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Reports

Sunday, 11 May 2003
North Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada (day 3)

After a very active and also peaceful Saturday, I moved on to my next hosting address on this Sunday morning in Halifax. Oh by the way, today is Mother's Day in The Netherlands, Denmark, Belgium, Turkey, Finland, Australia, Japan and Italy as well as in North America. After a call with my mom back home it was time to get going again.
Jamie Little offered to drop me off at my next place, as it was still in Halifax and nearly around the corner.

But before dropping me off, Jamie wanted to take me to the Fairview Lawn Cemetery, located in the North End of Halifax. It is here at Fairview, where 121 victims of the Titanic disaster are buried.

Most of the bodies that were buried at Fairview were crew members. The next group were Third Class passengers. There are a few Second Class passengers and one First Class Passenger. If you want to know more about the burial procedures and the retrieval of the bodies click here for some interesting reading.

It is said that the graves are laid out not in straight lines, but curved to resemble the hull of a ship. The curved lines on the right-side are broken which is supposed to represent the area on the Titanic that struck the iceberg.

What is also unique about the grave arrangements is that the graves outlining the hull of Titanic face the same direction as the actual wreck does at the bottom of the Atlantic. This is pure coincidence, but interesting nonetheless. (By the way, Catholics and Jewish were buried on other cemeteries in Halifax).

I don't often get eerie feelings in cemeteries, but it was however quite overwhelming to go by all these anonymous and named tombstones, of people who died in a catastrophe almost every human being on the world knows about.

I didn't want to hang around as the tourist at this cemetery. I did take photos of the tombstones because I want to inform other people about these victims. Some do have a name and they should be remembered with more than just a tombstone. I found this fascinating encyclopaedia entirely about the victims of the disaster. Really worth a visit!

But I had to move on; my next hosts were expecting me. It was nice of Jamie to drop me off at the right address. It saved me a walk and trying to find it. I thanked him for inviting me over and the two joyful days with him and Kristi.

It was Leslie Sampson who opened to door of her house to me. She lives in a small one storey wooden apartment in the north end of Halifax.

Leslie read about my website in the local newspaper a few weeks ago and decided to put me up for the night. "I just found it so fascinating and choose to invite you over!" she said.

Leslie's family originates from Italy. She showed me walls of portraits of numerous family members, all with a typical Italian expression on their face. Or have I been watching The Sopranos to often lately?

With this in mind, Leslie she told me that she is a cleaner. No, not that kind of a cleaner, a house cleaner. "I clean people's houses," she said. Leslie is married to Donald, who is works at the Nova Scotia Liquor Commission and deals with liquor licenses and guidelines of liquor sales in the province.

I was given Donald's bed room on the first floor. Leslie explained me that she and her husband sleep in separate rooms. Why, would all become clear at the end of this day.

Not long later I met up with Donald, who immediately offered a beer and turned on the television for the sports channel. Canada was going to play versus Sweden in the World Hockey Championship and Donald was pretty excited about that.

During this game on television, Leslie was very interested in my travels and my background. She told me the stories about her two daughters. The oldest, Jenny, has been travelling around the world on cruise ships for years and fell in love with the Turkish Hassan. "They are great together. Tomorrow she is flying off all the way to Istanbul in Turkey! What do you think about that? I am shit scared," she said.

I told her about Istanbul as I had visited this big city last December, during an offline vacation. Together with a lady friend of mine I escaped to Istanbul, stayed in the shoddiest hostel we could find and were every day astonished by the culture of this most eastern-European city. On the other side of the Bosporus river starts the Middle East. It was just fascinating.

That relaxed Leslie a bit. And the fact that her boyfriend is Turkish himself should not at all be a problem. She will fit right in there!

Donald prepared spaghetti in the kitchen. And as that is one of his specialities, it was a reason for daughter Jenny to come over and have her last meal with her family in Halifax.

She was a laugh and we had quite some fun with some videos I took in the house. While dinner was being prepared and Canada had won the World's Hockey Championship, Jenny and I watched Dumb & Dumber on television. It was a good movie starring the facetious Jim Carrey. Unfortunately he stayed very much the same in every following movie…

After dinner Donald went to his weekly bowling night with his friends, Jenny said goodbye to her mother and Leslie helped me to connect my laptop on their high speed cable connection.

The night ended smoothly. I joined Leslie and Donald in watching television and it was around 9.30pm when Leslie already said Goodnight. Donald and I ended up watching E.T. on television. "I haven't seen this movie since I was a young man!" Donald told me thrilled.

When Donald also headed off to bed, I ended up watching Beverly Hills 90210: The Reunion. When I was a young boy (of course a very very very long time ago!) I used to be so totally addicted to this television series, just like many other of my generation. It was like the Friends of the 90's. And tonight was The Reunion broadcast on American FOX and the cast of the show meets up again after the show ended years ago. That was pretty cool to see.

It was not much later when I also went to bed. Leslie had arranged a special activity for me for tomorrow morning and I have to wake up early at 6.30am!

Now who is that man snoring upstairs?

Good night Halifax!

Ramon.