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During my travels, my compensation for free accommodation for one night, was for me to write a daily travel diary. Of how I got to my next location, the people who would host me, the food I was offered and everything else. Below you find the archives of the highly extensive reports. Know that English is not my native language and most reports were written at high speed around midnight. Enjoy.

Friday, 25 May 2001
Paris --> Saint Ouen (F)

About sleeping out 'till after noon and having to chase to the Eiffeltower for some tv-report (and getting wet in the fountain), missing the appointment with my next host, contacted another address and arrived there at 11pm at night...
I woke up at 1.15pm! Waltersaid I must have need that extra time, but man, what did that feel good!

After the usual things I had some good breakfast with the original French breads and some eggs, and the necessary coffee. During this breakfast Walter and I ran back and forth from the food to the computer, to get to know the latest news in the media (and what the AFP-article would have done - see links below) and made some phonecalls to arrange some very very very important things for the coming days.

It is a suprise what will be happening tomorrow, but you'll find out in the next report!

After this afternoon breakfast I had to pack my bag again and thanked Walter for having me stay at his place. For the last time I got into this antique elevator and headed for the Eiffeltower, some 30 minutes walking.

When I got there I was amazed by the long long lines of tourist really wanting to go on the Eiffeltower. I think the average waiting time was about 1,5 hours if you wanted to get on top of the tower.

The few French people I have met the last days have never ever been on the Eiffeltower themselves, for them it's just a nice tower, but it does only impress the tourists.

The meetingpoint for this person who had an tv-interview with me was directly under the Eiffeltower. The first thing I did when I got there was emptying a complete bottle of water over my head, because my head was so hot of all the hurries and the current heat.

The interview was very impressive. The journalist had this little digital videocamera with me and walked around me with the camera at me and I answered all his questions. When he decided to walk around a little bit, I saw this water fountain -with a lot of people around it, laying in the grass- and I thought: why don't I go in there?

So a few minutes later I was standing in the middle of this water circus, with a microphone in my hand, answering the questions with the cameraman standing dry on the shores. That was really funny to do.

After this media-session I took the subway to go to Montrouge, a suburb South of Paris, where I was supposed to meet my next host for tonight. But we totally missed each other. We couldn't see each other at the meetingpoint and later I waited another 2 hours at her apartment. Her telephone was disconnected so when it became around 8 o'clock in the evening, I gave up.

Of my list I called another person who had invited me and asked him if it was right if I came to stay-for-day at his address, tonight. He was very suprised, but it was okay and I headed from the South of Paris to Saint Ouen, the northern suburb.

At the last metrostation at the Saint Denis University of Paris, I met Samuel Duval, who picked me up to get to his address.

When I entered their spherefull apartment, the relaxing flavours of scent got me at ease after this crazy day. Samuels' girlfriend Maud Pontel made me some late night dinner and we got to talk about travelling, media, Loft Story and racism in France. Funny how they talk English with a very strong French accent. Very interesting by the way!

Samuel works at a global insurrance company and Maud works as a sort of a teacher at a social center, where -don't think too negative- people can drop their young children if do have to go to work. Maud entertains the small children with animation, theater and music - even with 10-months-old she can get some joy in their life with music!

After the nice potatoe with fish dinner I got, I handled them The Gift from Walter.

This time they got the 4 latest editions of the Streetfashion Magazine, but also a free one year subscription to this magazine. Maud got very happy, because according to Samuel, she is a real fashion freak. She denied it, but people really have to hold on to her when the shops in Paris have their sales!

We got to talk about television again and for my 4rd day in France I heard people talk about the televisionshow Loft Story. Loft Story is the French version of Big Brother and is about a bunch of people who live in a normal loft and get followed by cameras all day long.

I saw it already everywhere in the city on papers and billboards, the French got a little bit too crazy about this show. "However everybody says he won't look at the show, they'll all talk about it", Maud said. "Even everybody who was in my line at the supermarket started about it, really aweful!" And I remember Jeanne and Walter also talk about it before.

I am pretty used to this sort of television. After Big Brother (invented in Holland!), we got to see The Bus (about a bunch of people in a bus which drove through the country) and currently we are having two similar shows on the Dutch TV.

One of them is Big Diet, where on a friendly and very respectful way a group of overweight people are placed in a mansion and with the help of some expert need the loose a certain amount of weight.

The other show is something really different. The producers have restyled the original Big Brother house in The Netherlands into a place where 12 young kids (age 16-18) will be skilled in to become a star and they call the show Starmaker.

I -seriously- have only seen 5 minutes of it and I only saw a group of over-arrogant young kids in their puberty dreaming about singing in a big hall with thousands of people - be a star. Those kids even get singing-courses and once in a while they have to record a song.

What happens: within a week this song goes to the number 1-position of the Dutch music charts! And every two weeks they will have another song! While it is all so over-commercially fake!

I just had to get rid of this out of my thoughts, sorry.

Back to Paris - where I had to write this report tonight, without being able to spend a lot of time with Samuel and Maud, because tomorrow morning I'll have to wake up early and have some very important things to do...

What that is, you'll find out tomorrow, but as I said it will be very suprising...

Goodnight Saint Ouen!

PS: Just found a great site about paris,, really good contents for people all over the world!

The press about today: (French):
Ramon, 24 ans, fauché... et heureux (Russian):
Так кушать хочется, что и переночевать негде!

RTL (French):
Le succès de 'Invitez-moi-une-journé' (French):
Un vrai tour du monde gratuit grâce au Web

Multimédium (French):
Ramon, cyber-clochard céleste (Italian):
Ospitatemi per un giorno! (French):
Le web, nouvelle arme des globe-trotters

Have you seen the tracking map on Ludo's website yet? It's in Dutch, but you'll see a lot!