Back in Burns Lake, B.C.
Martin, the German truck driver I met in my way north, and who invited me to stay at his place when he saw me at a supermarket, stood in contact with me while I rode all the way up to Alaska. He offered me a job for just two days when I would be back.
There I am and take down two fences, repair another, bring fire wood from one place to another and sort out heavy wooden pallets. All that is real good physical work and gives a few illegal dollars, and in the evenings I am tired. Luckily the new knee injury is almost gone and Martin is impressed how much I have done in that short time.
Martin is a lot by himself up there. In the house at work in the truck. He earns very good money so he can affort a house, ground for future sheep and some machines to push soil from here to there, without that I can see much meaning in the new paths and yards jet, but he says: "Its all chaotic here, its like a hobby, I start here, then there, all different projects on this ground, the snow free season is short as well, but one day all will be as I imagine it!"
He has no free days. After being in his truck for 5 or six days, payed by kilometer(!), he has one or two days off, but works from morning til evening on his ground, sometimes checking his little online side buisness, the stock market!
Also for me it is good to speak in german since he is from a neighbor city in Germany. The language of workers and technicians, which I was so much used to, is also a welcome pragmatic alternative in all the loose artistic yes-no, no -yes maybe.
Ok, he just can not stop working, but this is how things come forward. Just dont stop pushing before it is rolling by itself!
It is not too difficult to find work in Canada. If I really would want or need, I still could do it. Simple practical work, maybe even at Martins Farm, or in the education sector as a teacher.
The evening before, still at Martins place, some beer had to be drunk. Sweating in the hard physical work on his ground and the last evening together, the fridge was nearly emptied. So I didnt want to ride too far due to my head and decided as well to take from here another road as I came up a few weeks ago.
Just any campside please, even if I have to pay. The one I find is almost entirely occupied by families with huge trailers for the weekend and over the hollydays.
On the tent lawn is only one family. My tent is put up next to them and before I settle down I am invited for hamburgers and hot dogs!
I noticed already when I put my tent down, that all of them are really big. The kids especially. From all the hamburgers as you can see it a lot in North America.
"So, you are one family?"
"Well, kind of, but actually not. We are a theatre company!"
I am hitting it again. I dont know what this is that I meet at least one person per day, who is doing something special, or is a special person, or just crazy, or a freak, or a specialist in whatever profession or hobby. Everybody I meet has at least a special story.
Here I met the "Street Spirits", a theatre company with social interest in encountering people with social problems and making an active theatrical encounter. Anything you can imagine what goes wrong inbetween people, the "Street Spirits" work with it and make people think. Always they work with the real people. If it is a play about sexual abuse, those aree on stage a s much as possible. Also Andrew worked as first theatre maker with Native, First Nation, People, because the play was supposed to be about them, but noone knew if any Native People actors would exist. To the audition 200 Natives came. After the show was succesfully staged, B.C. had many Native professional actors.
According to Andrew, the director of "Street-Spirits", sometimes their shows have a great effect on the people that they not only discuss those issues thematised, but start to change something indeed, for example with a free bus line which was installed after the politicians were made aware of the problem that poor people could simpoly not afford the ride to the doctor in a certain area of B.C., which name I forgot. But anyway, right now when I write this down they sit in a circle around the campfire next to me and the kids are singing and eating and discuss te one or the other thing with Andrew and Therese, the other half of the leading team. The kids are just some of the members of the group, according to Therese very often with real individual problems caused by misbehaviours of society, which I dont want to detail out too much here, you can imagine. But this explains the physical attire of them to me. But they are not shy with it, they put it all on stage, blunt, and they are known for it.
Why does it make sense if two stupid people meet? Because everything is well afterwards again!
After I left Martin the truck driver and his place at Burns Lake, the stop in Vanderhoof was necessary to check my internet work in the same Informtion Center as on the way up north, just now on the way back south.
Quite early still, between 9 and 10, I didnt think to take too much care about the luggage and left the tankbag on. Forgetting about that fact, I returned after an hour and saw first, that an animal opened one of the front bags, in which I usually have food and the kitchen utilities. One of the bags is ripped open, an inner plastic bag is in the typical manner scratched and bitten open and some food is spread over the ground. well, not too bad, but I notice also that someone went through my tank bag and stole a few things, amongst them my photo camera.
One could see a dance of me on the parking lot at the Information Center, becuase I felt so stupid not to take care of it in a real city, Canada or not, too many people are on drugs or whatewver and need a few bucks for stolen items, no matter what time it is.
I went in my mind through all options and doubts:
police, insurance, trouble,
all photos are saved before - good,
but stupid, stupid, my good camera, why didnt I listen to my own voice when I parked there?,
looking for the thief - probably over all mountains already, but who knows, maybe it just happened!
Two suspicious people walked around but didnt have any items with them. But why do they go behind the bush? Hiding my things? Having a shit? Having sex? It looked more like the last option, or they taking drugs. But because they didnt take any notice of me, I assumed they are not involved.
My hunting instinct pulled me further out in the field and there were three sitting underneth a tree, well, lets just ask them, why not, but while I get closer my instinct told me already that I am on hot ground.
Friendly they greet me: "Hello, how are you?" - "Good, thanks, how are you?"
Between them on the ground I notice a nearly empty bottle of hard liquor. All are drunk.
"Hey, you didnt see someone with a camerea?" - "No!"
I front of one of them in a bundle of his sweater I see the belt of my camera!
"Ok, there it is, give it out, it is mine!"
"There is nothing, I dont know what you talk about."
"The stuff in front of you, it is stolen from the motorcycle at the Information
"I found it over there!", he is pointing in the opposite direction.
"Give it to me, come on, It is mine. There I see also my torch, give it all to me right now you are in big trouble!"
He opens the bundle with my camera, knife, GPS, torch and even the bear spray.
I just take it all, no defence from him.
The others, one older guy, not less drunk, and a young woman or girl, whos face I never saw made all the time sounds of: oh oh, no no, argh, as if she expected trouble coming.
"Is there more? Did you take more?"
"There is nothing more, and these things I found over there."
"Dont lie to me! Is there more?"
"No no, dont call the cops!"
"I will not call the cops if you promise something: that there is not more you took!"
"Ok, ok, there is not more!"
"One more promise!"
"Whenever you see a motorcycle with luggage, never ever again touch any of it!"
"Ok, I will not call the cops, but if I find out that there is more missing I return and you wil be in trouble!"
I was stupid to give someone a chance to steal. As Don calls it: keeping honest people honest, when you lock your stuff away. Exactly that I didnt do.
He was stupid not to run away, but sat literally 100 meter away underneth a tree.
Already on my way out of town, not knowing whether I should be still angry or start laughing, there is now a bad feeling that my kitchen might be missing. The older guy of the gang looked twice susspiciously behind the tree while I gave my lecture, but I was too busy to check out what was over there. Did I see the kitchen in the saddlebags when I checked? I stop and luckily the kitchen is still there, but the pack of ham is gone. I take it as the price I had to pay for my stupidity.
Two stupid people meeting - all fine afterwards.
Its easy to get your stuff back from a drunk unagressive thief sitting on the ground. Thats why I didnt feel really threatened and just went for it. Worse it is, if the real criminals are on you, the ones with power and maybe even the law on their side.