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!)
"I may be gone some time..."
Tuesday, 7 March 2006
But don't panic...I'm not walking out into a haze of viral particles in an Oates-esque manner!

This could be the last blog entry from me for a while folks. I know, I know…there ARE clinics in major cities that will help you overcome the physical symptoms of your addiction, but the mental and psychological ones are always harder to get over. I suggest writing me e-mails…

Andreas and I are about to go flathunting together. We’ve got three if not more apartments to look at this afternoon. Some, apparently, overlook the Caspian Sea (hell, our per-diem allows us to afford it – why the heck not?) and we’ve asked for silly things like ‘internet connection’ to be made available. This is because the WHO country office is reasonably small (four desks) and there are always people wanting a workstation – so we’ll be doing most of our work AND living in the apartment.

There’s a horrible rumour that any internet connection we DO manage to get will be dial-up. Despite the fact that this idea brings both Andreas and myself out in a rash, followed by a cold-sweat and induces nightmares set to a theme tune of ‘bbbbbrrrrrrr click, click….whrrrrrrr” etc (you all know the sound of a modem connecting…FINALLY), we’re keeping our fingers crossed that the west-facing apartment with a balcony also has ADSL. Both optimists, as you can see.

We’re actually doing quite a lot of work (already!?). We’ve sent a sit-rep back to WHO which was (apparently) “better than [our] wildest dreams”. Not bad for the first day huh? And despite it being International Woman’s Day tomorrow, we’ve got meetings booked. Today we’re working on some documents that our translator will hopefully be able to translate for us tomorrow so that we can present them to the national working group (argh!!) on Thursday. These will form the basis of the surveillance system for Human AI (HAI) cases.

We’re working entirely on the human side now, the veterinarian side has been left to FAO/OIE. Of course, it’s all muddled up a bit by the fact that the Vet Lab is better than that of the humans, so they’re testing our specimens…but we’ll get it straightened out somehow. The WHO office are being very supportive, sending follow-up questions that might help guide our mission, and documents that have been used (in a working sense, not just a published/guideline/protocol sense) in all the other countries (Vietnam/Turkey/Iraq in particular).

This is one of the reasons we’re hoping for ADSL…downloading all this stuff over a 56kbps connection could take us all night (and here we are “I’ll just grab the specimen collection guidelines…” ing at the moment!). So wish us luck, and a nice place. Oh, and you CAN buy chicken breast here (it’s very cheap at the moment – can’t think why!) which means that our diets will be far more varied than my last mission.

Actually, we’ve already been to two different (and both AMAZINGLY yummy) restaurants: 17th Century (which was still open at 12:30am) which served us traditional Azeri food (yum!) and last night Georgian House (traditional Georgian food – also divine). We have business cards for both places – should you happen to be passing through this way in the near future!!!

Should go put our bags downstairs to do this apartment thing. It’s very exciting (a. someone else has done the hard work and we’re just going to check them out finally, and b. they’re reasonably cheap and c. both Andreas and I have similar views on apartments and d. it’s going to be nice to live with a friend for a few weeks) and I’m much more positive this time round than last time. So, keep your fingers crossed for that ADSL line…and I’ll be in touch as and when I can.
posted by Nomes @ Tuesday, March 07, 2006  
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