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 couldn't help it...
Tuesday, 30 May 2006
...despite Andreas being first author (I was away so he did wrote this article, so definitely deserved it), here's what my time in Azerbaijan boiled down to.

In other news, there are MORE photos from the holiday up on Flickr now. Finally got to the bit where we crossed the Straits of Gibraltar, so it's downhill from here.

Further headlines: I've moved. I'm now living in a 3+kk (can't quite figure out housing definitions here) with the lovely Adam. It's Seifertova 13 (for the fact finders). We’re missing a: landline, fridge/freezer, microwave and oven. But it’s lovely and the bedrooms are big (in my case, HUGE in Adam’s).

Kat and I are now official Herna Bar Angels *fanfare-or is that choir*. In the building next to mine is a Herna Bar. These are dingy, often redolent of years of neglect and according to local lore, some are mere fronts for money laundering in the Czech Republic. Mine, in particular, has it’s ‘jackpot’ LED stuck on 10,000Kc…so who knows. Mostly, we don't ask questions! They are good sources of cheap beer. So, Kat and I 'tried my Herna bar' out (just a maly pivo. Mm-hmm). The regulars both propped up the bar, and were sunken into deep leather couches. The younger ones appeared to be intoxicated by a number of things ("is that a neurological problem, or is he on Class A's?"), the middle aged were stroking the faces of their toy boys (it's Prague, okay? Everyone is gay!), and the elderly were…were…nowhere to be seen.

There we were, sitting on outdoor furniture (inside), minding our own business (avidly, yet completely inconspicuously, eyeing the guy in the beige suit and the young 14yr old on the mobile phone...we couldn't decide who was pimping or procuring for whom) when in stumbles 'drunk guy'. Drunk guy pulled himself up a bar stool and attempted to drink the beer of one of the regulars. Kat and I raised eyebrows and thanked the heavens that we weren't that inebriated (yet). Then, drunk guy heard us talking English and decided that we looked as though we needed his calm (almost dead), masculine presence at our table.

Enter Kat and Nomes' Herna Bar Angels accents (slow, clear and well-enunciated) and attitudes (backs straight, shoulder down, downwards tilt to head conveying empathy and understanding).
Drunk guy: Heeeegh.
Kat: Good evening. How long have you been in Prague?
DG: [uncomprehending gaze]
K: Are you here on a stag party?
DG: Yeash.
K: Where are your mates?
DG: I looowst 'emmmm. [pulls out phone and has no coordination with which to dial anyone's number. Phone is a Sony (like mine)]
K: do you know where you're staying in Prague?
DG: Nooooo.
Nomes: Give me your phone. Who are you here with?
DG: Neeem.
N: Neem. [scans phone numbers recently called] Do you mean Liam?
DG: yeeeesh.
K: How long are you in Prague for?
DG: Weekenddd.
N (on phone): Liam, hi. I'm Naomi, and I have your friend.
Liam: Jase?
N: is your name Jase?
DG - now Jase: [single heavy headed nod]
N: Yep, that's the one. Whereabouts are you staying?
L: We can come to you actually, where are you now?
N: Er, no, you don't wanna be doing that. We're miles out in the suburbs (the locals and most expats become understandably disgruntled by the shambling appearance of english male 20something tourists coming here, binge drinking then throwing up inappropriately. Can't understand why, can you?)...what we're gonna do is put him in a taxi on his way back to the hostel. Which hostel are you all staying at?
L: It's called the Old Prague Hostel (warning bells for all other visitors), opposite the police station.
N: [knowing there are police stations for every suburb] Do you know the address? Is it in the old town?
L: I think so, but I don't know the address.
N: Right. He's got his phone and his money at the moment, just so that you know.
L: Cool, thanks. Are you sure we shouldn't just come join you?
N: Oh no, I don't think you should join us. Nice to talk to you. Have a good weekend.

Following a brief tussle where Jase refused to hand over his 2000Kc note for change (you can't give a taxi driver a note that big!) during which Kat played 'bad angel' to persuade him, a few shared eyebrow raises with the regulars then Kat stepped outside with our Jase. The regulars almost turned as one and looked at me, eyes wide with astonishment. One piped up (in English), "She's not going home with him is she?" incredulity clear in every vowel sound.

“Hell no!" She later returned, having informed the (apparently understanding and amused) taxi driver (whose attitude would alter if Jase threw up en route) as to the possible areas where he may temporarily reside. The regulars threw friendly glances, and Nomes and Kat downed their drinks, ready to go to the next bar, to continue ridding the surburbs of English lager/stag party louts.

Herna bar angels indeed.

Adam was away teaching all weekend while Craig helped me move. I only obtained ONE injury from the flatpack furniture purchased (2 of these and one of these: future plans involve beds...) where I hammered my thumb. Serves me right for doing this at 3am AFTER playing Angels (with no dinner, I hasten to add).

Saturday saw me at Reykjavik for lunch with Craig (delish! Highly recommended!) and then moving the bulk of my belongings. Although I went out later and saw Jamie Marshall play at Cowboys, I was home (old house) by 12:30, having packed the remainder of my gear!

A quick chat with Mum on Sunday morning and then Craig arrived again to help me with the rest of the stuff. Only 30mins later (I can't believe how little time it takes with a car!) and all the 'stuff' was at the new house. I unpacked everything, put things roughly into place, changed and was off out the door:

To the races!

Now, the races aren't something I completely understand in English, let alone a foreign language. But Mollie, Kat and I were determined to make the most of the tickets Mollie's student had procured for us, and by golly we did. Her student (circa 45-50yrs) works for the race sponsors, consequently, once we found him: we went up into the corporate box. And damned if we hadn't eaten lunch before heading out to Radotin, because there was a lot of food and alcohol we could have availed ourselves with had we been remotely hungry. As it was, we learnt how to place bets...

I even won 50Kc. :)

Adam called: "You've made it into a HOME!" he exuberated (is that a verb?) down the phone. I neglected to inform him that due to my not having a wardrobe and him having an EMPTY wardrobe, he now had a full collection of womans clothing in his room. Besides, he's skinny, what good would it do to tempt him? So apparently, even though I moved things around a lot, it was okay.

Intunition gave a performance on Sunday night to a PACKED (underground) bar (I was really impressed that a motley collection of friends, students, work colleagues etc. filled the ENTIRE bar) and it was mostly well received. Someone whose ear I respect mentioned a few things that we need to improve upon.

And why is it, that if you plant a pole in the ground on a stage, a girl will feel compelled to swing from it? *sigh* (photos are coming, be patient my pretties)

Out afterwards to some underground (they all are, really!) bar somewhere in Malastrana to see a band play. They were good. Loud but good. And then home. Not before stuffing face with Smazeny Syr (it's so bad, it's good: think deep fried cheese with tartare sauce...yummy!) and spraining ankle - the worst sprain yet despite anaesthetic alcohol consumption.
posted by Nomes @ Tuesday, May 30, 2006  
  • At 4:02 am, May 31, 2006, Blogger Mums said…

    Hi GNomes,

    You're going to have to start thinking seriously about getting remedial work done on your ankles - before they give up the ghost like your Pa's knee. He now has NO cartilege on his right knee, nothing that a mere $20,000 wouldn't fix.

    Delighted to hear the move went well, though I wasn't able to open the sites for your furniture - I presume IKEA is having an off moment. Perhaps I'll see them IRL in UK, or better yet in Prague.

    Haven't yet read Andreas' info, but I have saved it for later consumption. It certainly looks impressive, even if I'll have to buy myself a scientific dictionary to understand most of the terms (not really, I'll just hazard a guess or two). At least I do know that such dictionaries exist - having searched for one at Massey all those years ago!

    You certainly seem to have collected a huge amount of friends. Not bad for nine months, out of which you've probably been away four. I can't own to having been so industrious, but I've kept up my end by keeping in touch with old friends, even ones who hadn't heard from me for ages. I'm arranging with Amanda (the Pilot we met on our cruise in the Caribbean) to meet me at Mother's in August. She says hi btw. She was in VietNam recently and met a couple from PN - how odd is that!

    I'm also arranging to meet Cheryl & Richard Wistow. I'll give them your love, but I know Chris & David would love to see you again - they are left in Brisbane, keeping an eye on C&R's place in Tambourine. Cheryl & Richard are overhauling R's Father's place in Milton Keynes. They've left their jobs in Brissie to do this for a year. And they are having a ball.

    Incidentally, what's wrong with deep fried cheese with tartare sauce? It's usually served with jam anyway!

    Better dash dd, got to meet your Pa at the Coffee Club for lunch. We'd made this arrangement to "celebrate" my dental appointment (the dentist being situated in Ron's office block). When I got there this morning I was told I had the wrong date - by two weeks - I don't think so....especially as the girl told me that my appointment was for the 14th, next week. Mmmm, seems a fallen out filling is not sufficiently damaging to warrant an appointment in less than a month. Oh I do miss the Kiwi efficiency (even if it wasn't enough for you). Since the dentist was off we saw no good reason to avoid the celebration. We'll just have to have two! (See the older we get the more we know you have to celebrate NOW).

    Love you heaps, Mums

  • At 12:49 pm, June 02, 2006, Blogger katatonikova said…

    Herna Angel#2 writes:

    Very accurate rendition of Jase's escapades. May I just add a few more details?

    On his phone is a picture of the two of us heavenly creatures with a sign, written in eyeliner saying
    "You are very drunk! We think you should go home! We did try!"

    Later, Jase was to be heard propositioning Nomes with lines such as "yournissss, yare" (think Cornish accent and add a whole lot of booze)
    "Canar kissssya?"

    Later, Bad Angel came out to play when in the taxi (note to readers, Bad Angel is quite found being stern towards people due to her suffering of fools badly).

    When the groping hands came out of the gloom of the backseat towards the breasts of purity in the front seat pouring over a map with the driver, they got a sharp slap and a "pack it in". To which Jase replied, "Wassswrong wiv you? Why won't yousnog me?" I left the reply up to the driver: "Ti vole"

  • At 12:50 pm, June 02, 2006, Blogger katatonikova said…

    I can't link to the photo of the two of you- Nomes, this is worth posting :)

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