The Accidental Traveling Companion
Some vacation trips are family affairs, others are romantic getaways for two. Then there is the third type, the solo excursion. Traveling by oneself has some unique advantages. You only have to please yourself. You can set the pace, either fast or slow, according to your mood or disposition. So you can imagine my slight consternation when, in my carefully planned solo trip to Iceland last year, I was "befriended" by a somewhat clueless, flabby college counselor who was the "tour leader" for a group of teachers-in-training from a state school in Michigan. He had done no homework about this trip, about Iceland in general, and Reykjavík in particular. My schedule was complete, I had about twenty hours of things to do each day, but I was not a slave to that schedule, I just didn't have the time to babysit.
But I relented, I mentioned that I was going to Laugardalslaug, he was welcome to come along. "Do you have a car? How far is it?" Well no, I wouldn't have a car until later that week, and it was about 1500
Finally, it was time to go (the pool was closing), and we headed back. He had to stop at an 'American Style' resturant, where we drank Cokes, while he complained about his time in Iceland. Some date. When we got back to the guesthouse, he went straight to bed, I stayed up and talked with some of his 'charges', the students who were far more in tune with the idea of Icelandic exploration. Over the course of the evening, some of the students were complaining about being stuck with such a dud. I thought about this for a while, then said: "...yeah, but I had to see him naked!"