The Nice Seat
Taking teenagers on family holidays can be difficult. So naturally my parents took it a step too far and decided spending 5 weeks in a classic VW campervan as a family was an amazing idea. When I tell people this the normal reaction is “that sounds fun” with an obvious awkward grimace. Most families with two teenagers can barely make nice for a weeks holiday. Times that by 5 and limit the space to 3m x 2m x 2m and watch hell unfold. Except it didn’t. At least not in the ways that we would expect.
I was 14 and my sister was 12 going on 25. You could say that our first problem was that our van was ready 3 days late. We had to change our ferry crossing and race down the west coast of France, along the north of Spain and all the way to Portugal in 3 days. Driving up to 10 hours a day and all the way wondering when the engine would break down. But that is a story for another time. However, for my sister and I, a much bigger problem dominated the entire holiday.
Day three and she is still in the nice seat. The seat with more space, with the bedding packed behind and the cushions on the side. I mean don’t get me wrong I didn’t mind watching my sister spread out on all the cushions like a Roman lady, pressing her legs into my seat and sleeping on my lap. It was kind of cute and I am the older sister we’d swap in a few days. My seat wasn’t that bad. Packed behind me was the book box, not as soft as the bedding but I had a headrest at least. I had lovely views outside the window which I was pressed against by the forceful legs of my sister. The view was made even nicer by being almost high on petrol fumes from the dodgy gas tank on my side of the van. So not all bad and we would swap soon. A week later: we will swap soon. 4 weeks later: we WILL swap. 5 weeks later: I have sat in the nice seat once and my sister took all of the cushions.