Saturday, August 28, 2010

First Word: Adventure

Adventure: the original meaning was "to arrive," in Latin, but in Middle English it took a turn through "risk/danger" (a trial of one's chances), and "perilous undertaking" (early 14c.), and thence to "a novel or exciting incident" (1570).

It seems a great adventure must always start with a great misadventure. This is a story about my great adventure. But I must begin with my great misadventures in order to give perspective to what someone will put up with to get where they want to go.

These musings began while I was on the phone with tech support for the second time (45 minutes each!), after my three-month-old laptop had already been sent in, repaired, and sent back. So much trouble caused by such a stupid little problem: beeps. I seriously wear a name tag that says: Hello, my name is Julia, and my computer beeps (no, seriously, I don't). But it is really annoying just sitting there and then beep! Randomly, all the time, some of the time, never. Grrr! I don't know why it beeps (and apparently tech support doesn't either). They decided it must be the keyboard and replaced it but to no avail. Too bad they don't get credit for trying.

Somehow, a move to Edinburgh, Scotland couldn't be complete without several bumps (or beeps, as the case may be) along the way. In the good ol' days of fleeing the religious intolerance of England, emigration to the New World encompassed braving the perils of a raging sea, contracting whatever illness inflicted a shipmate, weeks of travel, and upon arrival, no one to greet you and help you on your way. A sense of the unknown was a fog that hovered throughout the journey, but as we all know, the hunger for a better world overpowered the longing to turn around.

Modern-day perils aren't nearly as foreboding (nor as exciting). For example, computer beeps. Also, government legislation that slows down the financial aid process thereby severely reducing the amount of time in which to apply for a visa, get it processed, and finally returned before you leave in 8 days! Whew! And still we must wait because if we don't get our visas, we don't fly because the UK Boarder Agency has our passports that they will paste our visas into. We pay the money to change the flight, cancel the hostel until we get the visas, and then just wait. AND, I can't register as a student at the University until I can give the school a photocopy of my visa! Oh, and there was also the camera repair, the packing, the lack of motivation to pack, the spackling, the computer getting sent back a second time, getting my cavity filled, getting Alex's five cavities filled, and the power going out twice for several hours today.

This may seem like complaining (it is complaining!), but it's my misadventure and I'm entitled. To be fair, it's Alex's misadventure too. I don't know if that makes it any better though. We have 8 days of misadventure left and then on to the adventure...provided we get our visas in time. So I guess that my hunger for a "new world" is what is holding all this together. You can put up with a lot when adventure comes calling. Our "perilous undertaking" is soon to be a "novel and exciting incident"! On to Edinburgh!