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During my travels newspaper columns were published weekly in the Dutch daily newspaper
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Reports

Saturday, 17 May 2003
--> Whitbourne, Newfoundland, Canada (day 2)

Unsurprisingly I slept over 12 hours last night. When I woke up it was time for a brunch and after freshening up I joined Bob and Eve Striha for a meal of bacon and eggs with onions and toast.
Outside it is sunny and 19 degrees and inside I was sitting at a table.

Today I was going to sit behind my laptop for quite a while to update the latest few days' reports as I couldn't update that much because of all that on-the-road fast travelling.

Just because I don't want to skip reporting days and keep you with empty pages of photos, or would that be okay with you?

Sometimes I wonder how many people actually read my reports...

I was also going to prepare my places to stay the coming week. I have received invitations from three different places on Newfoundland, so that wasn't the hardest job. They have all tried to get me some more places to stay on the island, but it hasn't been easy.

There is absolutely no way that any host in Newfoundland has heard about me in the media, because the media doesn't really seem to exist here.

A lady in Halifax emailed me about this: "the average Newfoundlander does not even know they have 'the world's most famous homeless person' right in their back yard!" But as long as I don't have to rush off the island in three days, I am happy with whatever I am offered.

Bob & Eva themselves have contacted numerous media on the island, to see if they could get someone to do an interesting story about that world traveller that is visiting Newfoundland - and to get some more places to stay for me.

You know what the media (television stations, radio stations and several newspapers) said to them? "Sorry, we are not interested."
They probably said that in the friendliest way of course, that's what Newfies are known for.

Their Still Meadows plant nursery exists 25 year this year and Eve has tried to contact the media about this fantastic anniversary. "It's hard to let them understand the uniqueness of this event and what it means for local people. The media thinks we just want to have an advertisement in the form of an article. But it is quite a job to run a plant nursery, that basically selling luxury items for over 25 years. Somehow the media can't acknowledge this at all and see a story in it."

"The media," says Bob, "on this island is only covering politics! They either oppose what politics want or they are the perfect mouth piece of the media. The media doesn't understand any other things here."

It's a place where nobody gets to know Letmestayforaday.com because the media has no interest or behave very ignorant in regard of the nursery's anniversary.

In the end of the afternoon I meet up with Hal and Rose, two good friends of the Striha's. They are spending the weekend here too, as they came all the way from St. John's.

We were all invited to a dinner party at another friends house, down along Trinity Bay.

Many Canadians were going to have a long weekend this weekend, as Monday they celebrate Victoria Day. Victoria Day is celebrated in Canada on the Monday prior to May 25th each year and honors the birthday of a British former Queen who's been dead for a very long time now. But I guess Canadians like any holiday that gives them a free day - especially in spring.

The dinner party was also in honor of this Victoria Day. Normally it would actually be cold and snowing at this day in May and it was very unusual to be hanging out with so many people in a back garden patio, enjoying the sun!

I met up with many locals, even a Dutch man who moved to Canada in 1956, and friends of Bob and Eva. They enjoyed hearing Eva talk about me and my travel project and were amazed how I made it to The Rock.

"Now how long are you going to stay in Newfoundland?" they asked.
"I don't know yet exactly, maybe until next weekend?"

"How are you leaving the island then?"
"I honestly don't know yet."

The bus ride was sponsored by DRL Coachlines, but I don't dare to ask if they would also help me out on a return trip. The ferry crossing was sponsored by my Newfie-host in nearby Mount Pearl, and I can't expect her to also pay the ferry back to Nova Scotia.
"I might be stuck here for a while."

And before I knew I saw the word go around. "Ramon is stuck, does anybody know anybody that can help him back to Halifax next week?" And people do know other people that might know people that know people and people… you know? Newfoundland might be big, but it doesn't have such a big population.

"Why don't you fly back from St John's to Halifax?" another lady mentioned to me.
"If that would be possible I would hop on board after the weekend, but I don't have sponsor for that kind of trips."
She told me that a flight to Halifax was cheaper than the 12-hours bus drive back to the other side of the island and the ferry crossing back to Nova Scotia and told me I should trust the network.

"Just wait, you never know if it works out, but you might be lucky in the end of the week." Mmm… Maybe I won't be depending on the media on the island after all! That's exceptional!

Mingling with people that were all at least 25 years older than me was enjoying, especially when the men started to pull out their guitars and started singing sing-a-long songs from the past. Everybody seemed to know the lyrics and almost everybody sang along.

And as many guests at this house party had a few glasses of whiskey behind their cheeks, the quality of the singing did not matter anymore.

Good night Whitbourne!

Ramon.