|Tok Tokkie Trails in German Bestseller: “Hummeldumm”
We do not know how clever or stupid bumble-bees actually are but “Hummeldumm” is the title of a humorous fiction novel written by Tommy Jaud, which has been leading German bestseller lists since its publication in February this year. Directly translated “Hummeldumm” means “stupid like a bumble-bee” or in more proper English “daft as a brush”. In his latest book, Tommy Jaud, who has already written several German bestsellers, takes his readers to Namibia and to NamibRand Nature Reserve.Matze, the hero of the story is rather unwittingly booked onto a group lodge tour through Namibia by his girl-friend. It turns out that his fellow travellers are a rare bunch of quite eccentric tourists with all sorts of curious behaviours that make travelling with them an exceptional affair. But this is not Matze’s only problem. He just cannot sit back and relax because he forgot to do a very important bank transaction before leaving Germany. Putting this right proves to be difficult. And there is the snag that his girl friend must not know about his problem, which brings him into lots of awkward situations. In chapter 19 the group embarks on the Tok Tokkie Trail at NamibRand Nature Reserve. “Beach without sea!” (see p. 133) – This is what crosses Matze’s mind when the group’s tour bus approaches the huge private nature reserve. At that time Matze has a short period of relief when he thinks that his problems are solved. During this brief interlude of relaxation he has some time to enjoy Namibia’s natural beauties: “Do you know what I like particularly about this desert?” he asks his girl-friend, “That you can see so far” (see p. 133). After arrival at the first Tok Tokkie Trails camp a timid member of the nightmare travel group asks Bahee, their tour guide: “But... we do have tents, right?” – “Of course you have a tent! A tent of stars!” (see p. 135) is the guide’s reply. Although the night brings Matze new trouble and worries with his girl-friend, Matze is overwhelmed when he carefully opens his eyes in the morning: “I had to pause for a moment as the landscape that built up in front of me in the warm light of the morning sun was overwhelming.” (see p. 161). He goes on describing that despite of the chill of the desert morning it was a very special moment to awaken in the desert and to hear nothing but silence (see p. 161). A member of the terror travel group manages to abruptly rip Matze out of his dreamful venerations by cutting the peace with a fusillade of unmistakable Austrian dialect coffee instructions.
Not all of this is fiction. Tommy Jaud actually travelled through Namibia on a guided group lodge tour and he also did the Tok Tokkie Trail. This tour probably inspired him for this novel. From reliable sources, however, we know that, contrary to Matze, he fully enjoyed his tour through Namibia and that his fellow travellers were as normal as you and me. What we do not know, however, is how “Hummeldumm” came to be the title of his book. Apologies to the bumble-bees.“Hummeldumm” was published by Scherz Verlag