Главная страница «Первого сентября»Главная страница журнала «Английский язык»Содержание №9/2002

Youth English Section

Living on the Edge

To tell the truth, I’ve never understood these people. They live among us. We are exposed to them every day. They seem to be normal at first sight. But the more you know them, the more you are surprised. Finally these “normal” people turn out to be real maniacs. That’s because they are addicted – adrenaline-addicted. Here you think of all the fans of so-called “extreme sports”, beginning with your neighbour Petia, who likes hiking, and ending with those dreadlocked guys from the TV ad with their motto “Do the Dew”. None of them considers their hobby a kind of sport, but prefer to call it an “extreme lifestyle”.
As I said at the beginning, I’ve never understood these people. Every time I see these “heroes”, I want to ask them just one simple question: “What for?” What are these risks, breaks and headaches for? They will say: “For adrenaline!” So it means that living in a big city doesn’t give them enough adrenaline. A friend of mine, a 22-year-old-chap, does a “survival course”. The main idea of this activity is that one is supposed to survive in the forest without a tent, food and water, just having a knife with him. So my friend does it successfully – every year; and feels very proud of this fact. Incidentally, what would he do, if he got locked in a flat on the highest floor, without food and water… and without friends, relatives, money, electricity and central heating as well. What would he do?! I’m not confident about the success of this course…
My words may sound ridiculous, but I just want to say that living in town can be an “extreme” to a certain extent. It could be far more dangerous than any extreme kind of sport, if you live in Russia. (That’s a real extreme lifestyle!) No obvious rules work here. And even a simple visit to a local shop can be connected with risk. If your don’t believe me, just try to go shopping late some winter evening. You should be very careful of the ice beneath your feet, for every moment you can fall down; an icicle, a block, or even a fragment of a wall can fall upon your head. You can be bitten by a dog, even a domestic one; you can be beaten and robbed of all your possessions, or just killed. The fact that you finally passed through this chain of obstacles and managed to get home, doesn’t mean you are safe and sound. Who can be sure that the “fresh” yogurt you’ve already bought is really fresh; that the beef isn’t infected with mad cow disease, and that the apples don’t contain nitrates?
If you didn’t get enough adrenaline yet, I can recommend to you some more adventures.

“A visit to a friend” (for those who prefer climbing). Chose a friend, who lives on the 22nd or 25th floor and try to go upstairs on foot. Never use an elevator in such cases! (That is an activity for paratroopers.)

“Elevator descending”. Find an old multi-storey building. Get into the elevator and go down. You are successful if the elevator will remain on its wires. Strong emotions are guaranteed.

Untitled adrenaline actions: jogging in a dog park; passing through exams (that’s pure adrenaline!); travelling by subway with two cakes in rush-hour (tested by myself!)

By Anastasia Osipova, 3rd year student