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!)
Thursday, 16 August 2007
It's a 'meh' day today for one reason or another, so I'm meming it.

P.S. I did this one a while ago...but this time, I've commented.

You Know You Were an Expat Kid in the Middle East When...

1. You can't answer the question, "Where are you from?" (And when you do, you get into an elaborate conversation that gets everyone confused and/or makes you sound very spoiled.)
This one couldn't be more true if it tried. It's the question that makes me groan, since answering it simply (Britain) gets the "surely not?" response due to the crazy accent (which is also often accused of being 'fake' - of course it's damned fake...there's no freaking COUNTRY for it...)

2. You flew before you could walk.
18mo old. Not sure whether I could walk or not...Mamma (oh, and please try not to embarrass me here!)?

3. You have a passport, but no driver's license.
2 passports: no driver's license...

4. You think California is cold.
Anywhere less than 35oC is. Science fakt jo.

5. You watch National Geographic specials and recognize someone.
The photojournalist you met at the Dive Club.

6. You run into someone you know at every airport.
I've only had this happen once (which is a tiny percentage of total airport time) but it freaked me out sufficiently to never-travel-long-haul-without-looking-like-a-member-of-the-human-race again.

7. Conversations with friends take place at 6:00 in the morning or 10:00 at night.
Or 3:00am. I still have unresolved issues with time zones.

8. Your life story uses the phrase "Then we went to..." five times.
By this time, though, I'm monitoring the yawn/agog response carefully, and adapting my tale hencewith.

9. You can speak with authority about the quality of various international airlines.
Qatar Airways has come a LONG way and is really lovely. Gulf - not so much these days. Cathay have the most legroom over Asia, but Singapore has the nicest steward/esse/s. Air France win on food - hands down - but lack on legroom so much as to be not-worth-the-price. Air NZ, Qantas and BA are for sissies who wish to be talked down to.

10. You feel self conscious around all white people.
Well...they might mistake me for a terrorist or something.

11. You get offended when someone turns down an offer for food.
But I love you, so EAT!

12. You live at school and go home for vacation.
Home? Ha ha ha ha

13. You treasure pork and root beer as highly-valued commodities.
Ham! Bacon! Pork scratchings! Ribs! Vomiting after overindulgence!

14. You have ever had to wait for prayer call to be over to finish shopping.
*sigh* A-shed-well-ah...ahh...ahhh....ahhhhhhhhhhh! (going up a few notes towards the end...)

15. You are fascinated by any wildlife bigger than a gecko.
"I can see something moving. It's, it's, a critter..."

16. You know the true meaning of "football." (and in your mind can hear the shout, "GOAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!")

17. You know that it truly is a small world.
Which is why you must never do what it is you want to do outside of the privacy of your own closet. No, really.

18. You have ever gone to the "hammam" or endured a "shamal."
"Skin, lovely skin. My kingdom for my skin."

19. You get all the jokes in Aladdin.
Merchant: Combination hookah and coffee maker, also makes Julienne fries. Will not break!
[taps it on table]
Merchant: Will not!
[it falls apart]
i.e. anything from the souq

20. Rain is still one of the most wonderful sounds in the world.
God yes. I heart my skylights.

21. You haggle with the checkout clerk for a lower price.
Well, duh! It's not the 'lower' price, it's the 'best' price.

22. Your wardrobe can only handle two seasons: hot and warm.
And yet, still manage to keep my shoulders covered...

23. Your school memories include duck-and-cover drills.
And bomb scares spent on fields while the squads searched the schools. *wistful sigh*

24. You are used to being stared at.
What? That ISN'T normal? Kerb crawled too, it takes me ages to respond to a 'do you know where this street is?' question from an innocent driver!

25. You think VISA is a document stamped in your passport, and not a plastic card you carry in your wallet.
Usually squiggled on in an unintelligble language in response to a small helpful bill...

26. You call a chicken burrito a "shwarma."
*sob* If only it were half as good as the ones by TV roundabout...

27. Your dorm room/apartment/living room looks a little like a museum with all the "exotic" things you have around.
"It's a charcoal burner - obviously. Yes, it's gold. That's how it's done. That? Oh, that's a tissue box holder..." [fade to embarrassed silence]

28. You've heard of or tried "hubbly bubbly."
Want a large one. Need everyone to bring own mouthpieces. And honey flavoured tobacco...

29. You've woken up in the middle of the night to watch the Superbowl on cable.
Or the Rugby World Cup final.

30. You have sat in a "men's" or "women's" section in an airport, hospital, or restaurant.
It's just so much decorous that way.

31. You know the geography of the rest of the world, but you don't know the geography of your own country. (Isn't Philadelphia its own state?)
Do we HAVE states in Europe?

32. Your best friends are from 5 different countries.
New Zealand, Egypt, England, Palestine and Turkey. Your turn.

33. You're spoiled. You know it. You're VERY spoiled.
Aw shucks. You shouldn't have.

34. You ask your roommate when the houseboy is scheduled to come clean.
Just had this EXACT question on the phone!

35. You have never spent a summer with your friends from high school because you all go back to your home town/state/country June - August
Some of us stayed for the sun, and went home at "seasons greetings" instead...

36. Camping involves duning, getting stuck, and counting how many camels you saw.
Two planks for getting a car out. Possibly a large tarpaulin. And there's never enough water. But the tan you have when you've actually just got sand all over you is very VERY smooth.

37. A sports tournament involves flying to another country in the Middle East.
Doha College vs. Dubai College. *sigh* Memories.

38. You remember when the first McDonalds in your country had its grand opening.
I'd already left.

39. You got days off school for Christian and Muslim holidays.
Well...'seasonal' days off...

40. You secretely wished the rulers of other Middle Eastern countries would die so that you got days off school.
Or that there'd be a coup.

41. Not being able to eat in public during the day during the holy month of Ramadan.
Or smoke. Or drink. Unless you buried your head between your legs in the footwell of the Dodge...

42. Traveling to the states required buying candy, CDs, and Abercrombie and Fitch clothing for your friends back overseas.
Or chocolate other than galaxy. We didn't even have Cadbury's, people!!

43. You are used to giving directions according to landmarks, not street names.
"Ramada Hotel, C-ring road, yassar Mumtazah park roundabout, yemeen Al Mansoura, bas khallas, shukran" = Going home.

44. It's normal to wake up and have four or more Pakistani men fixing your AC.
Actually, it's not. They'd say they'd come around and then they wouldn't for three days...

45. You didn't know how to do your own laundry until you left for college.
It's a kinda magic.

46. How come the houses in America don't have servants quarters?
They're very versatile as teenage hangouts.

47. You are used to seeing Arabic commercials dubbed in British English about Lux soap, Carnation condensed milk and Dove shampoo.
Klim. Took me about four years to realise that the powdered milk brand name was milk backwards.

48. Seeing police drive on the shoulder of the road and cut people is not unusual.
How else are they going to stop the racing?

49. You understand that being addressed as "ma'am/sir" by Filipinos is not an insult.
Better than 'oi you!'.

50. You know someone is referring to Pepsi when they say "Bebzi".
We didn't have the Coca-Cola corporation, people.

51. Having a walled in, cement house is standard.
And cool in the summer, and warm in the winter. It just makes sense.

52. Ford Explorer sized cars seem small compared to Toyota Land Cruisers and Nissan Patrols.
Or Dodge Ram Chargers. Hell yeah.

53. One word: 'yala'.
I usually attempt to soften it with Habibi...

54. You have a box of red label tea in your cupboard
Bleee. It never gets better over time. Oddly, the Russian areas drink this a lot too.

55. You have ever had your hair cut in a "saloon"
I wanted it permed. I was shown the error of my ways.

56. You prefer to bring lunch in a metal tin
Stackable, natch.

57. You know that pillsbury makes naan
But that you can't get it here.

58. Any time you submit an application, you attach 500 riyals to "help" it along.
This is the going price for two passport photos, right?

59. You call a taxi a limo, and are confused when it's not a mercedes
With a face like an otter.

60. you roll your eyes everytime you hear a politician/news reporter say "eye-rack"

61. The speed limit is just good advice, not something really to pay attention to.
Otherwise they'd police it.


posted by Nomes @ Thursday, August 16, 2007  
  • At 11:52 pm, August 16, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Cure for item 20: spend a summer in the UK :(. Check you in a year!


  • At 2:07 am, August 17, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi GNomes,

    Oh yes, the memories. I'm glad we went back there this year, but I'm also glad we left when we did. Our life there had SOUL. And boy did we have some experiences. I'm SO glad we were able to make the most of them. And I'm very glad you remember them with some fondness, even if it did take you 4 years to work out the reason for Klim *grin*. You were always slow on the uptake for things that didn't necessarily impinge on your well being!

    Yes, you were walking by 18months (same as Rowls at 13months, though you actually started dancing first). Though not so far that we could take strolls in Philadelphia - it was Christmas, and there were no shopping malls near the hotel. But you did wow the hotel staff - they even gave you a Christmas present ( a doll as I recall). But you were quite right in thinking this was your first flight. Your next one was to NZ, and we none of us have stopped travelling since!

    Love you heaps, Mamma

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