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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.

Tuesday, 29 May 2001
Battersea --> Enfield, London (UK)

About driving from Battersea to Enfield while being interviewed by a reporter of the Daily Mirror, photoshootings and… hey again?… a barbeque!
For today I was asked to join Rainne and Evan at their wine shop around 6am, to join them with the selling of special coffees to people on their way to their work. Of course I slept through that time and woke up around 9.30.

After a shower I thought about visiting them at the shop and I pulled the door behind me when I left their empty home and walked around a couple of blocks, but I just couldn’t find it!
That’s strange: walking around looking for people, while you know you can’t get back into the house.

After a little hour I gave up and returned back to the house. Fortunatly Rainne and Evan had already returned and they thought I had just gone for a walk around.

As Evan had to go back to his other job again, Rainne made me some sandwiches and coffee, while I tried to published my previous report on the internet.

I had received an email from Jonathan Stones, a Daily Mirror staff writer, who’d like to write a follow-up after his earlier piece about me on March 23.

So we agreed he would pick me up at Rainnes’ house today around 1.30pm and have the interview on the way to my next hosts in Enfield, in the North of London.

As I packed my bag, Rainne provided me with a really healthy lunchpackages with sandwiches, a diet coke and some fruit.

It was fun to finally meet the journalist I had so many calls with. He was totally the opposite of the person I had expected. He was very well dressed in white, even wearing a tie!

In The Netherlands journalist are not like that, they’ll have their notepad, tabacco and pencils filling up their pockets and don’t really care about their looks.
It’s the story that counts.

Jonathan told me everybody at the newspaper dresses like him too… Amazing!

He immediately started of with saying how ‘great my project is’. “Unbelievable that you are just travelling around the world for free! I hate you, I hate you!” he said and laughed out loud.

First of all we headed to the Westminster Bridge, where a photographer would be waiting for me to shoot pix of me with the Big Ben (see the live webcam at my back.

On the way to Enfield again (this trip took some 3 hours!), Jonathan was driving and interviewing me, while I gave the answers and wrote the keywords down on his notepad.

Somewhere in the villa park Jonathan parked the car and while I sat on the passengers’ seat, he sat next to me on the pavement – outside of the car. He took all of his notes together and wrote the article in unreadable ‘short-handwriting’.

When he was finished writing he called to the Mirror and had somebody type out his story as he told her. “We have this big warehouse with a lot of ladies with headphones and they only get calls from reporters and type everything they will hear. Those stories go the newspaper-office, who finally selects and publishes the news.”

After the call, some 10 minutes, his job was finished and the case was closed.

I was shocked.

“You don’t type anything yourself anymore here?” I asked him.
“No. There is not always time for it, I mean: have you seen the traffic on the streets? And besides that, those women are great typers and therefor take a big load off our shoulders.”

I was bemused and had to recover from this all for some seconds. At my journalism school everybody learns to use the computer and if possible the – which would be great – the reporter could send his self-typed article by email to the chief editor… Welkom in the UK!

Jonathan had also arranged another photographer at my address in Enfield, so shoot me welcoming this family.

With John and Maria Monagham already at the front door I was introduced to their house, while the photographer was shooting roll by roll. At the home he hooked on his PowerMac to their telephone and took all the pictures from his digital camera onto his Mac to send it to the picture desk by mail.

John and Maria have been living in their house for over 14 years now and it’s becoming a little too small for them and their two young kids (Gabriella, 4yo, and the 10-months old Dante).

Just like last night, I got surprised with a barbeque. Maria asked me about all the times I must had to be having barbeques already, but it was only the 3rd time this month. And I always enjoy it.

John is a professional chauffeur and brings people from their location to the airport and back again, nicely dressed and in a really expensive car.

Maria had been an allround artist (photography, painting, designing) until she got to busy with the children. Maybe she’ll pick up the art later again.

After this barbecue I wrote my report about yesterday on their IMac-computer, as fas as that was possible without the usual disk-drive to upload my pictures. It could wait a few days.

Around 10pm the kids were already sleeping and we were all kind of hanging on the couches. The mother would sleep with Gabriella in the parents’ room, while I would share the double-bed with John, in the children room – where also little Dante was sleeping.

Maria and I got to the right bed, but John fell asleep in front of the television and stayed there – sleeping on the couch.

There I was trying to sleep with a loudly snorring baby

Goodnight, Enfield…

The press about today:

Der (German):
"Per Internet durch 64 Länder schnorren" (German):
"Internet-Anhalter auf Weltreise"

ORF News (Austrian):
"Online-Schnorrer auf kostenloser Welttournee" (German):
"Online auf Schnorrer-Tour um die Erde" (Language?):
"Za nekaj tisoc tolarjev okrog sveta!"

You can visit to automatically translate the above articles in your own language.

Follow my tracks on Ludo's map! It's in Dutch, but you'll see a lot!