In less than twenty-four hours, I will move from the USA to Scotland. That’s not such a big deal; plenty of my tech friends have moved among continents, and some seem to have no fixed residence at all, but only to drift from hotel to conference hall to pied-à-terre to consulting gig to Tim O’Reilly’s back yard. Still, I had never imagined that I’d live outside the US. I never imagined that I would leave my family an ocean behind me. I never expected to be starting over in the late-middle of my life, in a new home, at an ancient university. Everywhere I look around me, I see people and scenes that will no longer characterize my daily life. Tears vie with exultation as I consider all that I’ll be missing, and all that opens up ahead of me.
Tomorrow’s plane flight begins a project simultaneously thrilling and daunting, enticing and lonely. I don’t know what to expect — you Warcraft players, I feel as though I’m standing on one side of an instance barrier. I can see the threshold to cross, but I can’t see the other side.
I’ll tell you about it once I get there.

6 thoughts on “<i>Unheimlich</i>

  1. (I know, it should be “fewer than twenty-four” if I’m treating “hours” by itself as a count noun. In context, though, I’d argue that “less” functions appropriately to modify “twenty-four hours,” understood as “a twenty-four hour interval.” Most readers would hear “fewer than twenty-four hours” as stilted, I suspect. Language Log erodes my prescriptivism more every day.)

  2. I read “In less than twenty-four hours” as meaning “In less than twenty-four hours’ time.” So “less” sounds right.

    In any case, God bless you and keep you as you travel to Scotland, a favo(u)rite place of mine. Glad you’ve finally been issued (with) your visa and can get on with your good work ahead!

  3. I can only begin to imagine the mix of trepidation and excitement you must be dealing with! Godspeed on your trip, and I can’t wait to hear your reports about life on the other side of the pond.


  4. Bon voyage! With all you’ve had to to do get there, I pray that the effort in the end will be worth every one of the delays.

    I can hear dear Bill Harkness saying “How’re you mackin’ oot?” It will take a while to get used to thinking of you living across the pond but so long as I get to see you once in a while, I will continue to support your career.

    Much love, Mom

  5. Look at it this way: you will probably see more of your friends than ever before, because what’s not to like about Glasgow? Awesome ancient town!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *