I have written before on the subject of couch surfing. For those of you who just don’t listen, this is the practice of inviting strangers to stay with you for a few days, in exchange for – well, for nothing really. Although you do get a feel-good buzz, and the chance to meet new people, and the chance to get invited back from them, and the chance to top up your Karma levels. And, it goes without saying, the chance to get something to blog about.
I have had some excellent couch surfers at my place. Several of them I know I could visit when I want to, in many an exotic location. But this week I have invited 2 people and they are causing me to reconsider the whole thing.
These 2 ladies are from Zurich, and they are gay. Which I thought was interesting. Not in a let’s-all-get-it-on sort of way, but in the slightly naïve belief that a gay couple might have a lot to say and a lot to discuss about the world. Also H9 is staying and I thought that this was the perfect opportunity to introduce him to other cultures and ways of living.
Unfortunately my couch surfers are as dull as hell. Seriously, they are. Their funny stories could make paint dry. They sort of hang around the apartment in the evenings, and there is a distinct lack of presents, or wine for the host, or restaurant visits for my boundless hospitality. In short, they are dull and almost invisible, and don’t even say good night, and have neglected spectacularly to take me out to buy me cocktails.
A friend pointed out that people from Zurich are essentially Germans and Germans in general are not the chatty and hilarious type. Fine, I can accept that. But, come on now, you should at least make an effort when staying for free at somebody else’s place.
Also I made the mistake of letting them stay for 4 nights. And this is far too much, even if these were people that I knew. And I can promise this – if I ever invite somebody to stay again (and, as of now, I’m not at all sure) I will first check up how interesting they are, and I will impose a limit of max. 2 days and nights.
As mentioned before, I really like the whole concept of accommodation exchange, but you need to step carefully. Not from a danger of meeting a serial killer, but from a danger of being inadvertently bored to death.
The situation may yet improve. And the ladies have until Sunday morning to prove their generous natures to me. And if I am presented with something eatable/drinkable/enjoyable before then, I take back (most of) what I have said here.
But only most of it.