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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, 1 June 2001
Isleworth --> Brighton (UK)

About waking up very early to go to the television studios and about hitching to Brigton and going out - enjoying the nightlife of Brighton.
This morning Heidi woke me up one quarter to five in the morning, because at 5.15am a car would wait at the door to take us to the Channel 5-television studios. I had a quik shower (with just very little water...) and we chased into the the silver Mercury car and said Goodmorning to the driver.

Around this time he had plenty of space on the M25-ring-highway (surrounding London). This is only a twee-lanes road, constructed in the early 60's and they had never expected so many people driving a car in this current time. So at around 8 o'clock it's standard: traffic jams! It will take you 1 hour to get where you want to go, while with less traffic you'd be there in 15 minutes. But fortunately we were lucky!

We were received at the entrance by Hannah, one of the members of the Breakfast Show production team, and she put us in a little room to wait to get on the show - which started at 6 o'clock.

I was planned for 6.20am so we had some time to drink some coffee and see other interesting guests arrive.

When they finally called me to come on, Heidi wasn't important enough, because she could stay behind the cameras. When I sat down next to the two hosts of the show, I got wired with a microphone and when the commercial break was over, I had a nice chat with them about my project.

Eventually they asked the most frequently asked questions by the media again, which made them look a bit silly, because I did have some more to tell them. So it was once again a one-out-of-twelve-interview, I think the worst one on television interview so far.

Just to be honest: I find it quit embarressing for the hosts if they just ask the questions the production team has put on the autocue, while they have never ever looked any further themselve. I mean, dare me, ask another question than one already asked and answered somewhere else on my website... This Breakfast Show is just simple fast-consumable-infotainment, no journalism at all! But it still stays a thing I can learn from.

Afther some 5 minutes the conversation was over and they unplugged me. While walking back to the entrance, Hannah asked if I already had a place to stay for tonight. I honestly told her I didn't really had one yet, so she offered her phonenumber if there would be any case I won't find one for this night. Very nice gesture from her. Nice girl also!

When the driver brought us home again, Heidi was a little bit disapointed of not being on tv - as she told all her friends she would be. But her biggest pride still was: having me over for a night.

At home, around 7am, we both got back to sleep again, because we were still pretty tired and 7 o'clock was just no time to be active yet - and Heidi had a free day after all.

Around 11.30am Heidi woke me up again, time for some real breakfast and coffee and time to get everything packed. I contacted one of my addresses in Brighton (at the Southcoast) and was happy that he could have me come over for today. Hannah's phonenumber got moved to my archive.

(By all the comotion of the last days with KissFM, I totally forget my schedule to contact my future host a few days in advance. Oops.)

Heidi set me of on one of the offramps onto the M25 again, in the direction of the offramp to Gatwick Airport and Brighton. In the first 5 minutes I already thought that it will be difficult to get a hitch here, but pretty soon there was a car standing still along the road, blowing its horn to me.

I got the ride from a man called Alastair Armstrong, who -lucky me- was heading home to Brigton itself! Alastair is into mobile and wireless e-business services at IBM and talked about that and the time he lived in the South of France where hitch-hiking is pretty usual while the English people only remember the bad stories aside it.

After stopping me off in the centre of Brighton, he later visited this website and wrote me an email to wish me luck - he uses the signature "Take care of the people and the people will take care of the business", which sounds very inspirating to me.

In Brigton (visit 'This is Brighton') I stayed in the student house called Minley, invited by Chris Wilson. After a quick tour through the house and all the rooms, we dumped ourselves in the little living area and got into some little talking. Pretty soon all of his housemates would drop in and around 6 Chris started to cook some spaghetti.

"At least there aren't dirty dishes left around the house until they start to cultivate new life forms. Oh wait, yes there are," is what Annette wrote on her part of the Minley-house website. And she is absolutely right.

Nowhere in the house you would find an unused spot, there must always be something piling up or standing there uncleaned for centuries. Just how a typical student house should be.

Man, I almost felt like home in the Netherlands...

As The Gift from the London Heidi, Chris got himself a silver Ying and Yang ring and was quit impressed with it. His present for my next host was already standing ready for me.

While the rest of the house was watching an episode of Friends on the telly, I got onto the web and read over 75 emails and tried to update my site again.

After the dinner I continued with that - it was really necessary! - while the complete house was hooked on the television because of their most important sport: cricket, and England was playing against Pakistan.

Around 8 o'clock I changed my spaghetti-shirt for a clean one and Chris wanted for cross-dressing, never standing still and never shutting up; wearing dark-green nailpolish) and Annette (wanted for manic driving, killer alarm clock and conspiring to make the Minley Men fat) got to a pub called Hogshead. Here I met some other friends of them and we had some chats about my travelling and the differences between Holland and England.

They all just ended their college exams, so after their graduation they would all be ready to go to work or continue with another study. You could just see the relief on their face.

I tried to sweet-talk to the manager of the pub about sponsoring us all a free beer to receive some great positive free review on my website, but he said he could not do that. So their website is better than their pubs all together. Bleh! But I liked the fact that they served the Belgian beer Hoegaarden with lemon!

After two beers we all got close to the coastline of Brighton, to get into the biggest discothec of the English Southcoast: The Event II. While they all stand in a 15mins cue, I just had to take a run to the beach and touch the water.

It was just a symbolic mark on my journey to touch the South English sea...

When we got in I was pretty amazed by the size of the nightclub. The entrance was on the first floor and the dancefloor was one floor down, but two floor high. So there was a great balcony I could walk around and look onto the dancefloor and with a lot of bars above and below to get drinks.

It became a pretty exciting (and sweating) night, even though the English discothecs already close at 2am. This Fridaynight was the night that only music was played from the 60's 'till the early 90's, so I remembered a lot from when I was much younger than now. Everybody was dressed up very well (all the young girls all looked like Britney Spears) and Chris was right that the EventII was quit a meat-market for all genders.

For Chris it was to prove to me 'what a truly cheesy student night' in Brighton would be like! And cheesy it was!

I even met some girls who said they had seen me on the Channel 5 Breakfast Show this morning! Then I can become very shy when they get all their friends with them and tell them I am a kind of a celebrity or something.

When the last record was played we got out and walked halfway home until Chris decided to get us a taxi. That was much better, because Annette and I started to complain about exploding hips and painful feet or something like that.

I wasn't quit sober, so at home everybody said goodnight and I got to sleep in Chris' messy (but clean) room, while Chris slept in another empty room.

This was quit a day and I just hoped they could let me sleep in during the morning...

Goodnight Brighton!

Ramon




The press about letmestayforaday.com on June 1:

Travel IAfrica.com (in English):
"How to win friends and a free place to stay"

Online Journalism Review (English):
"Let-me-stay-for-a-day.com: Journal of the week"

DerStandard.at (in German):
"Online auf Schnorrer-Tour um die Erde"

Nepszabadsag.hu (in Hungarian):
"÷nmenedzsment felsűfokon"

Mozza Fiato.com (in Italian):
"IL WEB VIAGGIATORE"




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