Inspiration from an Imaginary Adventure

I am extremely interested in listening to and recording rare dialects of a language. The problem with this is that most of the people who speak these languages live in the middle of nowhere.

Some Greek islands are accessible only by boat. I’m not afraid of the sea but as I was trying to fall asleep, I couldn’t help but think what I would do if the boat started to sink. Admittedly when on holiday, I do have a slight snacking problem so I would probably be able to take a substantial amount of food and water from my room. Even thought this was all in my imagination, I was still worried about all the work on my laptop that I hadn’t backed up so I brought my laptop along with me. Of course imaginary me was too busy being a hero and since this story was taking place in my somewhat cynical mind, the lifeboats left me behind.

The person whom I’d just saved, ended up jumping overboard with me, and after the boat sank we located a very convenient floating piece of wood. I now got to the first problem in my imaginary story: Navigation. I briefly wondered if my phone would have had signal but I was still bored and not tired enough so needed to make my imaginary story longer. Instead I decided that I would have to navigate by the stars. I’d heard of the North Star and naively assumed that it would be the brightest star in the sky. This is apparently too simple so I managed to waste another half an hour looking into stars.

Just in case you ever need this information (which is highly doubtful), the North Star is part of the Little Dipper. The Little Dipper is quite hard to see, it’s much easier to locate the Big Dipper (It looks like a badly drawn frying pan) and then look across from that. Conversely, to find South, you have to look for a star called Cassiopeia, which looks like a W. Unfortunately I live in a big city and can’t see a single star from my house so I don’t know how valid any of that information is…

Back to my epic dream saga then. Although I had spent all this time looking into stars, I realised that if the tide was against me, there wouldn’t be any use in knowing how to navigate anyway. I can’t remember how I decided where we eventually ended up, but somehow after a few days struggling at sea, we washed up in Turkey. My imaginary story was going well until I realised that I, a passionate language learner, was less than useless speaking Turkish. Despite having been on holiday there a few times and having Turkish friends, I only knew the word for “Hello” and I had a vague inkling that the word for “Thanks” sounded something a bit like “Chocolate”.

I was shocked that I had inadvertently become the type of lazy tourist that I can’t stand. The ones who rely on English and never make the slightest effort to learn the local language. I was determined to rectify this and at least learn the basics. I quickly realised what an interesting language Turkish was and resolved to learn a bit more. I am a terrible procrastinator, which is probably why I waste so much of my life imagining exceedingly unlikely scenarios, but I am proud to say that on this one occasion, my ridiculous imagination was actually good for me.

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