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1 Burnside Travel Writing- Africa and Middle East

My Mercedes Is Not for Sale: From Amsterdam to Ouagadougou...an Auto-Misadventure Across the Sahara

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My Mercedes Is Not for Sale: From Amsterdam to Ouagadougou...an Auto-Misadventure Across the Sahara Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

“Oh Lord, wont you buy me a Mercedes Benz?”

—Janis Joplin

A journalists intrepid endeavor to sell his used car abroad results in a high-spirited and revealing look at West Africa.

“Look, theres my car,” I say, pointing at my Mercedes in the parking lot.

“Where?” a fellow desert traveler asks.

“There, that Mercedes,” I say.

He looks at me, questioning. “You want to drive that through the Sahara?”

 

Jeroen van Bergeijk came up with what seemed like a great scheme for making a quick profit: buy a clunker of a car in his native Amsterdam and resell it in the Third World, where a market even for jalopies still thrives. His chariot of choice is a rusted-out 1988 Mercedes 190D with 220,000 kilometers on its odometer; his route will take him from Holland through Morocco, across the Sahara, and into some of the least trodden parts of Africa.

My Mercedes Is Not for Sale is a rollicking tale of an innocent abroad. The author finds himself facing a driving challenge akin to the Dakar Rally but encounters obstacles never dreamed of by race-car drivers: active minefields, occasional banditry—mostly by the border guards—and a teenage, chain-smoking desert guide with a fondness for Tupac lyrics. Food and water are scarce, sandstorms are frequent, and all he has to patch up his many car breakdowns thousands of miles from civilization is a bar of soap, some duct tape, and a pair of womens nylons. Then theres the coup he survived.

My Mercedes Is Not for Sale captures more than the adventure—it vividly portrays the impact of globalization on Africa through a surprise-filled journey into its thriving car culture, while asking the question: is the white mans burden really a used car?

Review:

"In his travel narrative, Bergeijk chronicles his three-month trip along the Trans-Sahara Highway to sell his used Mercedes 190 D. His primary goal is to turn a pretty profit, but he hopes for a little adventure in the process. And he finds it: being chased by two unknown cars in Morocco, getting his car stuck in a mine field and maneuvering through corrupt border officials. Unfortunately, while Bergeijk experiences events that would harrow the soul of any ordinary traveler, he does not fully bring the adventure to life. What propels the narrative, though, are his portrayals of desert towns where sand is everywhere — 'in your bag, in your food, even in your underwear' — and where everything looks desolate. Likewise, the historical background on early explorations of Saharan Africa (by men like Antoine de Saint-Exupry, Capt. James Riley and Mungo Park) and on the attempt to build a trans-Sahara railroad add texture to his own excursion. In the end, Bergeijk provides an illuminating introduction to Saharan Africa and the economic implications of its used car trade. Photos. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

With the wit and insight of J. Maarten Troost's "Sex Lives of Cannibals" and Tony Horwitz's "Baghdad Without a Map," this is a rollicking tale of an innocent abroad that also vividly portrays the impact of globalization on Africa through its thriving car culture.

Synopsis:

“Oh Lord, wont you buy me a Mercedes Benz?”

Janis Joplin

A journalists intrepid endeavor to sell his used car abroad results in a high-spirited and revealing look at West Africa.

“Look, theres my car,” I say, pointing at my Mercedes in the parking lot.

“Where?” a fellow desert traveler asks.

“There, that Mercedes,” I say.

He looks at me, questioning. “You want to drive that through the Sahara?”

 

Jeroen van Bergeijk came up with what seemed like a great scheme for making a quick profit: buy a clunker of a car in his native Amsterdam and resell it in the Third World, where a market even for jalopies still thrives. His chariot of choice is a rusted-out 1988 Mercedes 190D with 220,000 kilometers on its odometer; his route will take him from Holland through Morocco, across the Sahara, and into some of the least trodden parts of Africa.

My Mercedes Is Not for Sale is a rollicking tale of an innocent abroad. The author finds himself facing a driving challenge akin to the Dakar Rally but encounters obstacles never dreamed of by race-car drivers: active minefields, occasional banditrymostly by the border guardsand a teenage, chain-smoking desert guide with a fondness for Tupac lyrics. Food and water are scarce, sandstorms are frequent, and all he has to patch up his many car breakdowns thousands of miles from civilization is a bar of soap, some duct tape, and a pair of womens nylons. Then theres the coup he survived.

My Mercedes Is Not for Sale captures more than the adventureit vividly portrays the impact of globalization on Africa through a surprise-filled journey into its thriving car culture, while asking the question: is the white mans burden really a used car?

About the Author

JEROEN VAN BERGEIJK is a journalist based in Amsterdam and has written for The New York Times, Wired, and many other publications in Europe and the United States.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780767928694
Author:
Van Bergeijk, Jeroen
Publisher:
Broadway Books
Translator:
Antonides, John
Author:
Jeroen van Bergeijk
Subject:
General
Subject:
Essays & Travelogues
Subject:
Automobile travel
Subject:
Description and travel
Subject:
Africa, West
Subject:
Mercedes automobile
Subject:
Africa, West Description and travel.
Subject:
General Travel
Subject:
Travel Writing-General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20080731
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
8 PAGE PHOTO INSERT
Pages:
224
Dimensions:
8.02x5.32x.59 in. .41 lbs.

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Africa » West Africa
Travel » Travel Writing » Africa and Middle East
Travel » Travel Writing » General

My Mercedes Is Not for Sale: From Amsterdam to Ouagadougou...an Auto-Misadventure Across the Sahara Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$5.50 In Stock
Product details 224 pages Broadway Books - English 9780767928694 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "In his travel narrative, Bergeijk chronicles his three-month trip along the Trans-Sahara Highway to sell his used Mercedes 190 D. His primary goal is to turn a pretty profit, but he hopes for a little adventure in the process. And he finds it: being chased by two unknown cars in Morocco, getting his car stuck in a mine field and maneuvering through corrupt border officials. Unfortunately, while Bergeijk experiences events that would harrow the soul of any ordinary traveler, he does not fully bring the adventure to life. What propels the narrative, though, are his portrayals of desert towns where sand is everywhere — 'in your bag, in your food, even in your underwear' — and where everything looks desolate. Likewise, the historical background on early explorations of Saharan Africa (by men like Antoine de Saint-Exupry, Capt. James Riley and Mungo Park) and on the attempt to build a trans-Sahara railroad add texture to his own excursion. In the end, Bergeijk provides an illuminating introduction to Saharan Africa and the economic implications of its used car trade. Photos. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , With the wit and insight of J. Maarten Troost's "Sex Lives of Cannibals" and Tony Horwitz's "Baghdad Without a Map," this is a rollicking tale of an innocent abroad that also vividly portrays the impact of globalization on Africa through its thriving car culture.
"Synopsis" by , “Oh Lord, wont you buy me a Mercedes Benz?”

Janis Joplin

A journalists intrepid endeavor to sell his used car abroad results in a high-spirited and revealing look at West Africa.

“Look, theres my car,” I say, pointing at my Mercedes in the parking lot.

“Where?” a fellow desert traveler asks.

“There, that Mercedes,” I say.

He looks at me, questioning. “You want to drive that through the Sahara?”

 

Jeroen van Bergeijk came up with what seemed like a great scheme for making a quick profit: buy a clunker of a car in his native Amsterdam and resell it in the Third World, where a market even for jalopies still thrives. His chariot of choice is a rusted-out 1988 Mercedes 190D with 220,000 kilometers on its odometer; his route will take him from Holland through Morocco, across the Sahara, and into some of the least trodden parts of Africa.

My Mercedes Is Not for Sale is a rollicking tale of an innocent abroad. The author finds himself facing a driving challenge akin to the Dakar Rally but encounters obstacles never dreamed of by race-car drivers: active minefields, occasional banditrymostly by the border guardsand a teenage, chain-smoking desert guide with a fondness for Tupac lyrics. Food and water are scarce, sandstorms are frequent, and all he has to patch up his many car breakdowns thousands of miles from civilization is a bar of soap, some duct tape, and a pair of womens nylons. Then theres the coup he survived.

My Mercedes Is Not for Sale captures more than the adventureit vividly portrays the impact of globalization on Africa through a surprise-filled journey into its thriving car culture, while asking the question: is the white mans burden really a used car?

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