Here is a Travel Book Idea - The 25 Weeks of Insane Stories at Lake Atitlan Guatemala

Travel Book Ideas - Real life is the easy source for book ideas, this book idea only requires you listen, then write the true story, and change names.


It is easy to find book ideas, the problem is staying motivated for 25 chapters on one subject. I mean, can you think about the same subject for 25 weeks, to maybe a couple years? It is a rather myopic way of thinking, and spending your days this way could bore you to tears, unless you are creative.

Here is an idea for 25 short stories, and never a dull moment, an easy writing task, no truly a no brainer, unless you are part of the story.

Lost Shoes

This is the story how Tonta Gringa left without her shoes, I found these hippie dippie, woo woo to go shoes after the dust settled.

This is MY Threat to Other Travelers, a Book about Them

I have been addicted to travel now for over 14 years, and 90 countries, I do not have a home, I live in a places called "Dysfunction Junction," it is paradise, it is the secret Shangri La you always wanted, it is the answers to questions you did ask, or want, and always it is TMI.
Too Much Information

My Address is:

Dysfunction Junction, Over-the-Rainbow
Peter Pan Street
Lost the Plot Country

There is the James Michener, epic tale method of writing about real life. Hemingway seem to want write depressing stories about himself dying in places like Mount Kilimanjaro. Somerset Maughn would write about characters who found good and bad, as they walked the planet in search of themselves.

William Sutcliffe wrote and exceptional story about India, that made me laugh until I cried while I was in Hampi, India. I truly fell out of bed, I was afraid I would way my hotel neighbors.

Each, all, most of the time, or generally, the places where foreigners congregated make the story of Doc in Cannery Row by Steinbeck seem tame.

Finding Your Muse
I have been threatening my travel friends, these people who do not care anything about me, living in the same Hotel, that I may one day write 25 short stories about them, as I lived with them for 25 weeks in Dysfunction Junction. I could compile 25 funny S.N.A.F.U. stories, and entertain the folks back home.

Today's True Story Example on Lake Atitllan

Title of Story - The Gringa Tonta

OK, there is, or was an anorexic looking female, with perma-frown on her face who look, and squinted daily as she walked walked done from the third floor of my hotel daily, past me, to walk somewhere I do not care to know. I said hello, but was always afraid of blowing her away with a smile, that would crack her face. I have no use of American women, they always want to trap me, and this is a story of entrapment, even the us travel gurus get caught up, or in this case, I almost bit the hook to enter her world of "Tontarias."

Tonta means foolish in Spanish, and I debate where to call the crazies here in Woo Woo land Tonto, or Tonta if a female, or Payasos, or Payasas if a female. Truly the Peter Pan generation of the 60's is not having babies, it is truly a lesson for Darwin, where we should say,
"Quick, get out of the pool, I mean the gene pool."

Well, Ms. Tonta, I cannot say Miss, to her face, I wait to react with her, remember this is Female Americana, she prone to pick at every word say. Well, the other day, she was sitting on the corner, drinking coffee, looking sad, as normal, like I said, PERMA- Frown, that permanent grimace thing, body language of deflection.

Well, I said hello to her, as is my nature, and a volcano of words, and things gushed out of here mouth. After listening awhile, I finally wove the story together into something consistent. She started by saying,
"I went to the Doctor, and got all these test."
"OK," I replied,
"And, what is the problem?"
She wanted to show me the test result, in Spanish, with number of lows, highs, and all these interpretations from Wikipedia. I slowed her down, but slowing depressed people down is easy, unless in the manic stage, she is in the low, sits low, and never yet seen manic, so maybe she forgot the normal manic phase

"What are you symptoms?
She replied,
"I piss 30 times a day."

I am mathematical, if she was awake 18 hours and slept 6, she would be urinating from 2-3 times per hours, and more if she was drinking coffee. I sort of though, she is drinking coffee, there is no public toilets, easy to find on Lake Atitlan, she cannot walk very far from home, she is going to stand an moment and run for the case, the Hotel.

Walking is a diuretic, and finding a toilet is the first word any Latino world traveler needs to learn, the word is "Bano," the first word to learn in any language, of you can just grab your privates, and look worried.

OK, the premise of the story is this, she is pissing 30 times per day, needs to find a doctors. I helped her to find, a man, who knew a man, who would recognize better Guate Doctors than normal, and allow this girl to stop having stressors. Remember, never forget please, this girl has perma-frown, a sure symptom of depression, right along with drinking and sleeping 24 hours.

Pan Ahead 48 Hours

If this was a movie, we would skip ahead in time, well 48 hours later, she tells me, it sort of went into remission, she saw the tall blond Argentina Doctor in Pana, and she is something, I never understood, but I did not bite the dysfunctional hook. Instead, I said,
"Did you jump him?"

I wanted to know, did you have sex with him, she said no, and I said, please, I love good true stories. She did say, 20 minutes later, going to the Dentist.
(She wanted to go get here teeth cleaned, I said it was 80 Q, and the dentist would need to check her teeth, before he told the price. She said that she was missing a lot of teeth, therefore it would be cheap. I was thinking about Gringo, or Gringa Tax.)

She said, the Doctor asked to see her privates, because, well, she was pissing 30 times per day. She refused, this was a new Doctor, and she is supposed to trust him.

We are ahead in time, she has already told me, I paid 700 USD to fly to Germany. I thought,
"Thanks, that is a great story, a girl pissing 30 times per day getting on plane."
Good fun, and my mean older brother, the Brits say.

I am listening, and not being cynical, or trying my best, she the queen of Tonta Gringas, but not dressed in the Woo Woo uniform.

Flying to Germany, my brain calculates, 3-5 hours to Guatemala City, a days rest, then 7-15 hours to destination, how many times will she need to piss?

Are you a traveler? --- toilets do not exist, maybe mañana.

OK, it is her, not me, so live and let live.

Background, she is on Social Security for depression, a later learn fact, and has traveled for nine years, or lived abroad, she road a bike from Alaska, with a man from Germany.

Anorexic female, with no boobies, and riding a bike up and down mountains with a German guy --- What is your visual, what is the little picture in our brain that would describe the German guy?

Again, lets add to the story, now she say, she if flying from Cancun.

View Larger Map

Map of Trip by Land
We are on Lake Atitlan, the time is 18 hours be boat, shuttle, and bus to arrive in Cancun, Mexico, but we are not in Kansas, so add another 10 hours. It about 28 hour trip by land from here, Dysfunction Junction, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala to Cancun, land of hotels built for Americans for 8 days, 7 nights.

She is flying her bike to Germany, she wanted, implied, she asked,
"Andy, you wake up real early, will you help me carry the bike down?"

I am no fool, I knew she was also meaning all the way to the boat dock. She said down, she is on the third floor, and I understood, I am a big, dumb, nice American from Indiana who would be glad to help Tonta Gringa carry a bike down from the third floor of the Hotel, to the first, if that is what she really meant, but is was not. Dysfunction does not function, it is always bump and run thinking.

Well, 6:00 came, she knocks on door, I answer, and said, I will be right there.

I was lucky, the bike was down, but she wanted me to carry it 100-200 yard to the dock, the front tire and rim was off.

She said,
"I am late."
No need to tell me, I can recognize S.N.A.F.U. at 50 meters, or 50 yards for you who have not traveled too far away as me. I think it could also be called,
"Charlie Foxtrot."

I counted the bags, three bags, and one bike, TMI again, I am suppose to bite the hook, and follow Tonta Gringa to the dock.

I walk to the gate, open it, look back, she is obsessed, this is good, I start walking for 75 cent Tuk Tuk Taxi. I can hear her scream, where are you going, I do not look back. I get to the dock, no taxis, I say to a young man.
"I will pay you 3 dollars to carry a bike for Tonta Gringa from the Hotel to the Dock."

He says,
Oops, I said that all in Spanish, but hang in there, you get the idea.

We start to walk, I know her, she is already blaming me for her being late, this the hook. Well,
"Great Guns"

Her is a 65 year old idiot Gringo, obviously American walking with a bike hanging over his neck. Next to him is anorexic, Holocaust stand in, with three bags walking by the name of Tonta Gringa.

I hand the young Guatemalan man 5 Q, the cost of not walking with a bike on your neck, a.k.a. 75 cents. He is happy, and I am two dollars richer. I am grateful she has hooked someone to follow her, to help her on looney toons trail

Please, if she has been only 30 minutes more awake this morning, she could have walked down, found a taxi, and or a couple of young men to help. Now, she will always know me at the obnoxious American.

The one who would not take the bait, and bite the dysfunction hook she offered.

I am thinking about writing an e-mail, to warn my friend she is on her way to San Cristobal la Casa, Mexico, and to duck, and cover from Gringa Tonta.


Any math, and travel experts, how many times will this woman need to piss on trip from Lake Atitlan, to Cancun by land, then to Germany by plane. Do not worry about the trip from Munich to the house or hotel, that is a bonus.

Crazy toons residents of Dysfunction Junction, get compound interest with each decision they make.

Just another day in Paradise.

Note, when I returned to the entrance to the Hotel, I found her shoes, TMI, and, or your option: TMB - Too Many Bags, and you lose.

Send to the editors, clean, wash, and expand please.

Andy Lee Graham 

Teach you to Travel Books

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Comments 1

Phil J

Makes me miss Panajachel. LOL. The hippie dippie chicks are a lot of laughs. Good Pizza too.

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