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!)
Pheromones of Transience (not the same as Transient Pheromones!!)
Friday, 16 June 2006
So Mum wins reader points, but so does Mark – who sent me the ‘offside rule explanation for girls’.

Now, there’s NO excuse for not being able to leap from my seat (except the presence of the table top, which may mean I can leap at a 45o angle to the world, but may result in either spilt beer or a bruised pelvis (both of which hurt), and yell “OFF-BLOODY-SIDE” or some such football associated expletive. What would I do without you Mark? (actually, I have seen this on shoewawa’s cup site (who ate all the bratwurst?) before, and for those of you with flash computers, click here for the visual explanation).

Managed to catch the last 15mins of the England-Trinidad&Tobago game last night. Which was fine, as that’s the only time anything happened!

Upon meeting people for the first time here, the usual expatriate-style questions immediately spring to your lips (turning you into an interviewer, albeit momentarily). Questions like, “Where do you come from?” (often obvious yet occasionally requires clarification and is a good place to start the search for ‘common ground’) and “How long have you been here?” (leads to a peculiar ‘integration’ pissing-contest, the grounds and rules for which are not written anywhere)

(c.f. the English set are the calculatingly disingenuous, “what do you do?” and “which school did you go to?” for reasons of salary and class comparisons)

The question “what are you doing here?” is often answered with a self-conscious I-know-I’m-a-cliché sigh and the words, “teaching English”, which begs the next question I find myself asking, “Why Prague?”.

I mean, sure, it’s gorgeous et al, but why here? And how long does the interviewee intend to stay here?

Are they running away from something?

I think the expatriate status has a lot to answer for. Perhaps I’m being unfair, people AREN’T running, and actually enjoy living from suitcase to suitcase, from one weird flatting situation to another, attempting to integrate – or at least learn how to ask for and comprehend directions. Maybe we’re high on the superglue that is created by massed enforced social isolation, but I wonder.

Why do we all do this? Why do we keep living this crazy ‘away from home’ lifestyle? What’s so good about ‘away’ that we can’t get at ‘home’? And if there’s nothing that’s PULLING us ‘away’, what’s PUSHING us from ‘home’?
Note: I’m not sure whether the situation is different for those brought up in an expat style (oil/military/diplomatic/aid brats, so to speak), because the transience and the ‘set of questions’ are, sadly, what we’ve become accustomed to. That superglue that forces the rapid development of strong friendships is now inherent in our ‘social behaviours’ and completely freaks out people who’ve not encountered expats before. But for those who are ‘away’ for their first time: why? Wanderlust? Then why ‘settle’ for a moment ‘away’.

And, most importantly, at what point do we who wander find a ‘home’?

Comments invited. As are links to sociology pages that cover this topic.
posted by Nomes @ Friday, June 16, 2006  
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