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ReportsTuesday, 8 July 2003
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada This morning I had a 7.30 AM phone interview scheduled with the CBC Radio of the province Saskatchewan. I wasn't really awake when they called me and it ended up as one of the most boring interviews of lately.
It was set up by a lady at the CBC who was clearly a fan of my project and really wanted me on the Morning Edition, as the programme was named. But she doesn't host the morning show, another guy does. And that guy decided to go his own way and talk about how I got this idea, where I have exactly been and how Canada has been treating me lately. "Really good," was my two words answer.
I was seriously waiting for some questions with at least some level of understanding of my project, but I never heard them. It was all very shallow minded and never went deep.
Not many journalists ever think about the people I stay with and why the heck they invite me over as they make it possible for me.
One hour later (I was still in bed as my host Daniel Krupp let me sleep in) I got a phone call from a guy who said he was from CBC Television in Regina.
"I heard you are travelling around the world for free, eh?" he said.
I teased him and said that I am actually "staying for a day" with different people everyday, which puts me in a position that I don't have to spend any money. He clearly didn't get me there and he just continued with what I expected:
"Yeah yeah, sure… Is there a chance that I can hook up an interview with you and your host today?"
"I will be moving on to my next hostess in Saskatoon very soon…" I said.
"What?! You stay with more than one person in one town?" he asked.
By that point I had to jump in and I happily asked him: "Have you seen my website already?"
"No, not yet," he said. He said that in a way that any website was not even interesting for him. He just got a note from somebody with the website address on it including my personal details. He just wanted to know how I get to travel the world for free, eh… That's all. And I just happened to have enough of these kinds of simple Q&A's…
"But do you think I can hook up with you today?"
"Well honestly I don't feel like doing a formal interview for television today…"
Silence. "Er… why not?"
"I just don't feel much like it. Meeting new people every day is already overwhelming, moving locations is overwhelming and a television interview always takes a lot of time and energy from me."
"I just don't need the publicity that much. Sorry."
And suddenly the attitude of that CBC-TV guy changed immediately. He probably wasn't used to people saying NO to his cheesy interview requests. "Okay. Goodbye then."
It felt like somebody in Regina was very pissed at me. Hehe.
Daniel had been working at home this morning and had heard me on the radio and had a laugh about that guy from the television station. I hung around a bit at his place and around 2 PM we walked to a nearby shopping plaza for a spicy chicken pita at the PitaExpress.
As Danny does not have a car himself (he walks a lot and travel by bus to the university: a good man!) my next hostess simply picked me up at his apartment complex. I had a good time with Danny and I thanked him for the good time with him.
On the forum Danny has posted his side of the story about my stayforaday at his place. Read it here.
Up for the next and last hostess in Saskatoon (I though instead of skipping the entire province, at least stay with a few people in Saskatoon while I am there). It was the 18-year-old Katya Woloshyn who picked me up. [/b]
"I study at the conservatorium at the University of Toronto and I read about you in the Toronto Star," she told me in the car. "I think you were just back from your trip to the arctic. I figured you'd be around here at my parents place in Saskatoon at this time of the year and I invited you over as I would spend my vacation back with my parents."
That all seemed to have worked out pretty well. So what does she study for at the conservatorium? "I play viola (a violin is smaller), piano and I play percussion in a band." Now that's pretty impressive.
"We are now driving through the poorest area of the city, as people know it," she said when we drove through an area where nothing was done anymore to its development and where the houses really looked old. "Across the street from where we live, we have had bootleggers (alcoholics) sitting around for generations. And when one moves out, there is a new one sitting on the stairs the next day."
"But I don't say it's unsafe to walk on the streets here at night."
In the summer times and during vacations, Katya comes back from Toronto to visit her parents, 21-year-old Cayley (he has a website about him made by his friends) and the 14-year-old sister Annie.
I noticed how old the house was. "Actually it has been under construction for the last twenty years," Katya said. "Don't look surprised, but we just exchanged the towels in the windows for actual blinds last week!"
At the house I meet up with Annie and Katya's mother. Katya's mum (help, I forgot her name after one week) is a graduate student at the University of Saskatchewan. "I am studying English at the moment and want to teach people how to write." That sounded very inspiring and by the looks of the inside of the house, which was packed with books almost everywhere, I understood where her inspiration came from.
"We are all very affectionate book readers," she said during our salad, potatoes and Alberta beef dinner. "My husband can actually read one book a day. And he sometimes comes home with a box of books from some charity book sale."
The kids in the house are very internet minded folks. Cayley is the administrator of the house computer and he decides what programs are on it. "It took quite a while of talking to get him to install MSN Messenger on it, because Cayley hates everything from Microsoft," Annie explained to me.
Katya and her family saw it not as any problem to let me stay another day with them tomorrow. I had to catch up in writing (as always) and could use a day of relaxation. And I guess I might even try to read a book!
Good night Saskatoon!