Saturday, July 20, 2013

Things that should be recorded

I love kilts
There are two bagpipers who live across the hall and practice a lot
There are so many Asians here
I prefer Cadbury to Galaxy
Everyone here is really nice, like the cashier who noticed I was buying the shorter roll of digestives and went and got me the longer one for the same price
I prefer Scottish accents to English, and Glaswegian to Edinburgh
I want "wee" to become a thing in the States
I get Robert Burns but not really Walter Scott
Everything here tastes slightly different, except bagels
It has been sunny and warm for the last week and I feel robbed of my Scottish experience
The Highlands are incredibly beautiful
 I have seen so many naked torsos on so many different body types
Sometimes if feels like a travesty to not be out traveling somewhere, and sometimes it is so nice just to sit and work on things (like this blog post)
The water has been tasting funny lately
I need a new water bottle


I recently went on two very long roadtrips in a 15-seater bus, and I made some observations on the progression of the general mood of a group of people confined to a small space for a long period of time. Read carefully in preparation for your next cross-country trip to ensure you still like your friends by the end of it.
Depending on the start time of the trip, the first stage is often the "fun bus." There is a feeling of excitement and adventure, people are laughing and telling stories, if the group is younger there might be songs and games (if just a group of girlfriends there would definitely be Taylor Swift and Broadway sing-alongs). In the fun bus, time passes quickly, stops along the way are joyous as everyone piles out in the same happy-time mood, and great memories are made. PRESERVE THE FUN BUS AS LONG AS POSSIBLE
If the trip started early in the morning, the first stage may be the "quiet bus." This is marked by people sleeping and having hushed conversations. Hopefully, the quiet bus eventually progresses to the fun bus, but it may fall into the trap of "silent bus," in which everyone puts their headphones in or reads. Time passes very slowly on the quiet bus and people feel perpetually tired, even at the most exciting of stops.
The stage to be avoided at all costs is the "angry bus." This happens when people are sick and tired of being together and looks similar to the silent bus in that many people will have their headphones in, but any conversation will be clipped and sarcastic instead of sleepy and sad sounding.  Someone may blow up at some point, which often marks a point of no return. Everyone's opinion of each other changes after the angry bus.
The fun bus can almost always be saved through two means, though. The first is the sharing of snacks. It is hard to ignore or be angry at someone who just passed their Cadbury chocolate bar around to everyone. Once someone starts, everyone pulls out their offerings and eventually polite conversation turns to stories about that one time you were on a long car ride and dropped a piece of chocolate and when you got up it was stuck to the back of your pants and people thought you had crapped yourself. The other nearly surefire way back to the fun bus is crazy souvenir shops. Everyone loves knickknacks and funny photo-ops. Differences are forgotten in the delight of finding ridiculous Loch Ness monster t-t-shirts, and shopper's high is contagious.
In a few days we will be leaving on a week long bus trip through Ireland, and fun bus preservation will be of the utmost importance. Snacks and lightweight conversation topics must be plentiful, though I am afraid none will leave Survivor: Ireland unscathed.

Eater's Digest

A good friend of mine studied abroad in London  a few years ago. She told me that she constantly carried a roll of chocolate covered digestives with her. I found this concerning, because the word "digestive" connotes "helpful with digestion" aka fiber. She assured me that they are actually just cookies and that they are delicious. After a few days in Scotland without eating any chocolate, I was suddenly overcome one day at the store with the need to buy everything tasty, which is how I ended up with my first roll of digestives. The next day we spent a whole day in Edinburgh and I decided to take my digestives along as a snack. Thus began my love affair with digestives. I could feel the judgment from others as they believed I was eating some type of laxative all day, and despite my protests that "they're just cookies!" I knew people were concerned about my proximity to restrooms. A few people were willing to try them and became firm believers in the way of the digestive, but the doubt coming from all other sides caused me to become worried. So I Wikipedia'ed "digestive biscuit" where I discovered how they got their off-putting name. Digestives were first produced in the 19th century, when people didn't know science, and because they contained sodium bicarbonate, people thought they would have antacid properties. In summary, old-timey people thought anything with baking soda would work like Tums and a delicious cookie got cursed with a weird name. So, all the judgment I should receive for finishing that roll of digestives in one day (I shared some, okay!) is from the fact that I just ate that many cookies.

Friday, July 5, 2013

On growing a new limb

One of my dear friends is about to come home from a two year mission. I was thinking about my life; the things that had changed and the important updates too long to put in an email.

One that immediately came to mind is the acquiring of a new limb known as my iPhone. It has become such a part of me I literally feel anxious when it is even in a different part of the house. I would also feel anxious if my finger or ear were in a different part of the house.

Is my phone chained to me, or am I chained to my phone?
This concept was reinforced last night when driving home from Massachusetts. We stopped at a rest area, and on my way to the rest room I remember thinking, "I shouldn't have left my phone in the car, now I'm going to have to wait in a line/wait for someone to come out with no pleasant distractions". I happened to be wearing my small pocket shorts (bane of my existence), so I couldn't have stuffed my otterbox protected limb inside.

Just asking for trouble
So my bathroom trip was rather boring without my phone. I came back to the car and we left. A few minutes later I had this eerie feeling, like I was missing something. I dug through my purse, took off my seatbelt and crawled around the suburban, demanded that my brother use the flashlight on his phone to help, asked my mom to call mine, only to conclude that my newest limb was certainly not in the car.

We pulled over and continued the search and I decided it had to be in the parking lot of that rest area. My parents thought that was doubtful--did I take it inside? No definitely not, because I remember wanting it inside.

If you've ever driven the freeway in New England, you know that exits only crop up about every 20 miles. This is unfortunate for two people in particular: those with small bladders, and those that need to turn around. We spent 40 minutes and paid $5 in tolls to finally reach the rest area. During that trip, my mother texted my phone with the quaint message "you have found my phone! Call this number: (her number)." And sure enough, some kind soul had found it. But no, not in the parking lot. 

They found it in the bathroom.

It's been 12 hours now and I am still disturbed by this. The fact that I was wishing my phone was with me when it was in my hand.

The only way I can take peace of mind from this is that you don't notice a limb...unless it's missing. I don't think about my pinky toe on a daily basis despite it's necessity to my balance. However, if it were suddenly chopped off by a wayward knife or crushed by a car, I would certainly notice it. 

So it's official. My little/big otterbox encased iPhone is a part of me.