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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

Friday, 11 May 2001
--> Geel (B)

About the hangover from last night (and morning), getting to the small place called Geel with a young hosting family who let me completely free in my doing. Time to rest and develop…
So I got home lost night, together with Ludo, around 6 am this morning. Mmm, Antwerpen is pretty nice at night, even with my eyes closed…

But it was Linda, Ludo’s wife, who awakened me, telling me that it was already around 1 pm. If I wanted to do some writing also, I had to wake up sometimes now. With a soar throat and a brick head I took a shower and joined Ludo and Linda with a lunch.

Even Ludo woke up one hour earlier than me. As a hardworking man at the factory and an Internet weblogging addict at night, he barely got out to town. So he also had quit an experience last night.

I was supposed to arrive at my next hosting address around 3 o’clock in the afternoon, so I had some time to write the necessary reports. Ludo wanted to bring me to this little place called Geel, because it was just a little piece on the map, he said. After packing my stuff and saying goodbye to the family we got off. In the car I still felt sleepy, or was it just my head knocking back?

The place Geel consists out of no more than twenty streets and today I´d stay at the Guino and Ingrid, with their children Freya and Jorien.

Both them and Ludo told me that Geel is very known about its retarded and handicapped people who stay as a guest with families all over that place – also to have them adjust to a normal family life.

No, I am not one of them – I think…

From my previous host in The Netherlands, Guusje, Ludo received an original purple and self-made witches-hat as the Gift and especially for these next people in Geel Ludo gave a bottle of American red wine.

Paul and Karel, the guest who joined us yesterday night also had something for me to pass to Guino, Ingrid and the children – just because they didn’t have the space to have me over at their house. Paul gave me two unique vinyl singles from the eighties and Carolus handed me an inflatable penguin… It all became a package that opened the eyes of the hosts in Geel: “Where did you say you come from today?”

The kids loved the penguin, the next day I even had to put my own signature on it…

In this town nothing else happens next to church on Sunday and the weekly market. Guino and Ingrid asked me if they really had to show me around or take me somewhere. I explained that those options were totally up to themselves. I was just the guest, but I admitted I’d enjoy a day at their house as much as going around, touristing through the city.

So therefor they let me totally free for the rest of the day, with their kids twirling around my appearance and whispering to each other – so shy they were at first sight. So, this the world traveller!

At dinner that evening the young Freya even admitted that she had told at school about me coming over at their place!

Inviting me over at their place was the most normal case on the world for them. “Because why wouldn´t we help you out on your trip through Belgium?” they said. I think this is a very open hearted family.

The family offered me their guestroom on the 2nd floor, where I could sleep and put my backpack off. Mother Ingrid showed me their bathroom, which size really shocked me. It was bigger than my own little student room in The Netherlands, even with a shower box and a big bath! Wow!

When the family went to bed around 10 PM I could stay in their living room and use their Internet connection for as long as I´d liked it.
They showed me the garage, where I could get myself some cold lemonade whenever I want it. I am very respectful for people having a complete stranger over and letting them free in their own house.

I stayed up till almost 2 am at night, shut down the computer and got to bed…



Douglas Noel Adams
1952 - 2001

Douglas Adams died suddenly following a heart attack on the 11th May, 2001.


Adams: "I was hitch-hiking around Europe in 1971, when I was 18, with this copy of "A Hitchhikers Guide to Europe. At one point I found myself lying in the middle of a field, a little bit drunk, when it occurred to me that somebody should write a hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy. It didn't occur to me that it might actually be me years later!"

Geoffrey Perkins, the BBC's head of comedy, called Adams "absolutely one of the most creative geniuses to ever work in radio comdey".

Adams, who had lived in Santa Barbara since 1999, leaves his wife and a
daughter and his mother of England.

www.douglasadams.com