Tuesday, 30 October 2012

In My Place

Since moving into our new place and now having a spare bedroom, T and I decided that we may as well make the most out of it. So we signed up to Couchsurfing. For those of you who don't know what Couchsurfing is, it's essentially an online community through which you offer a place to sleep to strangers who are coming to visit your town. Likewise, you can go kip in a stranger’s spare room. Or on their sofa. Or whatever they have to offer.

I guess it sounds a bit weird. My mother certainly wasn't impressed when I told her about it.

A very cool concept. So we signed up and in no time at all accepted our first people to host - a young couple from the Netherlands.

It was at this point that I started to wonder...

We hadn't really given this all that much thought. It was probably advisable that I did a spot of research into hosting random strangers.

Bad decision.

As I researched, I stumbled across website after website of gruesome horror stories. Okay, that sounds a little melodramatic, but there were some bad ones out there! People who robbed you blind while you slept happily in the next room. People who got utterly smashed and vommed all over your nice beige carpet. People who were just plain batshit crazy and trashed the place.

Oh God.

What had we let ourselves in for?

And then of course there are the bad stories you don't hear about. And why don't you hear about them?

Because the hosts have been brutally murdered by their Couchsurfers.

That's right. It happens...

Well, okay, it probably doesn't happen. But it could!

There is an additional point T and myself have to worry about. The fact that we are in fact a pair of raging gays. To be fair, our Couchsurfing profiling does hint that we are a lesbian couple, but what if this doesn't really translate in other languages?

What if our Couchsurfers are gigantic gay-hating God-fearing folk who want to burn us at the stake?

Jeez. That would be awkward.

As it turns out, there was nothing to worry about. Our first Couchsurfers were lovely. They didn't lynch us for being gay and they didn't destroy our little home. We talked for hours, had a nice little meal and went out for beers. They even brought us a charming gift to show their appreciation.

And we're not dead. All's well that ends well.

So if you're ever contemplating opening up your home to Couchsurfers and you made the same foolish mistake of reading a few horror stories, just remember... you're being ridiculous. They probably just want to check out the local area rather than smother you in your sleep and nick your stuff.

- R

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