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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.

Friday, 21 February 2003
--> West End, Vancouver, Canada (day 2)

I was a guest on Vicki Gabereau's talkshow on Canadian Television, wandered around downtown Vancouver and at night my hostess Gail Edwin took me out for Taiwanese bubble tea... Bubble tea?
Gail had to go to work, some hour driving north and left early in the morning. She goes to the office about once in a few weeks.

Meanwhile I could sleep in. I made myself some chicken sandwich for breakfast en was ready at 11.30am.

I was ready to be picked up by a taxi sent by BCTV in Vancouver. As I wrote earlier I was invited on the national Canadian talkshow hosted by Vicki Gebereau. This lady is known as a pro in her profession and she has received many awards for her journalism and director’s skills.

The taxi took me Downtown to the studios where I met up with the producer Jonathan and where I was immediately seated in the make-up room. In the studio I could already see the recordings of talks with other guests.

The thing is, they record all kinds of interesting interviews with people and then later they put them all into different programs. So I know I’ll end up on TV next Friday, while the person before me would appear in Wednesday’s show…

From the make-up room I was moved into the Green Room, which is not green but where there are some comfy couches to relax a bit. Some guests can be totally edgy. In this room I met up with the former MP from Quebec, Phil Edmonston and his publishing agent. He explained to me that he was the author of the Lemon-Aid Guide, the hitchhiking guide to the world of used cars and vans. Soon we were talking about my project (he was curious) and I asked him about his book-promotion-tour.
“It can be wearing, because you have to tell the same story over and over again, but on the other hand, it makes the book sell,” he explained to me. And he is in a special situation, he wrote the books about used cars and stuff like that, and only has to update them every year. And people will buy the book again! That’s really smart!

He was called out for his recording and I hung around with the publishing agent. She is touring Canada with him and she is mostly his secretary who makes the contacts, schedules and interview arrangements to promote the book. “Do you already have contacts with a publishing house?” she asked me. “Well, yes, a few of them have contacted me and they are keeping the contacts warm, but I don’t have the time to sit down and start writing my materials yet.”
“Oh really?” Then she said she told me that she’d forward my project to some of her friends in the media maybe they could help me fill the gaps on the Canadian mainland…. Great!

Or maybe my appearance with Vicki will do! I was called on stage and announced in front of a live audience, which had probably just learned how to scream, cheer and clap as loud as their could, because I arrived at Vicki’s table with a tomato red face…

We had a lovely talk about my world travels and she was truly fascinated by the stories I told her.. We got along that well that she even cut in a commercial break to get back to her pre-made questions. We talked about the people I stay with, about Canada and about hitchhiking and that I had the sign “I don’t kill” in Australia. It ended up with Vicki advising me that I should use the words “I am a darling!”. That would get me around. I think she really loved me! Hahaha!

It was straight after the show that everybody backstage thanked me and wished me good luck on my journeys and I got a taxi back to Gail’s apartment.

Back there I spent some time online as I had to work on the database error that would not allow me to write anymore reports from tomorrow on… Not that it was full, but the database could not easily understand that I kept filling his box. A good friend in England, Peter Cooper, helped me out with better server scripts so it could work all find again. He really helps me out anywhere!

The rest of the day, the weather was becoming better than yesterday, I went for some nice walks around the blocks. I went to the Sunset Beach again and watched how a few people got parachute lessons in the park and had a interesting stroll up and down Davie Street again, this time in daylight. Walking through cities you don’t live in, is always appealing to me…

Way at the end of the afternoon, Gail got back home again and set up a cheese fondue with a nice salad for dinner. I helped her out with washing all the dirty dishes earlier. “Thank you! I hate doing the dishes.” We watched the news on TV and I saw that same Phil Edmonston I met today again in a different talk show! Too funny! What a small world, that medialand.

Gail didn’t want to hang around the house this evening and wanted to let me try Taiwanese Bubble Tea. “Have you ever had that?” What? Bubble Tea??? No, not at all. Then she started a story on how its recipe is a secret and how is rarely available around here.

But she knew a good place and called two friends to join us for the drink. Soon Gail’s friends Erich and Caroline arrived with a car to pick us up and we drove to the Dragon Ball Teahouse.

The Dragon Ball Teahouse is a small place with a few tables and many people behind the counter making that secret bubble tea. It’s a socializing event to drink bubble tea for many Taiwanese people (by the way: Gail is born on the Philippines) and there were a few ladies even doing their homework there!

Gail got different flavours and we tested all of them. It’s not that the tea is bubbling or something, it’s just called that way. And then it looks like a milkshake, tastes like tea and has those spongy pearls (Tapioca Balls) or jelly at the bottom, which you can eat too. I loved it! It was good! I have to remember that bubble tea!

Erich seemed to be following my travels on the web and he was very interested and fascinated when he met me. We talked about my current tour through Canada and on where to go next. I am thinking about heading north of Vancouver where I have invites in Squamish and Whistler. “And then it’s maybe an idea to try to get to Vancouver Island, because I have many invites there,” I said. “How do you cross the water then?” he asked. “I have no idea yet, but I don’t dare to ask my hosts to put me on a ferry to the other side because I wish to visit people living there.” And before I was finished talking he was waving a 20 dollar note in my face. “Here, you just got yourself a sponsor. You are going to the island now!” Incredible. Thank you, Erich!

Good night West End Vancouver!