The Third League: Europa
The Third League: Europa
Author: Bernd Wechner
Published on: July 1, 1997
A work by Jaime R. Salazar in 4 chapters, 38 printed pages and 35,000 words.
Jaime is a young American who packed his bags and went to Europe on a hitch-hiking expedition through Europe. His introduction paints a very romantic picture of a young man with a passion for hitching the European continent, for all the noble reasons a hitcher might have (See Hitching is not just Ride Sharing!).
If the picture of Claudia Schiffer in the introduction is no clue as to what follows, it should be. In 38 pages of text Jaime manages to hitch from Brussels to Paris, devoting no more than a few paragraphs, to the whole experience. He wastes no words on the mecahnics nor the philosophy of his hitch. The bulk of his book, incomplete as it is, is a dreadful expose on the exploits of a young philanderer obsessed with women. While that is not inherently such an abject or unusual obsession, Jaime manages to make it into one.
He manages to write 38 pages of prose, in which almost every word is dedicated to some attempt to seduce a woman with the aim (oddly enough) of finding a place to stay the night. With that in mind he spends his nights in bars chatting up every woman that he lays his eyes on. He declares himself to be in love with the first woman he sets his eyes on in Paris. She is just leaving town for the weekend and he arranges a rendevous for Monday, just three days later, over which time he manages to all but entirely forget her. His love at least rates no further mention, and he thinks twice about the rendezvous, having arranged another during the weekend that clashes! All in all an interesting concept of Love and not one I share (evidently).
He displays a profound and calculating lack of respect for the people around him, of any persuasion, let alone the women he is courting and the scant few drivers he mentions. He manipulates invitations and offers, plays them against one another, and seems in the process to succeed!
I'm forced to wonder if this is fiction or non-fiction, and be it the latter, what charms Jaime posesses in person that he so sadly lacks in print. His photo, on the cover doesn't provide any obvious clues either.
The book is incomplete, stopping only a scant few days into his European trip, and there is the promise of more to come! Oh Joy! By comparison with The Tao of Hitching and Innocence Abroad it is poorly proof-read and contains its share of errors.
All the same it is readable and well formatted with postcard pictures throughout. There is a lot of action, the plot flows so to speak, and the story is so ludicrous as to force a laugh or two along the way. While this is the lowest form of pulp fiction I've encountered on the net yet, it is nonetheless a little entertaining, and something of an experience to behold.
Jaime has a page on feedback, and presents voluntarily some rather frank and derogatory criticism of him and his book, from which it should be clear that he enjoys a little sensationalism and attention. What is more surprising to me is that some of the feedback he quotes is positive! This review while not altogether positive, is my small contribution to his predeliction for attention.