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A couch by any other name - word games that people play!

A couch by any other name - word games that people play!
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You can call it 'sofa'surfing since that is all you get sometimes. Other times you may get lucky with an upgraded version - you can then call it 'divan'surfing. But whether you call it Couchsurfing or by any other name, a good host can make a difference in terms of your experience & its authenticity at your destination. If you are in cost-saving mode, it is a great way to travel, but that should not be your only or even the primary motive. My couchsurfing experiences around the world have been wonderful. A few times I have chosen to go to a places just because I was invited by couchsurfers - places like Jepara (Indonesia), Omaruru (Namibia), Dallas (Oregon, US) etc. - & have never been disappointed. Occasionally your host may ask you to buy some stuff for them, but you should not give in to such requests as it will just abet bad behaviour in future, though treating a host as a farewell gesture should be fine. At times a couchsurfing relationship can get messy, and may even lead to tears. Sometimes your expectations may not jive with reality and your experience may be just eh. Other times you may have an a-ha moment. It is also a good forum to find travel buddies, but watch out when they go off the rails. Some folks may find it queer to host total strangers & the Ivy League types may find it hard to comprehend, but careful attention to references & vouches makes it not any more unsafe than other means of human interaction. While it is natural in all human forums and interactions for something deeper to develop every now and then, please don't go looking for sex via couchsurfing. If you do, and you get booted out, it could be a pita (pain in the ass) to lug your stuff around, especially in the rain. It could be worse if you get jailed. On occasion a host may be so actively hosting people that the place may remind you of zoos, and you can be forgiven for feeling wan about it. Some people use couchsurfing with dual intent - to save coin & to find a partner. Na, not a good idea. You can feign ignorance when outed, but it won't be fun if security gets paged nor will it be fun to find yourself on the lawn & wake up reeking like a pickled yam. Don't allow your baser instincts to throw a (monkey-)wrench into your plans. While there is no official line to toe when it comes to do's & don'ts, please don't be a raider of your host's food store as that isn't likely to go down well. Playing - whether it is 'rook' or chess - with your host is a great way to bring down that initial wall. The picture by the way is the ending of a real Scrabble game with my host in Shanghai, China recently, & if you haven't yet noticed it, I used every one of the words on that board in this post! The words were not cherry-picked at the time of the game with intentions to contribute to a facebook update later - honest.
Date: 2013-06-07 13:53:51

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