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!)
Broken Bed = worrisome nights
Monday, 23 April 2007
Some of you have noticed the new wardrobe. Big ups to Rick for designing the banner that brought on the redecoration.

Over the past few weeks, my bed has been making ominous sounds. During my 15hr sit in (Prison Break, season 1, episodes 1-22) this weekend, those noises grew in impatience. FINALLY, I took a look under the bed (whilst still laying on it, you understand). I searched around in the gloom for the origin of the clunks and clanks (see, not just creaks – far more ominous sounds) then I spied it. My eyes widened in fear, and I quickly spread my body weight as far across the bed as it could go – rather than concentrating it on one, structurally weakened spot.

As you can see, there was a problem. The massive metal bar that supported the weight of two sets of slats was breaking (sort of, there’s an inner half circle inside an outer half circle, and the lip of the outer one had bent as it wasn’t being held together by this culprit).

So: my options were...

  1. I could purchase a house that came with a garage, obtain some piece of paper that allows me to employ a homeless person who will scour the city for scrap metal, bring it to me so that I can heat it in my home made furnace, then beat and batter it into a straight piece of steel and drill two careful holes in either end, OR
  2. I could take my chances with Ikea.

P(success option1)~56[P(success option2)].

But, it was Sunday and there were no open homes advertised, so I went to the big blue and yellow shop. First, I found the receipt, the instructions and the words for ‘broken’ and ‘piece’ in Czech. Then I left the house. Then I returned to the house, dismantled the bed and took the offending pieces with me – in case they could exchange them then and there (the ideal solution).

An hour later, I was in the queue at the service desk. Sweating in nervous anticipation of the hissy fit I would have to throw when they shrugged their shoulders and suggested I purchase an entirely new bed - just to get three new parts.

"Prosím Vás, potřebuju Vás pomoc." I said, to the 15yr F behind the counter. "Minulý rok, jsem nakupovala moje postel, za Ikea Zličín, a miluju moje postel samozrejme! *smile and eye twinkle*. Ale, minulý tyden, moje postel byl zlomený. Mám zlomený kusy tady, a mám obrazky taky…*show photographs*. Potřebuju náhradní součástky, musíte pomoc? Oh, a tady je moje učet."

"Excuse me, I need your help. Last year, I bought my bed from Ikea Zlicin, and I love my bed of course. *smile and eye twinkle* But last week, my bed was broken. I have the broken pieces here, and I have photos also *show photograph*. I need replacement parts, can you help? Oh, and here’s my receipt."

The 15y F nodded through my explanation, looked at my photos while I pointed “tady, a tady…” and then looked at my receipt and typed some things into The Computer. “Mluvite anglicky?” she enquired.

“Oui, bien sur.” I responded.

WHAT?!?!??! It seems that when asked whether I speak English, I respond the affirmative, but in French. WHY!??!

To save myself, I said, “a aussi francais, au cas où vous voudriez parler français”

Had she followed in French, I would have been SCREWED, but that’s not the point. The point was, that she said, “I’ll just go get those replacement parts for you, if you’d like to take a seat and wait over there.”

At which point, I fainted. Where was I? Was I dreaming? Was I really, truly experiencing “Customer Service”???

When I came to, they brought me a shot of Slivovice with my parts – to restore my facultative powers.

Ah yes, still in the CR.

Now I can, once again, enjoy worry-free slumber, since my bed is now unlikely to collapse the next time I roll across it's gargantuan-ness. Will - in the bedroom under mine - can also enjoy worryfree sleep. I'm THAT generous.


posted by Nomes @ Monday, April 23, 2007  
  • At 3:19 pm, April 23, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Yay for you vs Ikea!

    Is that supposed to be a full-page banner at the top (when viewed in Firefox)?


  • At 3:25 pm, April 23, 2007, Blogger Nomes said…

    See, it doesn't do that when I load the page in Firefox OR in IE!!! Weird. Don't quite know what to suggest - but feel free to examine the source code and point my to my errors!


  • At 11:41 am, April 24, 2007, Blogger Reluctant Nomad said…

    Hello there. I'm sure Prague supermarkets will have all you need to make a carrot cake! I'm sure you'll want to devour it in one sitting.

    By 'ml', I mean millilitre. So, for example, 5ml equates to one teaspoon.

    I hope that helps?

  • At 11:50 am, April 24, 2007, Blogger Nomes said…

    Hey Nomad, I fear you may have grandiose expectations in terms of Prague's supermarket shelve-stocking system. Bicarb of soda?? I bought some (just yesterday) but from an Indian specialty store...I don't think I've ever seen it in the supermarche. However, the show WILL go on, the cake WILL be baked, and the flatmates WILL be forced into making appreciative noises.

    It's in the cards.

  • At 11:54 am, April 24, 2007, Blogger Reluctant Nomad said…

    How odd that such a 'normal' item as bicarb of soda should not be stocked in an ordinary supermarket. Sounds like cooking as you're used to it could be a bit of a challenge there.

    I'm not looking at the recipe now but I know that one of the other measurements is 250ml. That equates to a measuring cup, the British/S African/Ozzie/etc variety. I think the Americans use a slightly different version.

    Anyway, if you get the proportions right, esp as regards raising agents, there is almost no way that you can go wrong with the cake.

    I expect to see pics soon! :-)

  • At 1:44 pm, April 26, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I'm so impressed at your Czech. You get through a tricky transaction involving a discussion of complex furniture parts in Franco-Czech and come out the other side with a successful night's sleep - that alone is worth a raise. mx

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