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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,, 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:; 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,, 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,, Canadian North Accommodations by the Sea, DRL Coachlines Newfoundland, The National Post and Air North.


Tuesday, 8 April 2003
Ottawa --> Ontario, Canada (day 2)

After having breakfast in the kitchen with Mary, we got another visitor at the house. Paul Morisset, a video producer for the CBC News Television, came over to run a report. Not about me and my travels around the world, but about the people who actually invite me over. Because it’s them that make this whole adventure possible.
Mary was pretty excited about being filmed on television. When we later went out for a walk through downtown Ottowa, we both found it pretty awkward to still be filmed by Paul. Anyway it was fun. We walked around the centre, around all the parliament buildings (Ottawa as capital city is just full of them) and walked through the covered Bymarket on York Street.

It was here where I introduced Mary to Taiwanese Bubble Tea. As you might remember I had it with my hostess Gail in Vancouver. Mary had never heard about it or about the shop that was selling it. I just happened to see that sign “bubble tea”. So I got Mary interested and for the rest of our day our stomachs were just full of that drink and especially of these rich tapioca pearls in it!

Mary also had to buy a birthday present for her daughter Anita. It’s her 17th birthday tomorrow. And as she is a Buddhist we ended up at this little foreign art store with craftwork from all over the world. And did that smell good in there!

Back home, later in the afternoon, I helped Mary in the kitchen with preparing the dough for pizzas. The entire family joined in in topping the pizza bottoms I tried to make.

When the pizzas were in the oven, Kern had to take some photos of me. Mary actually wants to make a doll of me! Therefore Kern had to take photos of my face en profile and from the front. Kern is truly the man behind the frames of a doll. Every little detail in a face has to be recognized and edited on a computer, before he can start making the skull of a doll’s face. Then Mary finished up the face and clothing.

So I had to pose for them in the position the doll will end up; pulling my wheeled bag behind me. They promised me to send me the doll at my home in the Netherlands! That would be so funny!

We all had pizza for dinner a bit later. Zak, the middle son had come over with his friend, and Mary challenged him for some after-dinner arm wresting (ha, that might be a Newfoundland-thing?). Mary is pretty much into pumping iron at the sport centre and tried to win from her son. And she tried very hard. She tried very hard. But she didn’t make the final kill and lost to Zak. It was quite amusing to see.

The entire day did not end that late today. Everybody had to wake up very early tomorrow, as the family has this tradition of celebrating birthdays (believe it or not) early in the morning.

Good night Ottawa!