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!)
Monday, 3 July 2006
Berlin was amazing. Incredible. For a city a mere 4hours (6 when you take into account the stops for food, bladder emptying and about-turns!) away by one fast (doppler effect included: AUTOBAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHNNNNNNNNN!!!!!) car journey, it's a WORLD away by standards. The city streets are clean. The buildings almost squeak with cleanliness when you rub against them. The avenues are wide and tree lined (if only just beyond sapling stage). The city-dwellers are cosmopolitan, chic, varied, energetic, enthusiastic and most are (dare I say it) hot to boot. The clubs don't start till after 12, the bars serve a variety of alcoholic beverages, AND non alcoholic ones, the metro doesn't smell (despite the U2 being swelteringly hot), breakfast is done as brunch (complete with newspapers) - despite only costing 3E and motorcycles are EVERYWHERE. Hell, I even found clothes (not tents) that I could fit into (ON SALE!!! *heraldic fanfare*). Didn't buy them as ran out of time, but the hope exists, people, as do the garments themselves!

What on EARTH isn't to like?

Yeah, I love Berlin. If I could just figure out a way to get someone to employ a non-German speaker there in the field of epidemiology, I'd have a city to canvas (read: bombard) with my presence as often as possible.

However, I'm back in Prague, and determined to make a silk purse (as it were - spires are nice to look at, but don't enjoy being crocheted!!). Yes, I know, I have my good days and bad weeks. This one's already on a downward spiral after the high of the weekend.

See: on my way to work this morning, I thought I'd stop at the train station (having had to go to town to drop off the rental car - it was bliss to be behind the wheel again!) to get a monthly transport ticket. I queued for Africa (AND Asia) and approached the counter. I asked for a thirty day ticket. The woman looked at me, sighed, handed me a questionnaire and took some money. I was dismissed. Um....

I took the questionnaire to the side, realised it had ID cislo (guess, go on, I bet you'd get it right!) written on it, and took it back to the counter (pushing in to the front of the queue, which now stretched to Austria, i have learnt SOMEthing since arriving here) and shrugged, pointing at my British passport and saying, I'm not a resident. The woman yelled at me. I'm not sure whether it was because she had to communicate through glass, or whether she was conveying her wrath and hatred for me and my descendents (direct and indirect) but I didn't really want to push too much further. I wrote "30 dni" on an available square of the questionnaire, and held it up. She yelled even louder, included some gesticulation, and slammed my money back on the counter.

Given the lack of enthusiasm for displays of emotion of any description (I hardly consider 'blank' an emotion. Emotional state, perhaps...) witnessed in my time here to date, I was astonished. Not to say a little put out at starting my Monday (8:30am) with some random woman yelling at me.

I took my money and changed train stations - thinking that the 'nice woman' (as described by the Molster - not to be confused with the MolEstOr) there may actually be nice. En route, I decided to call the boss to see if he could give me a list of 'things I need to take with me' for obtaining the holy grail of Monday mourning accessories: the ticket. He reckoned I'd need a photo and a passport.

Thankfully, not all of my makeup had slid to my decolletage in the heat (my eyeshadow hovered valiantly on my cheekbones) and so I wasn't too horrified at the thought of a sliver of my soul being stolen by the 'photomatic' booth. Frankly, I was far more concerned that the curtains may touch me...while I sat, innocent and untarried by disgusting orangey-brown brylon material.

Photos obtained (why don’t those machines also cut the damned things – no one ever needs four on one sheet!?), I queued once more. This time, the queue ONLY extended to Karlovy Vary, so I wasn’t too distressed. One hour (I kid you not, darling readers, I kid you not!) later, I was at the window/hatch. I explained (or so I thought) what I wanted. There was minimal movement behind the desk as a response. I thought perhaps the woman may have been dead. I looked around for a defibrillator, chided myself on forgetting my whereabouts, and commenced a search for some aluminium foil and a lemon.

Finding none, I decided I’d re-ask my question in English. Adrenalised into action, the woman in the booth did the laminator shuffle having first checked to see if I exist (at least, I think that’s why I handed my passport to her) and checked where I’d been for the last few years (she flicked through all the pages). She then issued me a ‘without evidence’ ticket (which seemed a little harsh, I mean, I WAS standing there…if that’s not evidence enough…) and a small piece of paper which I was to sign. Said piece of paper was squished and heated, trimmed then pushed towards my eager paw.

Finally, an hour and a half after leaving the house, I was outside my house again. And eventually I could go to work.

The exhaustion obviously brought out the paternal best of the security guards (none of whom are younger than 50 – and not at Mr Miyagi kind of 50 either, more a Marlon Brando kind of 50) because when I arrived this morning with a ‘less-than-cheerful-but-striving-not-to-take-it-out-on-an-uninvolved-person’ dobrý den, I was greeted in return with,
“Dobrý den, anděl!”. Which, in English, would freak me out. Unless I could pick which Angel I was being.

You can call me Nammah.
posted by Nomes @ Monday, July 03, 2006  
  • At 11:39 pm, July 03, 2006, Blogger Mums said…

    Hi GNomes,

    I'm glad I watched the Karate Kid (I through III) with you two children way back in Doha, otherwise I'd never have understood your reference to Mr Miyagi! As it was I was able to condole (I know it's not a transitive verb, but what else would one use) when the actor who played him dies some time ago.

    I gathered you'd hit the bleak streets from your minimal texts. Never mind Daughter dear, we each have our problems to bear in varying quantities; and some of our own making. And don't forget, there's always the thriving metropolis of.....Cairns! Things looking up yet?

    Got to dash. I've got the rental agency doing their second ever house check this morning, so I'm setting the fans going so that they don't see the accumulated dust on them - I can't see it either, but Ron tells me it's there! Far easier to set them going than to clean that which I can't see!

    Love you heaps, and hope you regather your funny bone. Oh, by the way, wasn't Angel the name of a vampire.....?

    Love, Mums

  • At 3:02 pm, July 04, 2006, Blogger Dad said…

    I think I remember someone who LOVED Prague, a couple of weeks ago?

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