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ReportsThursday, 24 April 2003
--> Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada (day 2) I was happy to be able to stay another day at the apartment of the three students Hayley, Emaly and Liza. I slept in a sleeping bag on their living room couch and when I woke up this morning, Emaly and Liza had already gone to school and Hayley was baking eggs for our breakfast in the kitchen.
I decided to have a quick shower and when I returned fresh and clean I noticed the waiter Weston from last night on my couch/bed, with Hayley. So I was right that there is more going on between these two! Still, they denied everything, but it was clear to me of course.
Wes didn't stay long as Hayley had to study for a certain nursing exam she would get tonight. "I haven't studied anything yet, so I really have to get some reading done today."
She needed a quiet day and no jumping-around-Dutch-guy around. Fortunately there was no jumping-around-Dutch-guy in the house, only me. And I was happy to be able to sit down at their kitchen table and get some stories of the last days on paper.
Some people might say that I didn't take any effort to see Fredericton, but other people might agree with me that there is not much to see in a town like Fredericton, while it is raining all day and the Saint John River as at an alarming high level.
During little study breaks Hayley told me about a side-job she once had before starting her nursing school. "I used to do modelling," she said. I was pretty amazed by that, especially when she showed me her portfolio with photos of a Canadian modelling agency. "These were shot by an Italian photographer."
Meanwhile I see brochures she has been posing in and commercials she's been in. Wow, I had not realized yet that she had been a supermodel.
But what made her quit? "It's nothing for me. It's a world where everybody is jealous at eachother and it is so competitive, I am totally not interested with it. I rather be a nurse, that is what I want to be." That was logic to me. "And look, I am 24 now. That's already regarded as too old in that world."
Hayley also told me about their downstairs neighbour Sam, who is the freak in the building. A while ago he had invited Hayley over for a 'late-movie night' through a lovely written letter.
As Hayley is not interested in the guy at all because of the usual preferences women mostly have and Sam's personal lack of manners, she started to receive hand written hate mail from the guy. He was clearly disappointed that Hayley had rejected him. But the story continues.
Now Sam bothers Hayley almost everyday to complain about all the noise that is made in the house of the three ladies. The music is too loud, people walk around on high hees and talk too loud too; he complains about it all. First by letters, and more recently by complaining to the landlord every night.
Strangely enough: everything is directed to Hayley personally. The scary part is that the guy is using a way of writing, which is at a very unusual level of communication. Everything is almost in highly intelligent letters, but the way the communication is going is rather childish.
Hayley showed me all the letters she has been collecting and after reading them all I could clearly understand that this guy is mad. Simply crazy. Higly intelligent but totally isolated from the rest of the world and apparently very disappointed by the rejection of a lady he fell in love with. My previous host might have an empty cell for him!
With Hayley's storytelling I can also understand without a doubt that the man enjoys getting his payback with Hayley through the mental way. She gets frustrated by the letters and the daily calls from the landlord about Sam again. When the landlord calls her, they all know that the ladies live a civilized but student life and that Sam can be exaggerating everything very much. "He's driving me crazy," Hayley said, which is probably exactly what he wants.
The day continued, with me forgetting all about the time and Hayley studying quietly in the living room. Around 4.30pm the other ladies arrive back from school and hang around in front of the television to chill out. I know, college is harsh!
Around 7pm Hayley went to her exam at the nursing school and Liza, Emaly and I would wait until she would be back to have dinner together again.
In the meantime Liza was filling up boxes and cleaning up her room. She is moving out next week. But no worries, there will be a new person moving in next week. This lady, with the highest voice I have heard in a long while, also came over for a while, together with a bunch of friends of her.
They hang around a while, until the lady figured out that she was getting a tight throat from the cat, as she was allergic for cats. The bunch of people said goodbye and the house was quiet again. "I don't think I'll get rid of my cat for her," Hayley said when she heard the story.
But, never mind, Hayley had a reason to be happy because she did really good on her exam today! "Wooha! That was the last exam of my first year! I am going to my second year now!" She was really happy and called friends and family of hers.
Meanwhile the cooking had started. In the kitchen the ladies prepared a pan full of a stir fry of scallops and rice. Party music was coming from the stereo. And her apparently semi-boyfriend Weston had come over again for dinner too.
It was already around 10.30 when we were ready to Go Out. It was Thursday and I was going to be taken along to some unofficial gathering of arts and crafts students in a certain pub in town and "it's going to be fun!" That always sounds good to me, of course!
Just before we were about to enter the car, the phone rang. It was Sam asking for Hayley – personally – to confront her with the fact that he is being annoyed with the exaggerated loud sounds that were produced in the building.
Of course this pointless call made Hayley furious about the entire situation again. "Why can't you just come over and knock on our door, than to bother us like this?" And just a bit later the landlord called the house too. "Got a complaint from Sam again," the lady said. "I know," Hayley answered back, "he is being the childish pain again."
"You know, my father is getting scared that something will happen with me while that guy is living below us," Hayley told me. I could totally understand this, even I felt really weird being there. What if this guy just instantly freaks out and walk up the stairs with a loaded gun to end all the noises he is hearing forever???
It was still upsetting Hayley on the way to downtown Fredericton and Weston and I tried to comfort her a little bit. "He's just doing this so the landlord will break his contract and he can move out, that’s the only reason!"
We were taken to The Capitol, the pub where a live band plays four times a week (except tonight) and where Weston works behind the bar too (except tonight). The manager of the bar had heard about me and gave me a free locally brewed beer, making my hosting friends pretty jealous.
The unofficial gathering of arts and craft students existed out of some ten or fifteen souls, who indeed gathered together very closely and ignored the rest of the world. Weston and Hayley and I sat at the bar and had fun talks about my project. Weston had heard about me through Hayley and had visited my website but still could not at all comprehend that it was all working out so darn fine to me.
To change the atmosphere a bit, I was taken along to the Irish pub Dolan, where we heard a live band playing and when we got inside it was hot, soggy and crowded. It looked like the entire community of Fredericton had just come over for a big festival! It was either a April-version of the German beer festival Oktoberfest or the weekly all-family bingo had just finished.
Clearly I was wrong, Weston told me this was just an ordinary Thursday night at Dolan's. Oh.
It ended up that we had a drink in every bar, hopped from one bar to another and finally ended up in the only alleged gay bar in town, where we were almost the only visitors inside. "Hey! Yahoo! A dance floor," Hayley screamed out and pulled me along. Both of us had become pretty tipsy and Weston seem to have all the fun laughing at us and playing around with my camera.
I might not have seen much of Fredericton by day, but it can go along pretty well at night! However it gets a bit blurry at the end...
Good night Fredericton!