09 February 2020

Book Review: Ein Coffee to go in Togo by Markus Maria Weber

This, I must say, was a very interesting read. This book chronicles the travels of the author, who decided one day to ride a bike from Europe all the way to Togo. The author until then was a consultant, used to days wearing a suit, dealing with clients left and right, spending plenty of evenings in sterile hotel rooms, and always travelling, drinking coffee to go. So one day, he decided to take some time off, and wondered whether there was coffee to go in Togo.

He first followed the Danube, all the way to the Black Sea. And from there, he went south, skirting the Mediterranean Sea, and then crossing into Morocco, and into the Sahara, all the way to Togo. It was absolutely an adventure.

As a reader, I liked this book mostly because unlike other travelogues, it was focusing on the travel, the adventure, the road. Some travel writers seem to want some cathartic moment of euphoria, seeking some abstract goal, in their travels. Weber wasn't like that. Yes, he wanted a break from life, and found a very simple and perhaps trivial catalyst for it (coffee), but otherwise, his writing style was something I liked because I learned vicariously a lot from what he wrote.

Indeed, some of the countries he went to I have absolutely no interest in going. Yet because he went, my curiosity was piqued. I still have plenty of places I want to go to before I choose to venture to West Africa, but I must say, he is perhaps providing seeds of doubt to my current conviction.

Overall, I liked the book because it provided me access to places I currently don't imagine myself visiting. Whether his descriptions of these lands are accurate or not, I won't judge, but at least it gives me a little bit more insight in these countries. Who knows, perhaps at some point I'd find myself there in West Africa, spending some time checking these places out myself.

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

See my other book reviews here.

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