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During my travels, my compensation for free accommodation for one night, was for me to write a daily travel diary. Of how I got to my next location, the people who would host me, the food I was offered and everything else. Below you find the archives of the highly extensive reports. Know that English is not my native language and most reports were written at high speed around midnight. Enjoy.

Wednesday, 9 May 2001
--> Tilburg (NL)

I stay with me hostess Guusje, who's an artist a the Tilburg Fabric Museum, meet more pierced people and the actress and beautiful model Natasha followed by a symphonical rockconcert of Fish (former singer of Marillion)...
Together with Tamara I left her room in the studentflat. She had to go to work and at the trainstation I waved goodbye to her.

This day I didn´t had to hitch-hike along the highway, because Tamara sponsored my trainticket to Tilburg.

She said it would be exaggerated to have me hitch a distance that take no more than 30 minutes by train.

Around 10 o´clock I was already walking through the city of Tilburg. I knew my hostess for tonight would be finishing her work at 5 pm, so I decided to take a hike to the public library in Tilburg to use some internet minutes. When I was sitting there, scrolling away, a man even recognized me as ´the worldtraveller from TV´.

It´s very strange to understand it all. It either goes so un-understandable fast or the world is really too small for the media. Even today, in this libary, I had an phone interview for another radiostation on this planet. And I am just travelling the world!?

I surfed the internet about an hour and then decided to ramble to the other site of town, where my hostess works.

My hostess is Guusje van Erp, and is an artist at the Tilburg Textiel (Fabric) Museum. In this museum, still an active by-request-factory, learns you everything about the history of fabrication from wool to clothing and sheets. From the steam-area to the time electricity became more useful.

As you can see from the photographs I found it very interesting and all over the museum people were really working with all the machines and simultaneously talk about all this industry with the visitors. Really worth the time!

On the first floor I found Guusje, who is currently working on a special musuem project. She uses a rare painting by the Dutch artist Karel Appel (worth about 20,000 US-dollars) to make a really 20 meters wide deep-piled carpet off it. The painting, as you can see on the photograph, isn´t that big at all.

So the has to really look very precisely at all the little details on the painting which she has to enlarge and colorize on a very big screen, the bone of the carpet.

She thinks she can finish the work before October this year.

At 5 o´clock sharp she finished her work and we left the museum. We had a nice walk into the sun, on the way to her home, but first I had to join a group of her friends at the terrace of ´Het Buitenbeentje´ (The outsider) in the center of Tilburg.

And outsiders it were! They almost all worked at the ´Bat Cave´, which is the metal-music basement of the local pop stage called ´013´. Everybody working in the Bat Cave has at least has their tongue pierced. It´s was amazing to see their pierced bodyparts together - on the photograph...

On this terrace the weather changed withing a few seconds. And with the water coming down by gallons, we all sat under the sun blinds. When the clowds had passed us above, the warm sun was back again and Guusje walked me to her house.

Guusje had worked over 2 years in a local restaurant in Tilburg, almost being the chieff cook, but with the museum project she has finally found something very relaxed. It´s funny to hear her talk about her restaurant-years, because a waitress who worked at the same restaurant is now one of the singers of the famous Dutch rock-group Krezip. And the former dish-washer currently plays the bass in the rock-group Green Lizard.
For me it is like: hey, I know them too... a little bit...

At Guusjes´ apartment I met Natasha, who was just like me just lodging at Guusjes´s house. When I heard her life story I was really amazed.

When she was a young girl she moved out of the country. She wanted to become succesful in acting, but she didn´t want to start off in one of Hollands´ cheap soaps; she went to the United States, where she went to official Acting Schools and she even lived two years in New York and one year in Los Angeles.

When she realized that the possibillities weren´t that big in the United States, without joining this akward other film industry, she got back to Holland. With nothing left...

Now she has become a very nice and gently grown up woman and her self esteem is very visible as you just look at her. And she looks good too! For me she looks like a combination of Renée Zellweger and Michelle Pfeiffer...

With Guusjes´ cooking experience we got a delicious pasta meal, which I forgot to photograph, to busy listing to stories and answering emails before dinner.

At this time I gave her the Gift from my former host Tamara, one unique ´Home Sweet Home´ tea-mug. This was special to Tamara as she had travelled a lot and took this mug with her wherever she was.
Guusje was suprised and had to think hard about what to give the first person I´ll visit in Belgium...

After dinner, around 9 o´clock, Guusje took me with her to the pop stage ´013´, where she had put me on the guestlist at a performance of the Scottish ´Fish´, who was the former singer of the symphonical rockgroup Marillion. As she works as a volunteer at the Bat Cave, she could go in for free too.

I´d never heard of him, but he was quite amusing on stage. Next to singing songs from his latest album, he knew how to manipulate his public. He tells some nice stories and he even tried to read out from a Dutch dictionary, which was quit funny! I now have desires for Scotland!

After this concert, we visited Het Buitenbeentje again for a few beers. But as my sleepy yawning started to accelerate, whe took off to the house again.

Natasha was still awake and we watched some TV and we talked a bit with Guusje typing on her ICQ, before I crawled onto the mattress in the living room...