Once I checked out the Podcast Pickle building and left a brief hello message to Gary who wasn’t online at the time, I decided it was time to start really exploring the island, as well as some other areas. When you first enter Second Life as a newbie, you are immediately cursed with terrible hair and clothing. The good news is, there is an endless supply of freebies to be found, if you know where to go. However, there is something to be said for the phrase, ‘you get what you pay for.’ Now granted, there are a LOT of good items out there for virtually nothing. There’s also a lot of crap. Unfortunately for me, I started off with some crap. I hadn’t learned yet where to find the really good areas to start stocking up on things like new hair, clothes, and jewelry. If you really take your time looking around, you can find some great places. They have the coolest malls in Second Life, that are actually pretty realistic. 

Needless to say, Dreamtime Mall was NOT where I found my first new outfit. I actually found it in a box laying abandoned on the ground. There was probably a good reason for this. I made for such a sad sight of a newbie. Walking around in a bad sweater with hair that looked like it had been colored on with a crayon. And a single sweater cuff hanging around one wrist. Just one. I don’t think I could have looked like a bigger dork. Well, actually I could. It took me the longest time to figure out how to fly. I still can barely walk without smashing into people, and I’ve gotten very fast at typing “I’m sorry!” everytime I turn around. (Literally.) I’m not about to attempt driving yet, lest I plow through crowds of people and drive on the sidewalks. I’m pretty good at embarrasing myself on my own two feet. So back to flying. I actually don’t like to fly, because I feel like I miss a lot and tend to lose my bearings quickly. But when I did first start flying, it was a lot like when I was learning to rollerskate or ride a bike in real life. I was good enough as long as I kept going. But stopping wasn’t nearly as graceful. For flying, this usually ended up with me plummeting from high altitudes and landing quite literally on my face or back. Sometimes in a clump of bushes. In the ocean. On someone’s roof. Or on occasion, on someone’s head. My first few days on Second Life were one faux pas after another. 

One of the most embarrasing examples of this was learning the difference between a public building, and a private residence. Yes, you can buy houses in Second Life. There are some really beautiful ones, there. Like the two story modern looking beachfront home that I happened to fly past. Wanting to investigate further, I made my crash landing on the 2nd floor balcony and tried the door. It opened, so I naturally assumed that this was a new place to explore. Well, you know what they say about people who assume. 
“What are you doing in my house?!” I saw the text scrawl across the bottom of my screen. I tried to turn around to see who was yelling at me, and managed yet another hasty “I’m sorry!” before I was airborn. I found out later that this is a common practice that rude newbies are subjected to called ‘orbiting’. I was ejected forcefully back to the beach where I belonged. I never did find out whose house I crashed, although I do still feel bad for it. It was a lesson learned, one of many. Now when I go anywhere near that house, I find a string of angry red letters proclaiming NO ENTRY, and I’m unable to go any further.

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~ by Nika Dreamscape on January 15, 2008.

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