Couch Surfing?

January 11, 2006

I was reading an article on cheap travel (which really didn’t help much, by the way…I’m convinced there’s no such thing) and it mentioned Couch Surfing, which sort of intrigued me. You sign up at a website, contact other members from around the world, and find a place to sleep. In their houses or apartments. For free.

It sounds cool, but in 2006, I’m just not sure I have big enough balls to try it alone. First of all, you’d have to be crazy to let some random person stay in your house. If they don’t kill you and use your shins for shoehorns or your skin for lampshades, then what if they steal shit?! People today aren’t right, we all know that. The Irish are supposed to be superfriendly, at least according to that book Round Ireland With A Fridge, and yet my introduction to Dublin was being flipped off by a woman that almost hit me with a car. Then there’s the time we were hitchhiking somewhere in southern Ireland…two assholes pretended to stop to pick us up and then immediately took off as we approached the car. I can’t remember if they flipped us off in the side mirrors or not, but it’s probable. That definitely doesn’t mean the Irish are all pricks, mind you, we met some very cool people and even ended up getting a couple of lifts into town (and we probably deserved the bird a couple times), but there’s definitely a mix of people anywhere you go, contrary to what anybody may tell you — mean and nice, friendly and batshit insane — and I would be pretty paranoid about traveling half way around the world to rely on any person who wants a stranger to sleep in their house.

Still, being poor, it sounds like a good deal to me. A free room? Come on. Accomodation is the most expensive thing next to the air travel and if you can knock it out of the way without having to sleep in a hostel with an old guy who snores and farts all night, well then, why not? The only problem seems to be trying to find a somewhat normal home to stay in.

The man in the article managed to hook up with an Irish family who were just interested in other cultures and people — sounds normal and fair enough. But I like to go out and get drunk and fall into thorn bushes and cry myself to sleep, and I’m just not sure they’d be up for that kind of culture.

I’ll give it a look-see anyway.

edit: this popping up in the news doesn’t help, British Backpacker Murdered


2 Responses to “Couch Surfing?”

  1. Matt Says:

    I’d totally do this. Who knows what kind of strange characters you’ll meet.
    Just be sure that you don’t have any valuables in your posession at the time.
    A backpack with clothes is all you’d bring. Leave your digital camera, passport and money in a locker at a bus terminal or something, its probably safer there.

    As for letting random people in your house, yeah, thats a tough one. On one hand, you’d probably meet some cool people, but I’d be super paranoid about people stealing my stuff. There is so much random crap laying around that someone could easily take.

    And its not like house insurance or whatever would cover it either. “Yeah, I let some random people from the internet sleep at my place one night and they stole my three computers and PS2. Oh, and my car appears to be missing from the driveway. Thats covered under my insurance, right?”

    You never know though, you may get random sex out of the deal. That would be a plus. I picture a couple of swedish broads crashing at my place. Oh the stories I could make up…..I mean, oh the TRUE stories I could tell.

  2. Drew Says:

    I guess it wouldn’t be so bad if you were with a friend.

    I thought about the Swedes as well, but I’d be more likely to end up with a serial killer or some sort of expert torturer rather than a blonde nymphomaniac who wants an ugly, drunk geek to screw. Harsh reality

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