"I have a unique way of distributing Megaphone. I love riding my bicycle, so I set up a route along Hastings Street and Commercial Drive. It’s fun to ride the bicycle and visit my customers. That’s the main goal for me, to keep in touch with the community, get some healthy exercise and make a little bit of money along the way.
"I was born with a bicycle in the Netherlands a long time ago. I came over when I was 19 and wanted to study marine biology. I did a four-year study at UBC and then worked for the federal government on a study on the Fraser River Estuary. When I finished the report I put it on my supervisors desk and took off to California. I took a scuba diving instructors' course and later I got into pest control. But I decided to get away from the chemicals and into more of a natural environment.
"It was always my dream to live more of a hippie lifestyle and I got into oyster and clam farming on the Sunshine Coast. It was good, but after 12 years my back started to give me problems and I wanted to see more people; so I decided it was time to go back to Vancouver.
"I took some flying lessons and got to the point where I could fly solo. But when I ran out of money I ended up in the Downtown Eastside. I was familiar with the area already because I did some oyster deliveries here and often ended up at the Astoria for a few drinks. I actually ended up living at the Astoria for a while and realized that the upstairs isn’t the same as the downstairs.
"I decided it would be a good for me to become more involved and do community work. I wanted to work on social sustainability and justice issues, so I started volunteering everywhere I could. At the moment I’ve got three jobs.
"Selling Megaphone is great because I like the stuff that’s written in here. Megaphone represents the spirit of the Downtown Eastside people. It’s all about uprising and really that’s the spirit you find here."