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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

Thursday, 6 March 2003
--> Yaletown, Canada (day 2)

Today Fiona had to go to work again and without waking me up she had already left in the morning. When I woke up around 10pm, I read the note she left for me. I could get anything from the fridge and help me with breakfast.
She knew I would have an interview by the CBC today and she had drawn out the directions I had to walk from her apartment. With this were the keys to the house and 7 dollars. “for if you want to get some lunch, or something.”

Fiona let me stay another day at her place in Yaletown, because she wanted to take me out for the night and last night, like any Wednesday night, isn’t really a night to go out and party. So I had to stay another day. And of course I stayed!

Since I am not rushing everything for-a-day, and give my hosts their view on a possible extended stay at their place, it also seems to be more amusing to me. I don’t always have to pack my stuff everyday, move out and meet new people the next day. It’s, kind of, more relaxed. I get to know my hosts really better than I would in only one day (or one evening). It all feels very much more enjoyable!

At 2pm in the afternoon I was expected at the building of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in Vancouver, Canada’s public broadcaster, and that was just located three blocks up the road.

I was invited to tell my story about my website on the Afternoon Show with Kathryn Gretsinger. It was another interesting but fast media appearance in the radio studio. It was not more than getting in, shaking hands, wait a minute, answer questions for six minutes, tell stories, have a laugh and then the time is up again. Shake hands, thanks, thanks, thanks and before I knew I was already standing outside again.

But I got out with another invite from the CBC. The reporter Peter Brown, host of the radio programme That Saturday Show, also wanted to have a few words with me. And so I was invited to have a walk around Yaletown around 4pm, so an interview could be recorded in the streets.

I did some more writing on my laptop in Fiona’s apartment and got back on the streets again around 4pm to meet up with this Peter Brown guy. And it ended up very amusing.

He was fascinated by the website and free-travel idea and he was also very open to me. He bought me a coffee and we sat on a bench outside one of those upgraded warehouse barracks. And he had his minidisc recorder running.

We had a very good chat and he had enough time to let me talk and explain things and as usual I had to answer the questions of what has been the best and the worst during my travels. Fortunately I have learned to easily talk around these questions and give the right answer: every day is unique, but to understand that you have to get into my life of constant travelling. It’s not holiday, it is a lifestyle.

Peter was very impressed. And he told me about where he came from. He originates from Saskatoon, the capital city of Saskatchewan and has been a radio host in Regina and Edmonton (Alberta province). Later, once on the web again, I discovered that Peter Brown is also a very known comedy writer and performer. And that did not surprise me at all after this afternoon’s fun meeting.

I was once again back at the apartment when Fiona arrived back home from work, just after 5pm. She told me about her day at work and I told what occurred with me today. She was tired and found it interesting to come home while somebody is already there. While I did my last updates on my laptop, connected to her high-speed line, Fiona had an afternoon nap on the couch.

I really had to process the latest Canadian-invites, put some new dots on my maps and prepare my places to stay for the next few days.

It was funny, right when I finished this, I heard myself on Radio One, with today recorded chat for the Afternoon Show. It’s always strange to hear a playback of myself!

Fiona said she could really cook herself, but however she insisted on taking me out to one of the world’s best bars in town, Subeez.

With the large dripping candles framing the doorway and the industrial style decor, you can bet that if Dracula moved into a warehouse he would steal some decorating ideas from Subeez! Slightly droning music fills the air while local pieces of art adorn the large, high-ceilinged room. An installation piece of irons and crisp white shirts hangs ominously from the back wall.

It seems like such a people-watching place. The decor was funky and trendy and the staffs are all young and hip. It's got a great energy though, and the food was pretty great too.

After a stroll along Granville at night, we ended up in a place called Vibes. Here we started off with vodka mixed with Red Bull and the deejay started spinning some mellow grooves. Tonight the cocktail and dancing part of the building was closed, but I hung around with Fiona and her friends (had some interesting talks with the Afghan Tarique) in the red-lit front lounge. And drank beer. Lots of beers.

We did not make it very late, as Fiona had to go to work again tomorrow morning. So just after midnight we were back at the condo.

Here I made myself comfy on her couch and fell asleep while listening to an Ella Fitzgerald CD.

Tomorrow I will leave Vancouver, eastbound.

Good night Yaletown!

Ramon