when partner and i were traveling round europe with a tour group after our college graduation, our guide esme (a name so exotic then, which only makes me think of twilight now) made this grandiose statement as our motor-coach passed waterloo.
gesturing wildly into the near distance, she said solemnly, "and that is where napoleon met his waterloo."
cue the guffaws.
because it wasn't like napoleon went into waterloo thinking "this will be my waterloo." it wasn't a turn of phrase that existed until after he had met his waterloo. and so i chortled smugly and retold this story time and again. because it was ridiculous to use waterloo in the sense of meeting one's waterloo when talking about the original instance of the man who met his waterloo in waterloo.
except, upon going to write about it now, i realized maybe none of it is true.
partner and i were never in belgium, so we were never near waterloo. perhaps esme was gesturing into the far distance rather than the near? perhaps she was telling us a story about napoleon's other waterloo? did napoleon have another waterloo? if so, that is, like, an embarassment of waterloos for one man.
i say all that to say that appendix 8 of the tier 4 visa application very nearly was my waterloo.
the title is deceptive. when you hear the word "appendix" you think: (a) a vestigial organ (though it's vestigiality is disputed) or (b) a vestigial addedum to a literary work. either way, the vestigiality provides a common thread.
appendix 8 is not vestigial. it's really effing important.
oh but wait, there's more.
appendix 8 is seven pages long. this, also, is deceptive.
what appendix 8 doesn't tell you right off the bat is that there's an 88-page companion guidebook to aid in its completion.
this is the point at which i wanted to beat up appendix 8. ultimately, i didn't. ultimately, i completed appendix 8 nine times, because the computer kept freezing and losing all of my work.
this is where we are now (as of october 24, 2012): the visa is filed and appendix 8 is my bitch.