This week my first Couch Surfers arrived.
About Couch Surfers:
Couchsurfing.com is a social networking website used by hundreds of thousands of people all over the world in order to connect with like-minded travelers. Usually young people (but there are folks of all ages) who like to travel without strict itineraries and on a dime create personal profiles in order to meet other travelers (many in the backpacking subculture use couchsurfing). The ultimate goal is to have a free place to stay when you travel and to offer a free place to stay to travelers (although many users are just on the site to have coffee or to organize parties and social events). It is a great way to challenge the market-oriented condition of capitalist travel, and a great way to meet locals outside of a bar/club. You can get out my profile here: http://www.couchsurfing.org/profile.html
I had used couhsurfing while traveling in Brazil, and in my house there are usually people sleeping transitorily in some way, shape or form in a bed, couch or corner. But I had never had any travelers who contacted me through the website stay at my house.
Basti and Michael are our first surfers. Basti and Michael are two German students from Berlin who are taking a semester off to travel for six months in Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and Peru. They have a key to our house and come and go as they please (they would need to because neither my roommates nor I know where will be at any given time of day or night). As a welcome to Buenos Aires, while they were toasting in the open air of Plaza Serrano with a few cervezas, a thief on a motorcycle sped by and grabbed their backpacked. Off he sped with their digital camera and video camera while an entire plaza of witnesses watched. Ironically hours before leaving my house they asked me if it was safe to walk around with their backpacks. I told them yes of course, nobody is gonna mess with you as long as you keep it close to your body. When they told me what happened I responded, ahhh sí, bueno a veces pasa eso. Pablo responded, y sí, les iba a pasar eventualmente. mejor ahora para que se relajen por las próximas seis meses. Hey, es lo que hay, right?
I think we are going to continue hosting couch surfers in the future, although we might more strictly enforce a Spanish speaking rule so everyone in the house can communicate and so we can invite them out without feeling as if we need to watch out for them.
Not on couchsurfing? SUMATE YA
besos and amor de Argentina