Tuesday, July 26, 2011

What Makes a Mongol Rallyist?

The launch at Goodwood and the Czech Out party were both perfect opportunities for us to meet other teams and make summary judgments about their personalities. There are any number of diplomats, spies and secret agents, geeks, car nuts and students undertaking the rally this year, although not nearly as many as The Adventurists bumpf would have you believe (by our calculations we think there’s about 250-ish cars participating). But about half way through the party last night we decided that there isn’t really a stereotype. Granted that some 80% of participants are male, young, and in various states of (un)employment. Indeed, several chaps had quit their jobs in order to participate. We have met three other American teams, one of whom we decided is on a mission from the US State Department. In a process of deduction we found out that all three were students, two of something called ‘International Relations’, and one from Dubai working an internship for big pharma. Their car was shipped over and was licensed in Virginia, home to among other things the CIA. They are in good company with representatives from both the UK government and the Canadian Foreign and Commonwealth office. All these teams shared a goal of taking the long way around the ‘Stans to Mongolia. We report, you decide.  
In our conversations we met deckhands for millionaires, lawyers, engineers, and lots of students off for a lark. Tom and I raise the rally’s median age by about 25 years and although we’ve seen a couple of other geezers, as a group the over 50’s are very much in the minority. Other sweeping generalizations include a lack of mechanical, language and geographical skills, a general enthusiasm for life and above all a sense of adventure. Rally on! 

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