
    Better love and leave you, and glad you are back in the female world - ie communicating. Love, Mums

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