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!)
Day +5 or +6?! Can't recall...they're blurring...
Thursday, 2 February 2006
ER. Welcome to the reader from the CDC (I think). Hi. Um...this probably ISN'T the place to find out about the GOARN network, and nor am I likely to be the next Joe McC or Laurie G - *all praise the two virus hunters* - but if you want to know what it's REALLY like doing an assessment mission for GOARN, then stop on by, have a read and DON'T ever tell your boss about me! (unless you want to hire me and have me write for the in-house travel magazine "things not to do in "!!)

Yes folks, I'm afraid I'm doing it again. In a bout of self-appriciation (really!! you people have SUCH filthy minds (Cheryl!)! I actually meant on the internet...not manipulatorily!) I checked my blogstats.

Ominously, my site has been removed from the googlesearch results page that landed the aforementioned CDC person here (they searched for GOARN) so I'm wondering exactly when the internet/freedom of speech/publication people are gonna tap on my door - or whether who will be told off because of my big trap. *bites quicks of nails* I do hope not.

Embarrassingly, someone in Australia found my site from the search "Naomi wine blee" on google. *wince* At least I'm consistent - right?

Crazily (yes, they're all going to start with adjectives), I've got 'blogshares' now too! These seem to have a value of "B$1,275.00" but I don't really know what that means in real money (i.e. pairs of shoes).

Congratulatorily (okay, so I'll admit, this adjective thing was a daft idea), someone in the UK typed in 'nomes+blog+prague'. Well done Dr/Mr/Mrs/Miss 'thinking inside the box'.

But in actual statistical news, I've now got a BLR or LBR (depending on which version of Mums' naming habits you want...) that extends to 76!!! That's crazy. You guys visited 222 times in January. Talk about pressure to peform *suddenly goes shy*.

Tak, more about what you raelly wanted to hear about. *shyness clearly not lasting long* Notes in my phone tell me to discuss:

Driving is a calisthenics workout in B. Though there are officially (according to the stripes on the ground) three lanes on the road, there are always at least 5 cars driving, more or less in parallel, on that stretch of road. Lada's obviously don't have indicators, and though we've done our UN security training, our cars don't necessarily always have seatbelts. The act of remaining upright in the backseat requires some very well-trained core muscles. Those will, alongside with quadriceps, be worked extra hard during the mad dash between swerving cars in the middle of a roundabout, preventing you from landing in the lap of your terribly polite colleague or translator. It's just as well though, as it's the only exercise I'm getting here (other than walking the 5 floors to my room - we're not allowed to take the lift if the hotel hasn't got a generator)!!!!! We're dropped off and picked up in door to door fashion - and then we sit down in meetings that last (sometimes) 2.5hours, while we drink about 7L of tea (more on that in a moment) and eat a tonne of honey in 'local sweets'. Yummy indeed, but hardly what you need when you're sitting on your ever-expanding arse all day.

As for the tea: *embarrassing story approaching* Okay, I'm gonna finally admit something: I have never squatted to pee. Never. Not even behind a bush while completely wasted. Not between teh swung open doors of a car on the side of the road. NEVER. I considered this an outstanding acheivement and thought I pretty much deserved a 'lifetime committment to the preservation of clean trouser cuffs' award for 'amazing bladder volume containment'. Anyway, that moment of glory (I had prepared a speech and everything...) aside, I figured I was doing quite well, especially when my sister-cousin (yes, everything in this family DOES sound quite incestuous) gave me a she-wee for Christmas (I can tell I'm losing readers at an alarming rate here). Now, the instructions advise that you 'test' this in the shower (and then rapidly assure that urine is sterile - which I already knew).


Those of you who are still reading this (it's like a last will and testament, I'm fairly sure I'm never going to see you after writing this...hence my lack of shame) will now know that I did test it. And to my suprise it did work - well, in fact. My SC gave it to me for when I was on a mission, with nowhere to pee (I think she actually said 'surrounded by naked and adorned men from an African Hill tribe') and had a full bladder (she's had three children...she knows something I don't...). I thought it was an inspired Christmas pressie.

But I totally forgot to pack it in my 'mission bag' (torch, tablets: antidiarrhoeal, water cleaning, paracetamol, pill, swiss-army card (ta LB), earplugs, insect repellent, razor blade, 8hr cream, stilettos). *sigh* So here I was, bladder 'full to uncomfortably bursting' after 7L of tea (with lemon, served in glasses on saucers) in the MOH building of B.

Although scheduled to go straight to another meeting, I boldly requested directions to the loo. I followed them. I saw the loo, made an expression that probably said, "how can this be the MOH...if the loo looks like that..." then looked at the other one and made another expression, "but I don't squat..." and left. My female compatriot went...and my admiration grew as much as my bladder did.

After the NEXT meeting (an additional three glasses of tea...) and an increased measure of acute discomfort in the 'belly' region, I decided that enough was enough. I once again requested the loo (therefore, probably indicating to the boys that I had the this point, I didn't care!) and after much cursing, giggling and trouser rolling, accepted the fact that I wouldn't be getting any awards for 'not squatting' anytime soon. *sigh*

Thank god we're not eating much. :)

And, it means that my female colleague and I have developed a code too; if one of us goes to the loo and says, 'oooh, you should check out the mosaic/painting/architecture/landscape/crack in the wall' upon our return, it means 'the loo is clean, and you mightn't have to roll your trousers to your knees just to go'.

That, my darlings, is all for this day (though I have other things in my phone to write about - not least of which are "KGB agents and cross-purposes" - but I think I'll allow your imaginations to run wild on that combination for a little while). Tomorrow morning, we're off to the field (at long bloody last) to see how things really work (not just hear about how they're supposed to work from the upper echelons of government). We'll be back briefly on Saturday night - so provided the internet hasn't 'broken' again in that time, I'll quickly update you. Photos are having to wait for comments etc because that seems to be what 'breaks' the hotel server. Be patient my darlings, it's not a virtue I have, so you must all have it for me.
posted by Nomes @ Thursday, February 02, 2006  
  • At 10:55 pm, February 08, 2006, Blogger Mums said…

    Hi GNomes,
    I'm hoping this is the last entry I'm going to have to go back to as the owrds are drying up - obviously need input of caffeine, but can you imagine how many cups of my dishwater coffee that would mean? Have to eat chocolate instead - what a shame.
    Love you heaps. Incidentally, approve of your restraint concerning hugging JFA in blog entry of 8 February! Probably wise. Love, Mums

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