|100 in 1000
- Spend a week up a mountain learning to ski
- Visit Karoline's place in Moravia
Hold a conversation in Czech (only)
- Drink 500ml of each of the following beers:
- Velke Popovice
- U Fleku
Respond to at least one GOARN request (WHO and MSF are
Travel across the Atlantic
Return to South America
- Read a book to, or with, an impressionably aged child
- Participate in one NanoWriMo Challenge and come within at least 10,000 words of the goal length
Have my nose pierced
- Have my next tattoo drawn
Purchase the perfect jeans (x 2 pairs)
- Attend a spin class 3 times a week for 8 consecutive weeks
- Bake Viv's cheesecake
Make David's casserole
Make David's Chicken Cashew-nut Stirfry
Invite 4 people who don't know one another too well to dinner
- Ride from Vienna to Venice on a motorbike (pillion acceptable, those less desirable)
- Attend a book group for at least two books
- Go on a choir weekend (learn and perform difficult piece in two/three days)
- Visit Madame Tussaud's (in London)
- Take an architecture appreciation course
Join an all-girl group and sing a solo
Publish in a scientific journal (top two authors)
Cook a duck or other 'waterfowl'.
Locate the Al-Timimi's from Doha Veterinary Practise
Have a pedicure
Maintain a Brazilian (ouch) for three months.
Find a trustworthy Czech hairdresser
- Treat my inner-6-year-old twice a week (at least)
- Do the liver-cleansing diet properly (12 weeks)
- Don't eat out for one month
Find a flat and flatmate
- Purchase one Joseph sweater
- 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)
- Send 5 books to the booksphere and track them.
- Go hanggliding
- Read 10 'classic' books (from 1001 Books to Read before you Die)
Everything is illuminated
Zen & the Art of Motorcycle Maintainance
On the Road
- Run (non-stop!) for 5kms outside (preferably in a street race thingy)
- Send Christmas Cards on time
Make a collage/mural out of street lights on my wall
Buy a bed, build it, and sleep soundly in it
Go to Africa
Host an 'event' (classified as and when)
Organise a 30th Birthday Party
Wear a costume
- Sing on stage
- Buy a painting that evokes memories of Prague (cannot involve queues!)
Learn a god-damned card game that stays in my memory (other than fish/snap)
See sunrise. Be sober. Have woken for it. Excludes months Nov-Mar
- Take a walk and flip coins at each intersection
- Draft a will
- Take a roadtrip
Go to Italy already
- Sea Kayak around Abel Tasman Park (NZ)
Take a train to another Eastern European Destination (accession countries are acceptable) alone preferably.
- Get UK to give me a provisional motorcyclists license and simultaneously get a 'card' license.
- Go SCUBA diving again - at least two dives lasting 30mins each.
Go to a dentist. *sigh*
- Do a Czech Wine Trail. And live to tell the tale
- Make an 'outbreak emergency kit'.
- Go to bed prior to 11pm every night (inc weekends) for four consecutive weeks.
- Marvel over lack of tiredness
- Dine at a Gordon Ramsey restaurant (or Nobu)- preferably for free.
Bet on the nags
- Do something for charity (applying and getting a 'red card' will count)
- Walk along the Champs Elysee
- Do 100 sit ups in a row
- Do 50 pressups (arms in tight)
- Make branston pickle (or nearest substitute)
- Cook something 'new' and 'adventurous' at least once a month
Find a mentor
Be a mentor
Learn what mentoring is all about
Meet an online person in real life
Resist the flirt. Once. Just one night. It's okay if people don't immediately succumb to my natural charm. Really it is.
Spend time at a spa (spa towns in the CR don't count)
- Send a care package to someone
Get a Tata Bojs CD
- Take a French/German/Dutch course and SPEAK THE DAMNED LANGUAGE WHEN I HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY EVEN THOUGH IT MAKES ME SOUND
LIKE AN IDIOT!
- Order new contact lenses.
Make a list of things I take with me when I pack for different occasions
- Eat lobster. Prepared by someone else.
Back up the blog
Put everything onto an external hard drive
- Find a DDR mat and console and 'dance, I say dance!'�
- Go to the beach and lie on the warm sand. For an hour. (with sunscreen on, natch)
- Take and complete a course in either: Tango, Salsa or Flamenco
- Join the Municipal Library of Prague
- Move to another country
Go to a live concert of a band I actually like
- Pay off debts (student loan excl.)
Send thank you cards for every gift I receive (other than the gift of happiness, blah blah blah).
- Get an agent (literary or theatre)
- Go to a sports bar without cringing, by personal choice
- Ride a rollercoaster
- Hold a snake
Spend a day wandering around a museum (not art gallery!) |
| Long, and overdue.
| Thursday, 4 May 2006
|The place we're staying in Fes is called a riad, it's basically a homestay, Morocain style. This means it's in a house in the middle of the medina (you too can now have "Funky Cold Medina" running around in your head like we've had...) which feels positively palatial. These 'houses' (total injustice to the building) are designed around a central internal courtyard, with rooms coming off it, large pillars to other floors, and a rooftop terrace which can be accessed by other roofs in the neighbourhood. Kate and Ala have spent a long time doing up the riad and it's still got a whole lot of original craftsmanship decorating it.
However, despite my feeling like a total princess for having the downstairs double roo, (while Liorah and Nis share the twin room above me); the 'pea' in this equation is my interminable insomnia. Not because my comânions are in a room elsewhere, but because I'm being eaten alive at night!
Tonight, I've cunningly left the light on in the bathroom to tempt the bloodsucking bastards in that direction instead of to my semi-bare flesh.But I still woke at 3am to an even larger cape of bites than I wore to bed this evening (numbering circa 20 already!). What about insect repellant? I hear you, my lovely (mostly) readers? Well, obviously. However, the only insect repellent I was able to find in Prague prior to my departure was firmly situated in the 'household' section, and looked as though it would easily dispatch a scurry (collective noun please?) of cockroaches. Given their particular (nuclear war withstanding) style of temerity, I decided it probably wouldn't be in my skin's best interests to slather that stuff on, and by the time I'd arrived in 'midge-free' England, I'd totally forgotten about it.
Seriously, it's a very sad state of affairs when you have to cross international borders JUST to stock up on toiletries (and we're not even talking about duty free here!). OI'm really looking forward to visiting Andreas in early June, not just to retrieve clothes qnd makeup (my black and white boots!!!) but also to gather stocks of hairdye; insect repellent, sunscreen etc.
So here I am, sitting up in bed because I'm too hot to sleep and too scared to sleep without the duvet pulled up under my chin (I already hace 5 bites on my face!). Can we say, "pathetic"?
Which means I'm listening to the dawn call to prayer, and wondering who the hell attends this particular service to kneel and pray. Don't give me the 'the faithful do' answer either, too many people look too well rested to have been up half the night! I reckon it's gotta be only those who are already up and about, for whom it's reasonably un-inconvenient, those with international flights to catch, road sweepers, bakers; that army of noctuernal personnel who keep life ticking over for those of us who have a more 'daylight adjusted' lifestyle.
Not to mention the addition of the ever present insomniacs, among whose number I seem to regularly find myself.
What's a woman with hips like mine worth these days anyway? Apparently 3000 head of camels, according to one lovely shopkeeper...
Fes is pleasantly ogod for the ego. Since we're "tourists of unknown origin" we walk the ,edina to various cries of, "ola gwapa", "bonjour ma belles", "hello, beautiful gazelles" etc. So far, the best have been, "open your heart to me" (which set us all giggling and singing the rest of the lyrics for a good few hours), "nice size" (though, admittedly, we're not entirely sure for what...) and "beautiful arse". Oh yes, the female form is much admired here, and the larger your haunches, the better. Lira and I are amassing compliments which can ONLY make us smile, even though we're perfectly aware that they're offered in the (vain) hope that one day, we'll turn around and say, "why yes, Mr Kilm-merchant, since you're so admiring of my bounteous thighs, I've decided I WILL purchase something from your shop!"
Unlikely, perhaps, but you can't fault them for trying!
marriage proposals are also presented 'on the run', such that we are asked, "are you looking for a husband?" and, "will you marry me, beautiful eyes?" (or perhaps, thighs) with alar,ing regularity.
So we've each taken to married life like ducks to water. Not too difficult for the others, as they each have real-life models upon which to base their imaginary hubbies. I, on the other hand, really need to decide whether he's going to be tall, or my height; blonde or dark; Kiwi or otherwise. So far, I think I've got a composite of Brad Pitt, Joe McCormack (who I've also yet to meet) and a beggar (for the 'my husband can't afford for me to buy that!' line that Lira cunningly produced the other day!). What a man!
All of our husbands, are, of course, in the hammam, while we spend their (small) salaries...you know how men are...
...and mine, unfortunately, has nowhere to keep 3000 head of camels, which was my best initial offer (other than the 10,000 for three of us) from a tall, reasonably good looking, mouthy Berber shopkeeper who appeared to have most of his teeth upon our entry into one of his fathers four (shoe!!!)shops. His credentials (listed promptly, following above proposal) included his own car (though I admit to not assuring that it was in working order) and a house.
All in all, highly tempting.
And since "I'm just a girl who can't say no", my imaginary husband came to my temporary rescue, which prompted a litany of profuse apologies I've never heard in my life. Apparently (who would have guessed) it's awfully rude to proposition a married woman so. My indignance was certainly less adamant than the Brontes would have liked, however, since it was by far the best offer I've had in a long time: a camel, apparently fetches 1,000euro.
Bless 'im, he even squeezed in a quick "if you and your husband ever have troubles and get divorced..."option for me between statements of hope in finding a woman of my beauty who was not already married comlments. Cheeky bugger!
All this was even occurring without beauty enhancements (purchased kohl today, despite disbelief and wariness surrounding it's application and longeivity - as well as a block of jasmine) or visual accuity, as we'd just left the hammam ourselves...
While Nis had visited one in Turkey, and thought she'd gotten a rough deal there, I think our shared topless experience was much more, life threatening!
First, , we walked in, aided by a small lad who knew what we were looking for despite the Rough Guide leading us to a hammam that had been closed for four years (did we look actively dirty?). Upon purchasing our entrance fee of 10Dirhams, we were commanded "viens içi" by some fully clad women across the marble, slippery, wet and steaming internal courtyard. Obviously, we had our 'lambs to the slaughter' expressions on, as we were mimed instructions to remove our clothing, and wait. You're in no position to argue over the price of a clothing locker when you're standing semi-naked, as we repressed caucasian westerners quickly found out.
AZn elderly woman with the most spindly legs I've ever seen then 'collected' us from our 'waiting area'. This involved a lot of prodding (my ribs) which, following this mornings chorus of "nice arse" was starting to reduce me to feeling a little like a side of beef!
So we 'walked' (slipped and sloshed) our way through the river styx, which is very warm, to the furnaces of hell beneath the earth. Those, too, are quite hot. In fact, I did wonder what temperature of moist air a pair of lungs could actually withstand. The lady sat us down (more shoving on my shoulders this time) and we sat as 3 scared (terrified) teenagers around the edge of a pool/well type thing. Given the veritable buffet of female flesh on display, I quickly abandoned my cares, thinking "to hell with being shy about my body when these lasses aren't". It didn't even bother me that Lira and Nis could've "seen" since I hadn't bothered to look at their 'assets' (sorry fellas, I'm about as far from having lesbian fantasies spelled out on my blog as you are being involved in them...) so assumed they hadn't bothered with mine either.
Our old woman then amassed a series of buckets in front of us, into which she poured various volumes of hot water from the other well type thing, as though about to play out Mary Had A Little Lamb on plastic buckets instead of crystal glasses. Imagery ruined, she topped each bucket up with cold water, and splashed us. We took this to indicate we should continue, emptyng the buckets over us, only to have the water replaced by sweat almost immediately.
She returned after a while, did more bucket glockenspieling, and demanded "savon". I gamely handed her my soap, and was rewarded with more prodding, on my hsoulders and knees, pushing me prone on the tiled ground. I was then "washed". A cursory massage folloaed, and I was left to the buckets. Nis was similarly pummelled and after pronouncing our skin "pink and glowing" (we both knew she meant red and raw), Lira also succumbed to the same meat-preparation-like treatment (complete with slap on the arse indicating "turn over") before she passed out to the heat, and we were each subjected to a cold water rinse that left us gasping (especially when it was poured down the front of our bikini bottoms!!).
I'm not sure if my skin was any better for the aforementioned (mis)treatment, but I definitely felt exhilerated afterwards.
Am reading wild journeys which is a collection of journey-related stories that Nis was given by her boss before travelling. It's been inspirng me to think outside of the box with regards to future holidays:
Cattle drive somewhere (we're talking by horseback here)
Sailing (not that I necessarily know how to, but I can follow orders and can coil rope adequately)
DOC (type) capture-recapture study, in a forest somewhere.
Amazon basin, don't care what I'm doing, just want to get there and do something - possibly by canoe
Desert trekking, by horse/camel back - caravan style if possible (apparently, its 52 days by camel to Timbuktoo from somewhere in Morocco)
Mt Kilimanjaro (still) perhaps with www.cheetah.org?
So that's theh olidays sorted for the next 10 years or so. Just as well I've decided not to have children for the next 10 years (will make decision when am 38) so that I can develop my career (and have good holidays). So what if I'm 70 when my grandchildren are born...
Right folks. I think that's quite enough of an update for the time being. More later, when I have something nice to say about marrakesh. At present, the only nice thing I can think of is that it's big. Fes is MUCH nicer!
|posted by Nomes @ Thursday, May 04, 2006