Guidebook Power Struggle
|James and his favorite guidebook...in happier days.|
James loses his Spain book, Erin seizes control
Thousands of travelers are busily blogging their way across Europe this summer. Some of these blog/journals vividly capture the 'interpersonal dynamics' of the travel experience. We got a kick out of this entry in James Miller's trip blog (Day 8, July 2) in which James' travel partner, Erin, added her own thoughts regarding one particular day in Spain...
"...you can imagine my irritation with James during the first few hours of the day. You must also be able to imagine, then, my delight when he lost his beloved Rick Steves' Spain guide book. Very early on, James silently declared himself the ringleader and sole executive decision-maker of the entire vacation, so watching him crumble gave me just the slightest hint of amusement.
About fifteen minutes after the cathedral 'stole his book', as he calls it, we were sitting on a bench in a lovely park — me, enjoying the surroundings, and James, lamenting the loss of his book. He had just bought a huge 1.5 liter bottle of water — clean, ice cold, and dripping with condensation. As we sat in silence, he suddenly dropped the whole bottle, and it rolled away for a good six feet — all the while becoming covered with layer upon layer of sand, dirt, cigarette ash, etc. It wasn't until I looked over and saw him wilting in defeat that I started feeling a twinge of pity (through my giggles, of course). This was rock bottom for James, and my heart truly ached for him.
However, this does not, by any means, negate the fact that I thoroughly enjoyed the change in roles. I, having my own copy of Rick Steves' Spain, have become the one with all the power.
For the next three days — at least — James is at my mercy. You should see his face whenever I let him hold it or touch the book. Pure joy. He's even offered me €60 for my book (which is roughly 90 U.S. dollars), and I've denied his request. Don't misunderstand me... I'm certainly not trying to be cruel; I let him use it any time he pleases, but when it's time to put the book away, it goes in ERIN'S bag. James clearly hasn't proven himself to be responsible enough, and we really can't afford to lose our last remaining guidebook. We'd probably never make it back home..."
P.S. When we emailed James in Tarifa for permission to use this excerpt, he replied:
"One more thing for her to hold over my head :)"