Well I’ve done film reviews, book reviews and holiday reviews. And now I might be breaking new Internet ground with a couch-surfing review.
As mentioned (at great length) in the previous entry, I have had 2 ladies from Zurich staying in my place over the last few days. These particular ladies were less than interesting and entirely failed to show the proper level of enthusiasm and interaction expected from people who stay at your place for free.
As pointed out in the comments of the previous entry, there are apparently 2 kinds of couch surfers. There are those who like to meet new people, have new experiences, discover a city from the inside and who appreciate the whole community feeling and trust created by the very act of staying with a complete stranger. These kinds of people I like, and it is these kinds of people I hoped to meet by occasionally opening up my flat to the public.
And then there are those people who stay with strangers because they are just cheap and can’t be bothered to pay for a hotel. And these were the sort of people I was landed with last week. Little communication, no sense of humor, no sharing of experience and, from what I saw, little lust for life. They were, plain and simple, dead boring, and completely missed the spirit of the whole free accommodation thing.
I allowed them a chance to make up for it by showering me with gifts. And yes, indeed, they DID purchase a bottle of wine and present it to me. They also talked about how carefully they had picked out the wine, based on a conversation that occurred during the previous week. So I was very pleased, until I went into the website for Systembolaget, Sweden’s booze monopoly, and discovered that this particular bottle of maroon piss had cost 69 Swedish crowns (7 euro). This, in Sweden, is a very cheap wine indeed. In fact, it’s difficult to find anything cheaper that does not come in a tetrapak.
Now I don’t mean to suggest that I judge gifts by how much they cost … no wait, actually yes I do. Especially wine. Nice wine, by and large, equals pricey wine. And buying very cheap wine for a host and presenting it with a flourish is actually the height of ignorance, bad taste, and will toast your karma for years to come.
So the ladies failed at the final hurdle. And I am afraid I am unable to award them more than one jade couch on my newly created couch-surfing rating scale.
Better luck next time ladies, and don’t expect me to pop over to Zurich any time soon. And if I do, I think you know what your present is going to be.