Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Dead Armed: Prepping for Peru & Online Dates

Just home from a long day at the office to this email from my British friend Nigel, a comrade on the frontline of internet dating.
Subject: Had a date this evening.

I was so bored I thought I was going to fall off my seat and snooze on the floor. Onto the next. Fortunately, I kept it to just meeting for a coffee. An hour and a half wasn't too bad to suffer in the hope of something good. Besides, it made me appreciate being single. See, there's always a silver lining.

Looking forward to your next date tale.

Nigel absolutely LOVES it that I'm now on OkCupid and has been emailing me regularly with his own romantic updates. He's been on Match for years without much luck, but he entertains me with great stories. He's pure thrilled that I can finally reciprocate with some of my own and is keen to encourage me to keep at it since he knows all too well that I am an internet dating flight risk. He also loves the insight into the approach the other men take to online dating. Essentially I'm Nigel's source for competitive intelligence.

As for being a flight risk...well admittedly there's barely a day goes by when I don't think about taking down my profile, but I'm forcing myself to give it a proper go. Truth be told though I generally find the whole dating experience just makes me want to embrace spinsterhood. Finding someone is a nice idea, but it's not the be all and end all of my existence and I don't have it in me to compromise on just anyone. I've never been the type of woman who bounced from one boyfriend to the next, I've always taken my relationships quite seriously, so if a guy has stood no chance of becoming Mr. Right then no thank you. I've never had much truck with dating Mr. Right-Now just to have a man on your arm, he has to be special, otherwise I'm fine on my own thank you very much. I suppose I'm kind of old fashioned in that I take marriage very seriously. If I marry I don't plan on divorcing - it's a fight to the death as far as I'm concerned - so I think it's good to be choosy. I want the whole package, looks and repartee - the money thing is further down the list for me of requirements for me, since I can afford to live reasonably well on my own, but I do appreciate a man with a quick wit. Essentially I am holding out for Chris Isaak. He has the looks, the personality and he's away touring for longish stretches at a time so I would get my much needed alone time without him getting under my feet. He's perfect for me, and I think that eventually he'll come around to my way of thinking. Everything comes to she who waits ;-)

What??? It could totally happen!!

Ahem...clearly I am somewhat fixated after seeing him in concert again the other week.

Anyway until Chris comes to his senses I shall be interviewing other men for the vacant position of love interest. I'm meeting OKC Pre-Date #1, H, for a movie this weekend. I'm not sure which day yet, since he wants to go hiking on one of the days and has been waiting to see how the weather is forecast to turn out. It's no skin off my nose as I am either going to be working or running errands for my Peru trip. I had a Typhoid jab today and am nursing a dead arm now as a result. It totally put the mockers on my plan to hit the gym and take a body conditioning class after work. I cringe at the thought of even attempting a bicep curl or shoulder press in my current state, since my left arm's pretty much a noodle.

When I called the doctor's office on Monday to make an appointment they told me to check my needs on this website and then call them back and let them know the immunizations I needed. Oh right...I'll just do your job for you then shall I? Perhaps this is normal, but I was a bit taken aback as I was expecting a more consultative experience. Whatever anyway I am sure they would have just looked at the website and checked the same information, so no big deal and the doctor was very nice and seemed to be very well informed as it turned out, so it was all good.

I'm not heading to any Peruvian parts which require immunization from Malaria of Yellow Fever so I crossed those off the list, but I did need to see about Typhoid, Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B. Obviously I got the Typhoid jab - not covered by my health insurance so that was $117 thank you very much - and a blood test to see if I'll need the Hepatitis shots. I wasn't sure if I was already immune since I had to get a bunch of things done for my Green Card application a few years back, but I haven't the foggiest as to what I'm up to date with beyond Tetanus.

I also left with 2 prescriptions, one for an antibiotic (Cipro) just in case I am stricken with a bout of travellers tummy - check the list of foods
this website tells you to avoid: water in all forms, fruit, vegetables, any dairy that might contain unpasteurized milk, raw or undercooked fish or meat (no famed Peruvian ceviche for me then) or fish that may contain poisonous biotoxins like snapper, grouper and sea bass!!! So pretty much everything then. It would have been quicker to list what I CAN eat. I plan to be cautious anyway since the last thing you need when you're spending 4days up a mountain with limited bathroom facilities is a touch of the trots.

I also got a prescription for altitude sickness pills (Diamox) which I need to take 24 hours prior to starting the ascent upto Machu Picchu. Apparently the pills are not necessary for Cusco even though the city is at a high altitude.

"You'll acclimatize to Cusco, you just need the pills for climbing the mountain," the doctor told me.

Good to know!!

The whole visit cost me a not insubstantial $212 since they also charged me a $75 travel clinic fee and my usual $20 co-pay. I suspect I will need to return for the Hepatitis A & B immunizations although I think they said they were covered by my insurance. I certainly hope so, because when I signed the agreement for the Typhoid jab I saw the series of 3 Twinrix jabs - 3 jabs - the doctor recommended cost a hefty $216. Phew!! It never even occurred to me when I booked this trip that I would potentially be on the hook for over $400 worth of inoculations!!

Since I couldn't follow through on my weight training plan I stayed late at the office to work on a training course I am developing for the department and then squeezed in some exercise by walking the 3.5 miles home via Bed Bath & Beyond to buy some bits for my trip. Quite a lot of bits as it turned out since I practically cleared them out of travel sized goodies. Well not really, but I spent $65.83 can you believe - 4days up a mountain with no conveniences=lots and lots and lots of wipes. I got quite carried away but thankfully stopped short at a one size fits all transparent rain poncho. Can you imagine? Admittedly I did seriously consider it - $3.99 man - but sanity prevailed in the nick of time.

Anyway I was talking about dating before I got distracted by my vacation - I am just sooooo excited, I expect I'm even more of a nightmare to work with than I usually am - so a movie with H this weekend which should be good. I have to say he won some brownie points by suggesting three independent movies he's interested in seeing. Indie movie = good!!! I did like that he didn't just randomly pick a commercial movie, but actually put some thought into it and also checked in to see what I thought. He also told me which cinema each movie was playing at, so clearly indicative of a man capable of using the internet unlike last Sunday's date, J. Speaking of whom, he sent me a note today to say he had a good time last week and even though I'm not interested in anything romantic between us - he kind of put me on the spot at the end of our date, so I was truthful - he said he is interested in being friends, so there's a turn up for the books. I'd hang out with him again, so that's all good. Other love interest possibilities so far include G who writes me witty notes, so scores high on banter, but has only just got around to suggesting we meet for a drink after weeks of emailing, so I was beginning to think he was going to end up as my pen pal. There's the restaurant manager, red flag red flag my ex - AKA Gobshite - managed a restaurant and restaurant people have horrible schedules, but hey, you never know, and someone who's name escapes me, but who is interested in meeting for a drink, so lots of options, just not so much time.

I also received this note with the subject line "I...." and then the following content...

...think you're absolutely adorable. And I'd like to get to know you better.

Who am I?

Hmm....I was born in England, have lived in Brooklyn, Queens, Long Island, Los Angeles and now NYC. I work in NYC as well.

After discovering the cure for cancer, I climbed Mt. Everest (without supplemental oxygen), studied with the Dalai Lama, and dated (briefly) Cindy Crawford.

My career as a Yankees third baseman was going nowhere, and rather than accept the grant from the Salk Institute, I went to work at a television
network in New York.

And you?

Please write back because it would put a smile on my face.
Now while there's nothing wrong with the note per se - it shows a sense of humor - I definitely get the impression it's a message he's copied and pasted and sent to a ton of women, since there is nothing in there that's the least bit personal to me, so that's an OKCupid fail in my book. I mean c'mon, at least PRETEND you've read my profile by referencing it in some small way!!


Ruth said...

If you think the Typohoid jab is painful - you should try a Rabies one!

I've had well over 15 different innoculations for all of my travels, at various times in the last 5 years. Thankfully, each time I go somewhere, the list keeps getting shorter and shorter... One assumes that at some point I won't need any more at all because I will already have taken them!

fishwithoutbicycle said...

Hi Ruth,

The actual jab was a breeze, it's the dead arm hours after the fact that bothers me more than anything, but you are right, I'd be a big baby about the Rabies jab. How often do you have to have that one then? Is it a one off and you're done? The Typhoid immunization only lasts for 2years unfortunately.

Amel said...

Hey, have a WONDERFUL trip to Peru!!! Be safe!!!

And sorry to hear about the noodle arm. :-(((

I'm also an old-fashioned type of girl - when it comes to relationships and marriage. I did once settle for less, but I realized it quickly enough to have it over with before it went too long. Let's just say I did learn the hard way he he he...

And it's nice to have options and the movie date sounds FUN, even if you're not interested in him as more than a friend. :-D No harm done in having more friends. :-D

fishwithoutbicycle said...

Thanks Amel, Peru is still a few weeks away, but you have to get the immunizations a few weeks before you go. I'm definitely in the preparation phase though. This trip has taken even more planning than usual.

I 100% agree on the no harm in having more friends, but it makes things a bit weird when you meet through a dating site as there can be expectations and some men are very much the "I don't need more friends, I have enough friends" types, an attitude I always think is a bit short sighted because guess what...if we are friends you have access to my friends, which means more women potentially interested in dating them. Oh well.

Amel said...

Ah're right about the short-sightedness...or maybe they think it's a "waste of time" to hang out with female "friends" when they can use the time for potential life partners? Dunno, though...

Yeah, I can see that you've gotta do much more preparation prior to the Peruvian trip...but preparation is good. :-D

Kitty said...


First, in assessing each person as husband material..really? Was Catweazle a serious contender for becoming Mr. Fish? (aha, yes, I remember him!) I thought you were having fun there?!!

I think the concept of 'having fun' might be a good one for you. It does not mean dating for the sake of dating, but dating because you might like someone but don't know them yet nor how you feel about em!

Anyway, yeah, the last fellow does sound like a cut and paste jobber, and it is a little despairing that his email is all about him, but who knows. Perhaps he's been on that site a while and doesn't have time to fine tune his intro-emails for each woman he finds cute?

This weekend is supposed to be nice! Hooray for once. So tired of the feeling tired and sweaty. I have one client who has me take of my sandals everytime I'm in their apartment, which is fine except now I MUST start washing my feet beforehand, if you know what mean. Yeesh.

Have a lovely restful weekend, Fish!

fishwithoutbicycle said...

Hi Kitty,

You misunderstand me, there's a difference between husband material and the potential to become husband material. Catweazle definitely had potential to become something more serious. He didn't, that's fine, but I felt he had potential. I do know how to have fun.

Merch y mynydd said...

Love the blog.

Having been to Cuzco and done the two day Inca trail (not the 4 day version you're probably doing), I just thought I'd better warn you about diamox. If I understand it correctly, diamox hides the symptoms of altitude sickness, and you really need to know if you have this sickness as it could kill you. (Sorry to sound dramatic but it's true). Are you flying from Lima to Cuzco? If you are, it is quite a shock to go from sea level to the height of Cuzco, and I was feeling quite lightheaded and had a headache. Also walking up a flight of about 10 steps was hard work, but a few headache pills, and a good night's sleep and I felt much better. I wasn't vomiting, but if you do, then that is a definite sign that you have to get down to a lower level VERY QUICKLY. The Inca trail is hard work, but most of it (if I understand correctly) is lower than Cuzco, so going to Cuzco is good training for the lungs etc. Macchu Picchu is amazing, and Cuzco is a fab city. The train journey from Cuzco to Puno across the Altiplano is also absolutely immense so I hope you are going to Lake Titicaca too to experience this journey. Have a fab time, and please check if/when you should be taking diamox - I'd definitely be very careful and reticent to take it myself.

I'm looking forward to seeing the photos etc.

fishwithoutbicycle said...

Hi Merch,

Thanks for the advice. I had read the same thing about Diamox just masking the symptoms, so I will definitely be careful. We are flying from Lima to Juliaca first and then onto Cuzco on the 5th day of our trip. I was just looking on wikipedia and I see that Juliaca is a little higher than Cusco, so I will definitely be cautious. Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

Apparently, that emailer is making the rounds of dating bloggers:

fishwithoutbicycle said...

Hey Anon,

Thanks for passing on the link to the other blog. This guy is so clearly cutting and pasting. I'm glad to know I wasn't the only one who had suspicions :-)

Anonymous said...

I found your blog through Lucky Girl's (though I haven't made a comment on her blog I've followed it for awhile!) and just wanted to remark on the coincidence that I'm a 30-something single American female living in London who is going to Machu Picchu in a few weeks! I had all my jabs a few weeks ago. Have a great trip, and I look forward to reading about it.

fishwithoutbicycle said...

Hi Anon, nice to hear from you. How funny that we are both going. I think you might be going slightly after me, otherwise we might have bumped into each other. Have a fantastic trip. Fish