Ellen is a flight steward and often flies to South Africa. Theree at the souther tip she meets Mik, who works in a gamepark. She falls in love with Mik and decides to leave her husband in The Netherlands. This is the beginning of a long distance relationship. Ellen turns out to be a lady who turns herself into a follower, eventhough she provlaims all the time she like adventure who wants to discover new places. In reality her decisions are based on the need to follow Mik, where ever he is she wants to follow. And Mik travels his own road.
After a short story about a trip to India, the main body of the book is about a journey from Egypt to South Africa on a kickbike. But let me be clear: Ellen does not kick the bike, for on this journey with ‘cyclist’ and mechanics she is a kind of lady who tries to organize things in all kinds of ways. Mike is not present, Ellen tried to push him into this journey, but he made his own plans. On the backover it is written that Ellen kickbiked her way from Caïro to Cape Town. She also has kickbiked for a few kilometers. At times she leaves the kickbikers to do her own things, one time she leaves the group at Nairobi for a medical treatment. In the Kenya capital she considers to join someone else on his journey, but she decides against it, but stills she counts herself adventurous. At other times she takes a short break in Malawi or spends time with Mik in South Africa.
Dear Reader, are you still able to understand it all? Her way of life is reflected in her way of writing. It is hard to follow. She uses incomplete sentences, she follows grammatical trails, she develops her specific way of interpunction, she avoids paragraphs, pays a lot of attention to herself. At the end of this book she writes about ‘spinal malaria’, but I guess that shoudl have been ‘cerebrale malaria’.A dangerous disease, I know from my own experience.
As often with travel stories there is no map included.
Ellen Versteeg – Nomade uit het westen. Liefde, leven en avontuur door mijn ogen – 2005 – 111 pages