It's such a bad idea, you couldn't make it up. Well-to-do teenage son of travel writer on national newspaper gets to write a blog about his experiences travelling round India and Thailand (via Bloggerheads). Have a gander at the blog comments, then leave with a big smile on your face. He's not even left and he's getting crucified. If this isn't a spoof this could unintentionally become one of the funniest blogs of all time.
Apropos of this, it seems like a perfect time to unearth this rant from a few years back on Coffee and PC about gap year students. I was a lot angrier back then, I think. I can also, unusually, remember exactly why this rant was written. You try sitting in a queue for the best part of an hour next to a Gap Year student regaling the girl next to him with holiday tales.
What I did on my holidays
I don't like students at the best of times.
I especially hate students who've been on Gap Years and feel the need to tell people that they've been on Gap Years. And everything they did on Gap Years. Which generally seems to be one of the following:
1) Rescuing the Sultan of Brunei's daughter from an alligator 2) Marrying the Sultan of Brunei's daughter 3) Found a cure for cancer 4) Adopted a starving Sierra Leonian before single-handedly raising him to the point where he could fend for himself at Eaton. 5) Rebuilt a tsunami-devastated village. 6) Worked in Asda.
While, on the surface, the latter is not as impressive as the above five, number six still feels the need to tell anyone and everyone that anecdote about the time they accidentally overcharged Johnny from Big Brother 3 for a Twix Bar. In any other situation this may be considered boring, but it's fine, it's interesting because it's on a FUCKING GAP YEAR.
It's universally acknowledged that holiday snaps are about as interesting as a DVD of John Major's Greatest Ever Speeches, and that you are permitted no longer than one evening to talk about what you did on your holidays because you clearly need to get it out of your systems.
Alas, not so for the Gap Year student, who sees fit to impart the wisdom they learnt building trees for Afghans in any and every situation.
For example, somebody breaks the sandwich toaster. Cue amusing story about living off toasted weevils for three weeks to integrate with a remote rainforest tribe.
For some reason everybody puts up with these stories, especially Freshers who've just come from A-levels because these people seem grown up. They're not, they're just cunts, who are so utterly devoid of any personality they need to continually reassert their worth to the human race by not-so-casually mentioning they build a school in Botswana using just an old Weetabix box.
So it's good to read that Gap Year students really don't add anything to the developing world, bar more air pollution from their flight, problems because of the language barrier, and an excess of holier-than-thou attitudes.
"An expatriate raft guide, who formerly worked at a bar frequented by the volunteers, reckoned that he could offer parents a cheaper alternative for their little darlings. "Send your daughter to us," he said, "and for only £1,000 we'll get her drunk every night and persuade her to strip at the bar."
Although thinking about it, that's the perfect preparation for university.