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!)
Where did all the white stuff go? Long time passing...
Wednesday, 22 February 2006
What happened to all the snow? I dunno, you disappear for three weeks (momentary respite that didn’t warrant the purchase of milk or bread doesn’t count) and the snow disappears. More amazingly, the grit does too…where did it go? Is there a ‘grit heaven’? It’s also possible to make it from home to work with minimal risk of hypothermia now – this morning I made the 200m dash without scarf, gloves or earmuffs. Of course; I shivered. However, since my only recent muscle contracting exercise has been shivering, I decided I’d call it ‘going to visit Jim’ instead. *sigh* Jim’s gonna definitely think I’m having an affair.

Does the Crème Egg sitting on my bedside table count as another lover?

No, that’s breakfast tomorrow! Since I arrived home at about 22:30 last night, there was no time to pop to a supermarket for grocery items. And the picture describes (hideously accurately) the contents of my fridge. Since when did I start drinking diet coke? I don’t. Those cans are artistically decorated by local artists, shrunk down, and filled with the awful stuff – they came as part of a CANZA goodie bag and I haven’t had the heart to throw them out yet. *sigh* I just need some indoor-peeing-on-everything-cats and a half mouldy tin of tuna and I’ve got that whole ‘single female professional’ thing all sewn up (no offense to my also single, female, professional sistren (brethren sounds wrong in this context) since you’re all shoe shoppers who make me proud…CHOOOS!).

Today my tasks are various and daunting. Firstly, I have to figure out how to fill in the WHO refund form. That, in itself, appears to be a mission: I have no idea what my ‘mission number’ was…then collect all receipts from my tardis-like ‘Azeri’ folder (there are more small pieces of paper in that thing than there should be capacity for) and put them into some semblance of order. Apparently, most people do this in the first day of their return. Frankly – those people deserve pats on the back. I have to search for paperclips before I can start anything – and that could take ‘a while’.

So far, three people have filled in my Johari thanks to LB, Mums and 'anon'. The rest of you: sort it out!

Other things on my list include ‘sorting out tax’. Apparently the office here needs a record of all the pay’s I’ve received since here to work out my tax payment. This has me so concerned that the next pay I receive will be of a negative balance that I’m putting it off…and off…and off…

There’s also the matter of the telephone. I have many people in my life who, for some unbeknownst reason, wish to speak to me in person – rather than just brave these fancy web-page thingys. Why? I suspect some of them can’t read! Whatever the reason, I’m unable to ‘take their calls’, due to an inordinate amount of white noise that hurtles itself in the direction of my anvil/stirrup/hammer set whenever I pick up the receiver. Apparently the same is not heard in reverse, so one may arrive at the conclusion I have a faulty phone or a faulty phone socket. Given my electric cordless phone is sitting under my bed right now – this should be an easy problem to solve, shouldn’t it?

Ah…you’re forgetting the joys of a Czech telephone jack. I know that phones in the UK and phones in NZ often use an American (I know…although we hate it…) RJ-11 phone jack (it scares me the amount of knowledge it’s possible to acquire). The Czechs have, you guessed it, a completely different looking wall jack. It looks like this, was apparently abandoned in 1996 in favour of the RJ-11 (thereby confirming the squeaky wheel theory) yet my building was built in, oooh, sometime before then.

So what’s a girl to do? There are two options. I can purchase an adaptor to add to my myriad of other adaptors (when countries such as Azerbaijan use English plugs in their hotels, but European plugs elsewhere…one can be forgiven for travelling with the extensive selection of ‘plug-plates’ that I now own). Or I can phone the landlord. I thought of the latter option as I strolled/shivered my way to work this morning. I imagine the conversation to go along the following lines.

Naomi: Good day. My name is Naomi. I live in the writers house. My phone is not pretty.
Landlord: What is the problem?
Naomi: My mother calls me and I listen to blank noise. (hmmm…). I need help.
Landlord: Which flat do you live in?
Naomi: I don’t know.
Landlord: Why don’t you know?
Naomi: There are two numbers doors. It is number one or number three. I don’t know.
Landlord: I see. We’ll come take a look at it.
Naomi: when?
Landlord: obscure reference to time measurement that Nomes hasn’t come to grips with…such as ‘the Thursday before the next month’.
Naomi: er…my mobile phone number is ### ### ###. You call me when phone fix will?
Landlord: Huh?
Naomi: um…

THIS is why I’m going to see if I have money on a credit card somewhere so that I can order the adapter. It’s just easier. Or perhaps I could get the WHO to PAY me in adapters – “I’d like to be reimbursed with a TRULY global multiway electrical and phoneline adapter please.” I bet they’re too expensive.

Of course, when I DO have a phone, you can all hope that I also ordered a time-wheel – the cheap version of something no doubt marketed direct to ‘busy managers’ who ‘travel the world’ and ‘trade in international affairs’ (i.e. people incapable of adding and subtracting from EST/GMT/PST/PMS while they’re sitting in another foreign airport before meddling with someone else’s problems). Mum actually built me one of these when I was in NZ, she was in Doha and extended family were in the UK. It’s still with me somewhere…but I’ve run out of room for concentric circles to include Prague/Azerbaijan/Canada etc – not to mention room on the back to write daylight savings instructions to self.

P.S. Someone mentioned something along the lines of sponsoring my writing by helping out with things like these. All donations hinted at above will be gratefully accepted. Adaptors, food – especially breakfast cereals that don’t involve chocolate - , time wheels. Also secretarial services (for organising receipts and boarding passes). Someone who could phone Star-Alliance and One World and convince them that my airpoints should be added to my account will also be considered a ‘friend of Nomes’. Badges will be out with the t-shirts…and one day, you may get an autographed black and white…

P.P.S. The longer you hang around on a travellers website, the more stuff you want to purchase for your injured bag to make your life just that little bit easier! I especially like the shirt folder thingy (even better than the Chinese woman video?). To be continued...
posted by Nomes @ Wednesday, February 22, 2006  
  • At 12:26 am, February 23, 2006, Blogger Mums said…

    Hi GNomes,
    Get yourself a PDA. Not only does it tell you the time in the various parts of the world, though it didn't actually have Baku, but was able to tell me it was GMT+4, but it also tells you whether the country has daylight savings and also when they start and stop said DST. Pretty clever huh, and somewhat more upmarket than the ancient time wheel. I'm amazed (and touched) that you remember the one I made for you. I do have another (more modern) one, but they got the arrows slightly out of true, so that times progress through the world by quarter of an hours - frustrating, but I'll send it to you in your goody bag for Easter, since I no longer use it. That will save hunting for your own one.
    Check out my comment for your fridge photo to find out how to have food when you return after a trip. Far preferable to visions of you eating 4 6 day old eggs. Mind you, one needs notice of going, and you hardly got that when you were whisked off from Berlin. Incidentally, have you managed to find your things you left with Andreas? Can you get them back? This year or next? Such a hectic life you're leading - great isn't it?
    We're off to the airport today to take Yvonne and John. Always unsettling, cos I want to be on that plane. So I'll come home and plan my trip to UK instead. Vicarious travelling, heaps cheaper!
    Better be off, and show willing. Speak soon, Love, Mums

  • At 1:59 pm, February 23, 2006, Anonymous Mark said…

    (Geek alert)
    The plug used in the UK and NZ is not actually an RJ-11. It is commonly - commonly among those who care at any rate - known as a "BT plug" or by its proper name BT431A. The USA plug is an RJ-11. Ethernet cables are RJ-45 all around the world. That Czech phone plug is just freaking weird!

  • At 4:46 am, February 26, 2006, Blogger Mums said…

    Hey GNomes,
    what's with the deafening silence form your end??
    Love Mums

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