I have a friend who is an avid reader of half a dozen book blogs, most of which she tends to forward to my personal e-mail as recommendations despite the knowledge that my own self-imposed To Be Read Pile is incredibly vast and I do not require her help in making it vaster. However there was one recent book that I immediately put on hold, and it paid off.
“Laura, you must read this, it is basically a book about us,” my friend urged. Now, I don’t believe she has actually read it yet, but just going from the description of “two college graduates travel to Europe, shenanigans ensue” was enough to convince me that there were some striking similarities. I have not traveled much, nor would I proclaim myself to be culturally astute—I regularly find myself embarrassed whenever I eat at an Indian restaurant, both me and the waiter constantly trying to outdo the other in a Politeness Contest, and me never quite knowing whether the check should be paid at the table or when I leave. By contrast my friend believes herself to be more wise in the world, banking on the fact that she has been to Europe and parls Fransay,* though I’m sure both of us would stick out like sore Midwestern thumbs were we to embark on a voyage together. Basically our experience would be doomed to be like that of the dynamic duo of Cornelia and Emily in this book.