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Scottish rainbow trout

On the beach at Pwllheli, North Wales drinking red wine and eating roast chicken

After a sumptuous seafood dinner at Aberdaron, North Wales

N. Wales memories

Bon Journal

Multilateral decision making

Lemondrops and I each knew two other people in the group very well. Gloria and Robert knew only one other person very well. We got together in North Wales for a few days. And it became clear that we were involved in multilateral decision making with unknown or unfamiliar preferences.

For most of the year, I travel on my own. I make decisions on my own. I don't have to negotiate or compromise with anyone else. To go on a trip with another person doubles the complexity of decision making. Imagine trying to decide among four people in unfamiliar territory. None of us had been to North Wales before.

Lemondrops wanted to eat out, to sample the local Welsh cuisine. I wanted to cook. Gloria and Robert were both accommodating. Since we didn't know what was good, we had the first meal in. But the kitchen proved too ill-equipped by Lemondrops' standards. So we drove an hour the next evening in search of that famous seafood restaurant in Aberdaron, a place recommended by the bartender of a local wine bar called the Electric Pengwin.

On the third day, my save-the-earth inclination made me want to cook the pork tenderloin Lemondrops had chosen a few days before. We ended up in a compromise: I cooked half of it Chinese style and she braised the other half.

As for trekking up Mount Snowdon, I was not in the mood. So Lemondrops and Gloria performed the feat while Robert and I practised our duets.

After three days of revealing our preferences, exploring alternatives, and negotiating the final decisions, I became mentally exhausted. I can now understand why travelling in groups only works if there's a leader. Without one, we are all chiefs. It's much easier to travel solo.

1 August 2001

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