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Reports

Thursday, 3 July 2003
--> Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada (day 3)

When I woke up in the office basement of Canada One Travel, I discovered a note from Andy and my breakfast for the morning. What a service!
After joking about it, during dinner last night, Andy said he would sponsor me a massage. "After four months of travelling through Canada, you deserve a good massage!" he said.

He dropped me off at Rouge, a beauty saloon on Hargrave Street, where the massage therapist named Cheryl Harkness gave me a one-hour massage that woke up every muscle in my body. Oh my God! Undescribable that is!

Reborn and totally revived Andy delivered me at the address of my next and latest hostess in Winnipeg. I thanked Andy for his support and for paying for that great massage. We will be keeping contact about possible Southeast Asia travels.

My next hostess in Winnipeg was Michelle Kuly. I arrived in a house that was barely furnished and that was because everybody was just moving in this apartment this week. She is sharing this new place with Tamara and Dave. She already knew Dave and both were looking for a new place and as Michelle works at a restaurant she overheard a conversation between Tamara and a friend about a space to rent.

At her home I met up with Michelle's friend Christian and we relaxed in their sun room. "It is great to actually be able to say that we have a sun room," Michelle said.

Michelle is one of the staff editors for The Uniter, the student newspaper of the University of Winnipeg. "It makes a bit of money, but not enough to get around with," she told me. "I also work a couple of hours per week as a waitress a the restaurant Fude, just around the corner."

What a coincidence! That's just where Grant Pratts had taken me for dinner on Canada Day, but Michelle did not work at that day.

She had to work at Fude for a few hours tonight and figured out she could easily take me along to the restaurant and have dinner. I was quite surprised to get a big plate with bison ribs! I never had bison ribs! "They are doing really good at the moment; I guess it is the fear for mad cow disease here that people suddenly buy bison meat. And bison is much healthier than normal beef."

At the restaurant I also met up with Michelle's housemate Tamara. She had a quick salad dinner at the restaurant and took me back to the house. Tamara is a photographer, desperately looking for job offers in that direction. "Lately I am just a printer in a photo lab, which is okay for me. I love printing! The only disadvantage is that I am locked up in this dark room for most of the day…"

Back at the house I had a power nap in the hammock in their sun room. When I woke up again, it was already 9 PM. My hostess and Tamara were ready to take me out for tonight.

Tonight was going to be my last night in Winnipeg, so I had to be shown a few real Winnipeg things and drink a few beers, before I was allowed to leave tomorrow.

One of the interesting attractions in Winnipeg are the water taxis that drive up and down the Red and Assiniboine Rivers for a few bucks. Tamara and Michelle took me along on one of the water taxis and we explored the river and the view on Winnipeg as the taxi stopped at various docks.

We ended up in the district north of both rivers, called The Exchange. This is where all the sky scraper offices and historical buildings of Winnipeg are located. And where all the pubs are!

The Exchange District is even a Historical site as it the original site of commerce in Winnipeg. After the railroads came to Winnipeg, this area was developed with many fine warehouses, offices and banks.

After a nice stroll around the area (there are either sky scrapers or abandoned warehouses, very much looking like Chicago, they say) we ended up at the King's Head Pub (rated the most authentic British pub in Winnipeg) for a few beers.

The plan was actually to continue going out and finally end up at a place called Happenings, a thriving gay club in town. "I love to go there," said Michelle, "because they just play the best music and the atmosphere is just perfect."

But we did not make it. We had taken a (car) taxi back to the house to get changed, but once there we all just lackadaisical

And Michelle and I had to wake up very early tomorrow morning too!

Good night Winnipeg!

Ramon