@Download Kindle ⚡ Dark Star Safari: Overland from Cairo to Cape Town ï eBook or Kindle ePUB free

@Download Kindle ⚹ Dark Star Safari: Overland from Cairo to Cape Town ⚡ In Dark Star Safari the wittily observant and endearingly irascible Paul Theroux takes readers the length of Africa by rattletrap bus, dugout canoe, cattle truck, armed convoy, ferry, and train In the course of his epic and enlightening journey, he endures danger, delay, and dismaying circumstancesGauging the state of affairs, he talks to Africans, aid workers, missionaries, and tourists What results is an insightful mediation on the history, politics, and beauty of Africa and its peopleIn a new postscript, Theroux recounts the dramatic events of a return to Africa to visit Zimbabwe A trek through the heart of Modern Africa16 May 2015 Well, I have already written three blogposts worth of thoughts on this really interesting book, however I will simply touch on a fewimportant points for those of you who don t have the time or the inclination to read through what I have written elsewhere and the links to those posts are below Anyway, this is the diary of a journey that the author took from Cairo, across the African continent, to Cape Town His original intention was A trek through the heart of Modern Africa16 May 2015 Well, I have already written three blogposts worth of thoughts on this really interesting book, however I will simply touch on a fewimportant points for those of you who don t have the time or the inclination to read through what I have written elsewhere and the links to those posts are below Anyway, this is the diary of a journey that the author took from Cairo, across the African continent, to Cape Town His original intention was to travel entirely by land, however since the Sudanese border was closed and the fact that he wanted to travel legitimately, meaning no sneaking over the border, and no bribing officials a couple of legs were by plane Anyway, Theroux had been in Africa in the 60s, first as a teacher in Malawi and then as a university lecturer in Uganda However due to the deteriorating situation in Uganda at the time he, and his wife decided to leave and ended up settling in England Years later Theroux decided that he wanted to go back to Africa and visit some of these places to see what had changed, but to also simply escape and wander across the continent completely cut off from the modern world The story of his journey, while not necessarily eye opening, is interesting to say the least The first theme that comes up regularly in the book is that of the modern tourist industry, an industry that Theroux really does not particularly like In a way the industry is simply another form of entertainment where tourists go and see a sanitised version of the continent, whether it be to the ruins of Ancient Egypt, the big game parks of central and southern Africa, or the cheap coastal resorts Okay, I must admit that I quite enjoy travelling myself, however I have also experienced this modern industry where travel agents do their best to book you into some of the most expensive hotels simply to jack up their commissions, and where you are shielded from the worst excesses of some of these countries In places like Tanzania the tourist enters via a shiny new airport and is whisked away by minibus on sealed road to the game parks What they do not see is the grinding poverty and the decaying infrastructure off of the main route Decay is another thing that is repeated throughout the book Africa in many cases is a land that is in decay, and in a way it is simply because the locals do not have the mindset that those of us in the developed west have While we may be regularity repairing our homes and maintaining our roads, the Africans have never really done that in the past and the only reason much of this infrastructure was built was thanks to the European settlers As the wave of independence spread across the continent many of the colonial governments were expelled to be replaced by governments consisting of the local people, people who had no experience in running a modern state and people who too easily succumb to corruption While western countries may give aid to the government, or provide assistance with trade, much of this money never makes it to the community level and instead disappears as soon as it hits the minister s desk Theroux seems to be very critical with regards to the aid industry, and while I am only going by his word, in a way I am not surprised The question that is raised is why is it that many of these countries are still living in abject poverty despite all of this money and all of the agencies working here tirelessly for decades Theroux suggests that a part of it is because aid is big business, and if these countries were lifted out of poverty then there would no longer be any work for them Another suggestion is that these organisations don t educate the local population, but rather do everything for them For instance they dig wells and the build schools, and then they leave, and while the community may have this brand spanking new building, they don t really know how to keep it in good condition, and as such it begins to decay Another thing is that these countries are really cheap and this provides young aid workers an adventure that doesn t cost all that much Thus they can sit in their resorts sipping margaritas by the pool, and then go out performing some project that in the end will do nothing for the community I guess it all comes down to the old axiom give a man a fish and feed him for a day, but teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime Don t get me wrong, I believe aid agencies do a lot of good for many of the communities that they help Sure, Theroux suggested that these agencies love disasters because it brings them money in the form of donations, but famines are even better because while a natural disaster may occupy the minds of the western world for a couple of weeks, a famine can last a lot longer It is with disasters that these agencies really begin to shine because many of these countries do not have the infrastructure, or even the resources, to be able to deal with the consequences of a disaster, which means that these agencies can get feet on the ground to supply food and medical aid quickly, which helps prevent the spread of diseases While the disaster may have an immediately effect, if help does not come quickly, disease can quickly take hold and end up leaving a much, much greater death toll Yet these is also the problem with the fact that if you simply give things to people then these people become to expect these gifts Some may scoff at the idea that giving a beggar money only works to encourage them, but the sad truth is that in many cases it does I have even heard stories that here in Australia backpackers will pose as beggars to top up their travelling allowance Granted, there are people out there that are genuinely in dire straights in particular the mentally ill that simply cannot take care of themselves Rent increases are increasingly marginalising people and pushing them out onto the streets, and when somebody hits the street, it is very hard for them to turn their life back around However there is some truth to the fact that simply by giving money to people doesn t necessarily help them, it simply rewards them for in effect doing nothing This is also why I have concerns about giving houses to the homeless Don t get me wrong, I believe that everybody should have a roof over their head, but then there are many of us who work really hard to maintain that roof over our head while others are misusing their funds and regularly getting bailed out by the government, and it is not just the undeserving poor, it is the corporate world as well Anyway, I ll finish off there, though this is sounding like I have suddenly drifted far over to the right This is not the case because not everybody has the skills or the ability to sell themselves that others have However everybody should be entitled to receiving a far rewards for the work that they put in, but some people just find it really hard to find work This is where I believe assistance needs to be provided, not by simply giving people money, but by providing meaningful work that pays a decent wage so that they might also participate in society oh and also getting rid of the advertising industry that uses psychological manipulation to enslave the masses into a debt that they cannot ever pay back Part one of my post can be found here Part two of my post can be found here Part three of my post can be found here Grrrrr Oh how this man irritates yet enthrals me I have just tramped down through Africa in the footsteps of Theroux, sighing and tsking, yet unable to put the book down This man is a genius writer, yet so darn cantankerous, curmudgeonly and scathing that he made me want to throw the book on the floor and mash it Even when he relishes a place, it often seems that it is the dirt, the stink and the squalor that inspires him It s a kind of machismo Proof that he isn t a tourist, but a bona fid Grrrrr Oh how this man irritates yet enthrals me I have just tramped down through Africa in the footsteps of Theroux, sighing and tsking, yet unable to put the book down This man is a genius writer, yet so darn cantankerous, curmudgeonly and scathing that he made me want to throw the book on the floor and mash it Even when he relishes a place, it often seems that it is the dirt, the stink and the squalor that inspires him It s a kind of machismo Proof that he isn t a tourist, but a bona fide explorer and traveller.Yet he does take us where we tender visitors on river cruises and to safari lodges would fear to go He gets under the fingernails of Africa, on one heck of a magnificent journey down the spine of this vast continent There were some places I was fascinated to read about like Malawi, Zimbabwe, South Africa, and the wilderness of the Shire River and some I found boring like Egypt, or his travels across Lake Victoria But all the time he kept pulling us forward through this often torturous land Time and time again he shows us how subsistence farming and subsistence living have replaced the grandiose stamp of colonial history, and he conveys both respect and disgust for these changes He spits vitriolically at the idea of aid to Africa, and the culture of dependence that he feels it has created Herewith an extract about his views about charity in Milawi view spoilerThe working of society was in the hands of charities, running orphanages, staffing hospitals, doing triage in the pathetic education system They were saving lives you couldn t fault them but in general I despaired at the very sight of aid workers, as nothan a maintenance crew on a power trip, who had turned Malawians into beggers and whiners, and development into a study in futilityhide spoiler He seems so determined especially in central Africa to see things in a negative light At one stage he visits the school where he used to teach when young and in the Peace Corps, castigating it s demise the loss of teachers, the stolen library books and the falling down buildings Yet he meets up with an ex pupil who is obviously doing brilliantly well Surely the heritage of that school would seem to lie with its pupils the people that Theroux taught in younger and perhapsidealistic days Schools are not just bricks and mortar Thehe moves further south thehe mellows His views about Zimbabwe are positively uplifting, in spite of his recognition of its problems In South Africa he brilliantly evokes the extreme contrasts the wealth, culture and wonderful animal life, versus the crime, and the tough life experienced by the poor in squatter camps outside Cape Town On the very last leg of his journey, as he travels back from Cape Town to Johannesburg on the famous and luxurious Blue Train, a girl in one of the townships stops by the train to beg for food He gives her nothing As they start to move off she lobs stones through the window It seemed a kind of retribution for the sourness of his writing WHY do I keep reading books by this man For some unknown reason I assume that I ll garner some great knowledge form his books or beamused than frustrated Thus far not Instead I m annoyed by his arrogance and his assumption that he s different from other white people in Africa because he knows that the aide system is faulty or because he lived there in the 60 s Just because you have a backpack and a history with Africa doesn t make you an expert, and Theroux whining about the fact th WHY do I keep reading books by this man For some unknown reason I assume that I ll garner some great knowledge form his books or beamused than frustrated Thus far not Instead I m annoyed by his arrogance and his assumption that he s different from other white people in Africa because he knows that the aide system is faulty or because he lived there in the 60 s Just because you have a backpack and a history with Africa doesn t make you an expert, and Theroux whining about the fact that Africa hasn t lived up to its promise since he was there last only makes him look like all the people he criticizes He wants Africa to make leaps and bounds in its economic and political policy, but then how would he be able to write so endearingly of the street urchins and the poverty After all, seeing those things and writing about them makes him strong and experienced, right I agree that the current Western participation in African affairs is getting Africa nowhere, but I don t assume that makes me a genius or that I have my finger on the pulse of African issues If you want to write a book about Africa, write about AFRICA and about how cool you are because you can travel there and not have any concern for your safety If you want to write a travel book, write a travel book and don t be so bloody sanctimonious Don t travel in crappy cars or eat bad food just so you can prove that you ve lived like an African How condescending, to assume that Africans don t know anything better.Can anyone tell that this guy annoys me And yet, I ll probably read another of his books because I want to actually feel like he s not as much of a schmuck as I think he is I can admit that the book has some insightful or well written passages, but in general I think it s another white person thinking he s got Africa down Shut it I ll bet he took a big bottle of hand sanitizer everywhere he went, he just didn t write about that Planes, trains and automobiles and a ferry rickety, smelly mini buses a dugout canoe, taxis and a cattle truck.I give mad props to Theroux for humping it from Cairo to Cape Town at the age of 59, but this type of transport he only used a plane once to fly into Khartoum would scare away thediscerning traveler me This makes me evengrateful for Theroux s firsthand account of Africa.Foreshadowing book spoiler He quotes and draws comparisons from Joseph Conrad s Heart of Darknes Planes, trains and automobiles and a ferry rickety, smelly mini buses a dugout canoe, taxis and a cattle truck.I give mad props to Theroux for humping it from Cairo to Cape Town at the age of 59, but this type of transport he only used a plane once to fly into Khartoum would scare away thediscerning traveler me This makes me evengrateful for Theroux s firsthand account of Africa.Foreshadowing book spoiler He quotes and draws comparisons from Joseph Conrad s Heart of Darkness A lot I like to read the occasional travelogue A good travel writer gives you a window into their adventures, combining wit, history and insight into the present day doings of the area country continent they are visiting As to humor Bill Bryson thankfully looks for the punch line, Theroux s humor is of the curmudgeonly sort here, for example, pointing out the contradictory nature of the work of missionaries and aid workers He spends pages raking a missionary over the proverbial coals using his own thorough knowledge of the Bible to continually punch holes in her arguments As much as I love a good verbal pummeling of a hypocrite, this was, even for me, excessive.After traveling through several of the poorer countries of Africa, and, although many aid workers have their hearts in the right place, he sees foreign aid rapidly removing all incentive from Africans to do things for themselves The vicious cycle goes like this Country despots skim off significant portions of aid for themselves, little of it, if any, ever reaching the intended, who remain poor, jobless and hungry, thus drawing the need for stillaid.Theroux s book isn t a total festival of misanthropy He visits old friends he was in the Peace Corp , makes new friends, hangs out with hookers, and generally appreciates the pace, beauty and otherness that is Africa.So far the Theroux travel books have been engaging enough to want to continue reading them a decent mix of humor, history and bumpy rides.Theroux s Bottom line African cities are a mess the true generous and open spirit of the African people still exists in the villages.And here s the requisite wacky movie see above gif Is that a Nubian Banana or are you just happy to wake up next to me see my updates below if you really require an explanation