The Importance of Being Ginger

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In the summer of 2008, at just the mere age of thirteen, I had the distinct privilege of going to the small town of Peebles, Scotland (just an hour South of Edinburgh). It was mid-summer, thus the perfect time to visit the United Kingdom. The country was green and the air was clean. On a cloudy day we walked the short distance from our friends house whom we were staying with to the bus stop just up the High Street. We were going to visit the city of Edinburgh for the day. Boarding the double decker bus, I remembered the famous triple decker Knight Bus from the Harry Potter stories. I ran to the top of this foreign mode of transportation and sat down in the front row next to my sister, Adelaide. The second we started to weave through the streets was when I lost it. My stomach went from flipping with excitement to flipping with nausea. Sitting for an hour in this state was not pleasant. I often wished I had some sort of remedy to ease the pain I was enduring; for example, a mint of some sort. I hear those calm your stomach quite effectively. Once finally arriving, the bus dropped us off at the North Bridge which goes through the city giving an sight seer, such as myself, a clear view of Edinburgh Castle, the Royal Mile, the Scott Monument and, a personal excitement for me, the Balmoral Hotel. The very hotel in which J.K. Rowling finished the last installment of the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. We toured the city for ages, getting the chance to walk the Royal Mile, tour the Edinburgh Castle and Mary Kings Close along with walking through the Edinburgh Dungeons. To put it lightly: it was an exhausting day.
Getting back on the double decker bus, I made sure to sit in the bottom level. This gave me a much more pleasant ride back to Peebles. The walk back to the house was even more tiresome having been teased by the comfort of the bus seats for two hours. When I say comfort, I do genuinely mean it. When one is walking for four or five hours, the floor itself would be comfortable. As we walk, the thought of a warm meal in the conservatory beckons us.
Upon arriving home, the six kids resided on the coach while the three adults began to cook diner. On the menu for tonight: Red Ginger Curry. I had never had Indian food before, so I was quite excited about trying something new. Tempted by the various smells that were coming from the kitchen, I found myself floating one foot off the ground as my nose followed the direction from which the smell was coming from. Making my way into the kitchen, I saw Tim, my stepfather, shredding this exotic looking root into a pot on the stove. I asked Tim what this root was and he told it was called “ginger”. The smell was strong and warm and only heightening my anticipation for that evenings meal.
When I sat down in the conservatory for diner, I found a curry sauce with peppers, chicken and the newly recognizable smell of ginger on a bed of steamed white rice. As I took the first mouth full my expectations had been fulfilled. The smell I had encountered just minutes before was now running down my throat and drowning my taste buds. Creating a strong, sweet, yet bitter flavor, the ginger was all I could focus on. It was hypnotic and resulted in such satisfaction that I couldn't quite handle myself. Much like in Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest, I realized the importance of being ginger and I would not settle for anything less.
I found myself quite lucky to be in the land of ginger. You could find it really anywhere you looked. In the mountains, the forest, up the High Street, the cafe, the sweet shop, even that nauseating double decker bus. That's right, ginger was everywhere. It was a strange sensation for me. I had always been quite taken with Ron Weasley (and quite frankly the entire Weasley family) from the Harry Potter series, but I never could pinpoint exactly what it was about them. But then it hit me. They were all ginger. Everything was clear, you see. I didn't have to search for who I was anymore. I was destined to be ginger. All it took was one fork full of that curry and I was hooked. So here I am four years later with my hair died red and a healthy obsession for all things ginger.





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