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!)
ETA: Panic stations.
Wednesday, 23 May 2007
Here's my thing.

Once you disappear out of the public domain of the airport, you're comfortably cosseted. It's just you, overpriced bottles of water, ground staff, air staff, cleaning ladies, toilets that are big enough to swing a medium sized cat in, and (if it's Vienna) free wi-fi. You can spend an hour browsing the magazine rack and NO ONE TELLS YOU OFF - or asks you to move out of the way. You can possibly even find a paper that isn't sold within the city limits.

You can spray perfumes until your olfactory senses are so overwhelmed that you have a sneezing fit, only plugged by hearing the 'zip' of your card through another EFTPOS terminal. You can go in barefaced - and come out wearing Chanel lipgloss, Dior mascara, Lancome eyeshadow, Clarins blusher - all over a La Prairie Serum base. FOR FREE.

Then you can see your belongings in a way that no one usually does. If you're extremely lucky, you are patted down (or felt up). You are requested to, and perform, a partial strip tease (though some requests should be gently refused). You stretch your feet a bit, have a moment of respite from the shoes that are half-a-size-too-small-yet-too-beautiful-to-resist.

Once dressed again, you sit on a seat ESPECIALLY RESERVED FOR YOU. (Admittedly, it's missing the 'welcome, Dr Nomes' that I'm sure will eventually be written on the "seat back in front of you" but that's why the airlines have 'suggestion cards'.) You lean forward and tense your stomach muscles (free situps!) as the plane finally pushes forward to take off in a (still) awe-inspiring physics lesson. You make fun of the security demonstration, but still count the number of seats between you and the emergency exit. And, if you're me, you dribble (charmingly) on a complete strangers shoulder. You are allowed, nay, expected to acquire that 'travellers sheen' of greasy 'in-flight' sweat, it is the only thing keeping your skin from complete dessication at 27,000 feet (within EU, 36,000 feet for the long haul pedants).

Once you've arrived at your destination, you pretend you're a lemming, following the hordes and yellow signs directing you to where your belongings will (hopefully) meet you. On the way, you flip your passport out like you're in the FBI and are waved through by a young gentleman wearing epaulets. You thank John Paul Gaultier. You play 'long lost bag' with the baggage carousel, after inspecting everyone else's (less bright and playful*) choice of luggage. You run over elderly people with wayward luggage trolleys - and everyone smiles.

Finally, you carry out a quick inventory of your belongings - did you include fish, cheese or meat from outside of the EU in your socks? Are there feathers and shells amidst your toiletries (still)? Is your sarong protecting a jar of unpasterurized honey from dubious sources? No? Then you walk the blue aisle with the stars, or the green aisle.

Occasionally, you might be allowed a floor show, of all of your previous bargain hunting acquisitions. The judges are always delighted to see your various friends in states of questionable repose. They usually want a better look at the photos though, that's why they remove them from the frames. Occasionally, your underwear will be held up for inspection, and you can congratulate yourself on having packed the Aubade near the top.

But that's where it ends. That's where the joyous pampering stops. For hell awaits the other side of those slidey doors.

And "sshhhhhh".

They slide open.

A poorly packed sports bag has fallen off the trolley used by the family of 12 in front of you, and you can't quite make it past their stroller on the left to get out of the way, so you become entangled in the sports bag strap. One of their several snot-nosed toddlers wipes his hand on your leg, assuming that you're one of the many care-givers from the resort he just terrorised. You desperately try to keep a brave face, smile knowingly and understandingly at the parents, and yet look winsome enough to not be assumed to be part of the package nightmare coming through the doors.

Eventually, you disentangle, and can actually walk freely through those doors - that have been sliding open and shut for a few moments, displaying your anguish in comic book frames. By now, there are 100 pairs of eyes glaring in your direction, each pair searching for someone else, and YOU ARE IN THE WAY. But you have to find YOUR pair of eyes, you have to find the person there specifically to meet you. The 100 people are spread out in a 180 degree semi-circle, each focussed intently on the next "sshhhhhhh" of those bloody doors.

Quickly, you have a choice to make.
  1. Walk tall, walk through the throng, and get the hell to the other side, hoping that your person has seen you and will follow you to (relative) peace.
  2. Or you can stop, put one hand on your 'thrown out' hip, smile a half smile, toy with your Tiffany's necklace with the other hand as you examine the crowd (ignoring the 'drool stain' that draws a line from mouth to ear), meeting the eyes of everyone in one slow sweeping glance from left - all the way through - to the last person on the right.

Faced with such indecision, I kind of hustle my way through the happily reunited with a slightly pained, apologetic expression until I find the public transport rank, breathe a sigh of relief, then turn around and see whether I can recognise the back of the person who's waiting for me's head. Lord forgive me for what I might do to the person who watches my confusion from a distance and doesn't make themselves IMMEDIATELY OBVIOUS so that I can stop feeling like a loser.

Next up: train stations...

*I've only been beaten once: by a small girl who's BRIGHT PINK BARBIE case came complete with flashing LED'S. I drooled some more. Though I think I would've had to scratch off Barbie's face and replaced her with She-Ra. I mean, us girls have SOME limits.


posted by Nomes @ Wednesday, May 23, 2007  
  • At 11:41 am, May 25, 2007, Blogger BlackGirl said…

    Happy Belated 30th! Missed your performance last week--was out of town for a bit. Can't wait to read more about TMAME. Fingers crossed for ya! :)

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