So the Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen (GISHWHES) is over now. (Cue: awwwww.) Although it was far more time-consuming than I predicted (and the deadline just happened to coincide with my deadline for book two -- eek!) it was a huge amount of fun. The purpose -- to create 'art', to break out of the dreariness of everyday life, to collaborate internationally -- was fully achieved, as least as far as I and my team were concerned.
Here's some of the crazy things I did in the past week:
- broke the law in Singapore by chewing a whole pack of chewing gum while having my photo taken with skyline in the background (publishing that isn't going to prevent me from being admitted to the country again, is it? Hmmm.)
- tied a pink feather boa to Puffing Billy
- tried (futilely) to add up a bill on an antique comptometer (in pounds, shillings and pence)
- posed in front of a Dutch bakery eating something yummy (to show the after-effects of a 'Dutch oven')
- convinced my friends to exploit their children on my behalf, including having someone bake Frikadella from scratch, another stage a sibling fight over maple syrup, and yet another let her six-year-old pretty ballerina read "Guns and Ammo" magazine
- improvised a ship in a bottle in front of Captain Cook's Cottage -- much to the amusement of a busload of Japanese tourists
- wrote an email to Oprah asking her to video herself reading aloud from one of my books (FYI -- she didn't reply)
- learned about a yet-to-be-completed bridge in Brazil, even though we weren't able to secure the required photo
- had a friend photograph herself trying out karate moves on Bruce Lee's statue in Hong Kong.
Me and the results of a Dutch oven -- the nice kind.
It's been quite a learning experience! I've not only expanded my vocabulary, I've expanded my knowledge of the world (in slightly bizarre ways, but it still counts). And I've learned that I have a wonderful international network of friends and colleagues who, just like me, are prepared to do something silly, or fun, or ridiculous, just for the hell of it. (I also expanded that network by nine lovely ladies -- the other members of my GISHWHES team.)
Personally, even though the competition is over, my aim is to continue to inject an occasional bit of GISHWHES eccentricity in my life whenever the spirit moves me.