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

Wednesday, 19 February 2003
--> Kitsilano, Vancouver, Canada

Today I moved on from Peggy’s place to more up north into Vancouver. Where Peggy and Jeff live is somewhere way southeast and I had to get myself to an area called Kitsilano today.


moved from right below to the left cross in Vancouver.
The yellow area is the city centre.

With the happening from last night still in the head (or the alcohol) everybody slept in late. Around noon Peggy took the kids out to a child play park and Jeff went to his part time job at the Coast Mountain Sport store at the local mall.

Who was left in the house now? It was Glenn and me. After last night’s taxi ride back home, Glenn also decided to stay here for the night. And he was pretty good in playing ‘dad’ for the kids.

My next hosts live a bit closer to the city, but would be ready for my arrival after five (when works finished). So I spent most of the day writing that terribly long report of yesterday and slowly saw the clock moving towards the end of the day.

With Glenn in the house I talked with him again about last night, about social problems in the city, about his past home Ottawa, about screenplays, and etcetera. Outside it was raining like crazy…

After five I thanked Peggy and Jeff for letting me stay two days at their place. Fully packed with my wheeled duffel bag, laptop and camera I was ready to get on the road to my next place to stay in Canada.

Glenn offered to pay the bus ticket to my next address on 7th Ave on Main Street. As Vancouver is organised in a grid, it is easy to get around. From Main Street (almost any northamerican city has one) the first street, 2nd Street, 3rd Street, follow down or up. Vancouver has the 1st Avenue crossing Main Street, and everything left of Main Street is West 1st Avenue. For my next address I knew I had to go left on Main Street. What I didn’t really remembered is that I had to be all the way at the end at a streetnumber with four heavy digits!

So the bus ride was al forgotten when I arrived at the front door of my next address, after walking some fifty blocks. Fortunately for me it was not raining anymore.

It was Emma who had invited me over last December, who opened the door of a 1902 wooden house. She lives there with two roommates.

I was immediately offered two glasses of water and time to catch my breath and stop the water running down my face. It was the first time since I had walked such a distance with a 50kg wheeled back instead a backpack and I must say: there is some fine difference. Wheels now carry everything!

We sat at the kitchen table where I met with roommate Steve, who did not know anything about my project and my stay with Emma and when he heard how I get around his mouth was on the kitchen floor. Emma laughed…

Emma had been reading some of my articles and thought “why not invite him too?”, without any particular reason. “It just sounded such a good idea!”

She works at the print shop of an engineering office and in the weekend she works in one of the oldest coffee shops in Vancouver, right around the corner. “I don’t have a busy job,” she said, “I even take books with me to read, because there isn’t always anything to print, plot, enlarge or copy. Basically I just need to get rid of my college debts as soon as possible.”

The glasses of water were exchanged for a beer and Emma started to prepare a stir fry dinner on the stove. Steve got an atlas from the shelves and started to look up The Netherlands on the maps, it was hard to find, as it is only some 150km wide…

While Jeff Buckley was being played from the stereo in the living room, we enjoyed the vegetarian meal. Most of the conversations were about me and my project. Emma and Steve where undressing me with their questions about where I have been so far, if I have brothers and sisters and what my parents think of my travels.

As we had a bit of a late dinner, Steve decided to treat us on a beer at the nearby pub. It was slightly raining as we walked to a pub called Hell's Kitchen on 4th Avenue.

At the pub I asked Emma what she does next to her work. “I like photography and haven’t done that in a while. I don’t really give myself enough free time, I guess.”

Steve is a cook in a [url=www.gumbopages.com/recipe-page.html]creole and Cajun[url] restaurant in town. Today he celebrates weekend, but tomorrow he has to be preparing dinners in the morning.

We only had one beer at the pub. Someway everybody had it hanging a bit. Back home the living room couch was transformed into a sleeping bed. But Emma, Steve and I hung around some more around the fireplace, nibbling from a delicious coconut cake.

We talked about strange people travellers always seem to meet. Emma told me about her backpacking time along the east coast of Australia a few years ago and about a bit of a freaky hostels owner who kept records of all her guests, like if they were nice to her or not. That’s indeed strange.

Now, who would keep records of other people, huh? ;-)
Haha…

It’s time for a sleep! Good night Kitsilano!

Ramon.