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During my travels newspaper columns were published weekly in the Dutch daily newspaper
Dutch newspaper Spits

This project has been supported by these great and warmhearted companies:
Netherlands: Paping Buitensport, ODLO, IPtower.nl, AVRO Dutch Broadcasting Org., Travelcare, TunaFish, Book A Tour, StadsRadio Rotterdam; UK: Lazystudent, KissFM, The Sunday Times, The Guardian; Isle of Man: SteamPacket/SeaCat; Ireland: BikeTheBurren; Belgium: Le Temps Perdu, Majer & PartnersAustria: OhmTV.com; Norway: Scanrail Pass, Hurtigruten, Best Western HotelsSouth Africa: eTravel, British Airways Comair, CapeTalk, BazBus Spain: Inter Rail, Train company Renfe; Australia: Channel 9 Television, Bridgeclimb, Harbourjet, SeaFM Central Coast, Moonshadow Cruises, Australian Zoo, Fraser Island Excursions, Hamilton Island Resort, FantaSea Cruises, Greyhound/McCafferty's Express Coaches, Aussie Overlanders, TravelAbout.com.au, Travelworld, Unlimited Internet, Kangaroo Island SeaLink, Acacia Apartments; Malaysia: Aircoast; Canada: VIA rail, Cedar Springs Lodge, BCTV/GlobalTV, St. George Hotel, VICKI GABEREAU talkshow, Ziptrek Ecotours, Whitler Blackcomb Ski Resort, Summit Ski & Snowboard Rental, High Mountain BrewHouse, Cougar Mountain Snowmobiling, Whistler Question Newspaper, Snowshoe Inn, First Air, Nunanet.com, Canadian North Accommodations by the Sea, DRL Coachlines Newfoundland, The National Post and Air North.


Reports

Sunday, 5 August 2001
--> Ealing, London (UK) 3rd day

Yesterday I spoke my new host for today, just to arrange the best time that could suit my arrival with him in the London town Finchley. Unfortunately he had a sad message for me.
As happy he was when I contacted him last week to ask him if I could stay with him today, that disappointed he was when he had to tell me that it was not really possible.

He told me his 4-rooms apartment was under construction and only one room could really be used. The worse part was that his girlfriend had some foreign friends coming over, implicating a pretty full room.

I totally understand his story, while I tried to run emergency scenarios in my head. The man in Finchley was to be my last place to stay in the United Kingdom, as my plane flies of tomorrow and it would be impossible (and in my view also impolite) to try to contact another person who had invited me over in the London area.

A dilemma.

The phonecall had ended and Dan and Karen noticed my concerned face.

“Should I ask them? Or should I try to arrange another place for today and try harder?” I thought.

“You can stay another day again, if you want,” Karen already said to me before I could say something else.

“Do you really mean that?” Because maybe they’d see my presence as a bother as the idea was to stay-for-a-day…

She meant it and it became another day in Ealing for me. Only the saying-goodbye would get more difficult tomorrow morning this way; I kind of got used to this place.

Sunday August 5 turned out to be another beautiful day. My forecast, last week in Maidenhead, that the heat wave was over, was kind of true. It now was more doable to just sit in the garden and have croissants for breakfast.

Dan had taken off to continue his everlasting Mission to get to buy a laser printer, which failed yesterday.

I tried to convince him that laser printers are not that available in any story anymore. Everybody seems to go for the cheaper bubble jet crap where the ink-cartridges are more expensive than the complete printer.

But he finds a laser printer fast enough to be able to print long documents as program tutorials and emails.

Awaiting Dan, we (Karen and I) enjoyed the sun while reading today’s serious newspaper the Sunday Times and a sleazy tabloid, which suggested that the British Prince Charles nearly died when he fell off his pony while playing polo.

Pathetic. Wherever on this world do people still play polo?

But how surprised were we when we saw Dan walking in with this big box and big smile on his face.

The printerguy finally accomplished his mission and bought himself a laser printer!

It was enjoyable (and cliché) to see him unpack the box and install all the wires to his computer. I just sat down on the couch and watched him figure out things he thought they must be good that way. I apologized to him when I laughed at the moment he finally sat down (his hands almost in his hair) and grabbed the instruction manual from the box.

Even while nothing much happens, life can be very enjoyable!

As it was such a sunny day, Karen had invited over some friends, and one by one they entered the house and ended up in the sunlit green garden.

I can’t exactly recall their names that good, but this guy Roberto was really overwhelmed about my story about my stay with DJ Bam Bam (listen to this mp3).

DJ Bam Bam is the local London hero with his Breakfast Show on KissFM, London’s most popular radiostation.

And as Dan had invited me on my website, through this show, Roberto almost couldn’t believe that I even stayed for-a-day with Bam Bam (see the report of May 30) and that he took me to the UK premier of Pearl Harbor, in a cinema with almost only celebrities present.

Shawn, Dan’s brother whom I met yesterday in Notting Hill, was also present with four other friends, and the talks had flickered into discussion about working and travelling, investing in real estate and how to make money fast. I didn’t know the answer to the last enquiry, but I do have some addresses to visit on this planet…

Dan heated up the grill and the atmosphere was set for a delightful barbeque. Wine was drunk during dinner in the garden, sun tan oils were passed around and beer got revealed.

Of course, like every nice day, it gets chilly again when the sun finds it way on the other side of our planet, so most of the guests said goodbye after an enjoyable day.

For me it was time to pack my back, this time ready for a really big move. Denmark, here I come!

Goodnight United Kingdom, for the last time now!

Ramon.




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