Saturday, July 2, 2011
Prior to this year in China I have not had any experience with Couch Surfing, which is a community that allows people to essentially crash on other peoples couches throughout the world. While I’ve heard of it and thought it was a cool idea, I have never actually been apart of the Couch surfing family. Thanks to my roommate Mike, who is an experienced couch surfer and a big advocate of it, I have gotten a taste of what it is like. At first, I thought it was creepy to have some random strangers stay on your couch, which it is, but I have gone out of my bubble to help others out and in return, it has been a great way to meet people and talk about each others culture and traveling experiences. Throughout the course of the year, we have had people stay on our couch from all over the globe including China, Korea, Norway, Germany, Denmark, Sweeden, and good ole America. After setting up a couch surfing account months ago, my account went unnoticed until recently, when I received a few requests. A few weeks ago I had my first actual Couch surfers of my own that contacted me rather than Mike. There were a group of 3 people, Mychell (Michael), Britta, and May who met at a gymnastic academy in Oslo, Norway. They have been traveling for the past 3 months and this was their last stop before flying back home. Although my initial impression of them were not too keen as I waited 30 minutes at the train station for them, they turned out to be very nice and well traveled and a joy to be around. I had another request from a guy named Matt who wanted to couch surf but due to my hectic schedule of late with trying to hang out with my classmates before they go, he was unable to stay with me, but I was able to meet him for a burger and a beer. Just like my other couch surfers, I ended up waiting 45 minutes for him to arrive. It turns out he is from the Philippians but has lived in Christ Church, New Zealand for the past 12 years. He extended an invitation to stay with him there if I was ever in the area and ironically enough in September, I will be flying into Christ Church from Kuala Lumpur, so there is a good chance I might take him up on the offer and get a local tour of the city. Even though I was hesitant at first, I have had a wonderful experience with couch surfing that has let me meet people from all over. It just shows that when you do good deeds, they will eventually be returned to you in one way or another.