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!)
Gilded and poised
Tuesday, 22 May 2007
When I was 15, a new boy joined our class. His name was Simon, and he was excruciatingly tall - maybe 6'2" already. As the youngest in my class, he was also likely to be older than me. As an expat brat, people starting midyear was not unusual, but what didn't always happen was the immediate and intense hatred he and I felt for one another. Reciprocated equally by both, we manifested our dislike in violence.

At Sarah Grey's party, one Thursday night (the middle easts' version of Saturday) in October, I found myself taunting Simon with words. He wasn't as quick witted, silver tongued or - frankly - bitchy as me, so retaliated by punching me three times on my upper left arm, each punch containing sufficient power to leave me with a dead arm. I couldn't feel my fingers after such an onslaught, for which I remained steadfastly stationary, as you do when 'face' is so ultimately important.

A few days later, I was walk/running down the corridor. The bell had just rung for us to go to Chemistry, so our class was lined up, "firing squad" style, against the wall outside the classroom/laboratory. I, however, needed to speak to someone who was just going into Biology - so I was racing down to the other end of the hall.

When who should stick out his extraordinarily long leg in my path? I went flying - literally sprawling out on the corridor, in front of, maybe, 75 people - my peers. Livid, I picked myself up and stormed back (flying, I tell ya) to where he stood smirking.

"That does it!" I exclaimed, for I went to school at St Trinians. "Football field. After school!"

Yes folks, I called him out. By the time I realised what I'd done, I was near the biology rooms (see, I had continued my mission!), but could not for the life of me remember why I was there. I turned to Darren,
"Shit, will you fight Simon for me after school?"
"Hell no!" he replied. I sought a champion amongst the rest, but to no avail. Shit. Awkwardly, I returned to Chsmistry, my stomach a pit of hungry vipers who can smell a dangling mouse.

Chemistry was my "double last" for the day, so I would have to either run like hell when the bell rang, or allow myself to be swept up by the (now) tide of people who had bloodlust rising. Shit. I've no IDEA what we covered that lesson, but electron orbitals have always been my weak point from then on in.

The bell rang. I'm not built to run, neither physically, nor personalitywise, so I fronted up; slung my bag over my shoulder and tried desperately to cease quivering. What the hell was I playing at, calling out the tallest boy in the school.

Football pitch: quite a crowd had gathered. I was a popular girl by then, and I'd like to (continue to) hope that many were on my side. There was no way this wasn't going to happen, though, with the "Fight! Fight! Fight!" chant attracting even more people to the melee.

So, I did what I could to win. I hit him first. While he was dallying over whether to hit a girl (who wore glasses!!), I punched him as hard as I could in the solar plexus. When he doubled over, I kneed him - lord knows where. When he hit the ground, I clambered astride him, and poised myself for the killing blow to his face.

At this point, Mr Mackay intervened, hauling me off Simon to the murmured disappointment of the crowd (who, despite wanting to see the fight, had already begun to disperse to waiting buses, parents, drivers, limos etc.).

Simon and I both visited the headmaster the next day. The head saw me first,
"I'm not quite sure what to do with you, Naomi." he stated, "I've never had to reprimand a girl for fighting a boy before."
Thank heaven's for ancient heads.
"You may go, as this is the first time you have been involved in such ridiculous behaviour, but don't let me catch you attempting to use violence to end an argument again!".
"No sir, I won't sir, thank you sir!" I beamed back, as I backed out of the room, my perfect school record unbesmirched.

Simon, on the other hand, was a known delinquent - known for glue sniffing, wagging classes and generally being a pain. This added more fuel to his black mark fire. He was in detention (both breaks) for months. I felt the heat of embarrassment every time I saw him sitting between the vice principles offices, for I know that I had a hand in putting him in that seat.

Embarrassment, yes. Guilt? No.

For despite being of the Catholic (lapsed) faith (supposedly), I consider guilt to be a very negative emotion. Like it's more glamorous misspelling gilt, it has a habit of tarnishing.

And when something was beautiful (to me, at least), then guilt can just stay right out of the picture - despite what other people may say, think or do.

So: to the person I've landed in the detention chair, I feel sad. Sad that you're hurting, and sad that there are other people who are probably hurting too.

But to anyone who's taking the high road, I can't possibly feel guilt or regret for my actions. I shall not have that fight tarnished with guilt (I did good, damnit) any more so than I shall the exquisite moments of grace I shared with someone a few weeks ago.

Note to self: blogs man. Landing people in it, since 1997.

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posted by Nomes @ Tuesday, May 22, 2007  
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