The Armchair Traveler Club

Archive for July, 2007


Posted by mukikamu on July 30, 2007

I started reading Gil Courtemanche’s book on the beach of a desert island somewhere in the middle of the Adriatic and I must say it was pain to swallow every word. I put the book away after two days and decided to enjoy the sunny holiday, the sea and the beauties of life instead. I took the book up again when I got home and read it in two days. Sex, AIDS, violence and an incomprehensible genocide to top it all. Please let the future of Rwanda be free of all this and let the hills prosper and the winds blow in PEACE.

asundayatthepool.jpg courtemanche.jpg

Posted in AFRICA, Books, Rwanda | Leave a Comment »


Posted by mukikamu on July 30, 2007

Things Fall Apart is said to be ‘the founding father of the African novel’. I wondered why and found that it is an anthropological classic. The everyday lives and believes of Nigerian villages evolve beautifully, coloured with folk tales (birds and the tortoise) and festive songs. Basically all aspects of a traditional life is depicted through the daily events of Okonkwo’s family. I particularly enjoyed the insight on marriage negotiations and the sometimes barbaric believes (twins need to be thrown away and children murdered for the sake of the Earth Goddess). There is a twist to the story that differentiate Achebe’s book from other African novels I’ve read and that is the hands-on description of colonisation through the eyes of the confused natives.  The chaotic circumstances of the clash of civilisations is very though provoking and edifying. I slightly missed the attachment to the characters but the cold-headed description of events has helped the story which towers over the individuals.

chinuaachebe.jpg thingsfallapart.jpg

Posted in AFRICA, Books, Nigeria | 1 Comment »


Posted by mukikamu on July 21, 2007

It is extraordinary that I haven’t read Burmese Days before. I owe my thirst for colonial novels an apology. However, better later than never to bump into a classic. Orwell’s book flashes qualities of Bates in descriptions of Burman climate, wildlife and living circumstances, plus adds highly enjoyable critical view of British colonial society and politics of the 1920s. The tragic love story naturally is of secondary importance.

” A cool breath of wind blew up the hill. It was one of those momentary winds that blow sometimes in the cold weather in Burma, coming from nowhere, filling one with thirst and with nostalgia for cold sea-pools, embraces of mermaids, waterfalls, caves of ice.”

I am more than certain that I lived in the colonial Asia in my beforelife.

READ IT FREE ONLINE and I warmheartedly recommend Orwell’s Burman short story, Shooting an Elephant for antipasti.

 burmesedays4.jpg orwell1.jpg kyauktada.jpg

Posted in ASIA, Books, Burma | Leave a Comment »