My Introduction to CouchSurfing

Bearsac the teddy bear bside atree witha DIY poster for a Couchsurfing picnic.
Couch-surfing picnic in Bagor, Indonesia, December 2009

It was December 2009, a decade before we all donned masks, stood apart and banged saucepan lids on our doorsteps and balconies.

I would have been charged two nights had I checked into a hostel around the time I arrived in Jakarta. So I hung out at the train station, clutching my raggerty teddy bear, Bearsac (in his original incarnation, for those of you that know his was snatched from my In Tanzania in 2011).

His cuteness attracted the attention of two young Indonesian women. We got chatting and they invited me to go with them to a picnic in Bagor (East Java).

As the train jiggled its way, passed sun-drenched fields and dilapidated buildings the two young ladies became even more accustomed to a talking teddy bear.

Walking towards a tree with a hand-made CouchSurfing sign, I felt a little overcome by the size of the group already picnicking. However, I was made very welcome even though I had not brought any food. Bearsac was enough as way of contribution though! He was a real charmer then, as he still in today in his second incarnation.
Receiving plenty of tickles and hugs, he was in his element.

School-yard games were played, most of which I didn’t know but some I did, such as Tag. I was thankful I still had the energy against people mostly a decade or more younger than I was then!

As the picnickers’ shadows stretched on the darkening grass in the sinking sun, we joined the two women and some other people at a Japanese restaurant, sitting crossed-legged on cushions on a deck outside, the warmth of the day making its presence felt beneath my bum.

The end of the meal didn’t bring the end our evening. Karaoke was in order at a nearby club!

With an offer to be put up by one of the young men that the two women knew, I agreed to go along.

I only scored 78% singing in English, but in both Japanese and Indonesian I scored in the 90s!

My host gave up his room to me and shared with a flatmate for the night. This was my introduction to CouchSurfing. I joined CS when I got back to the UK but forgot about it for over a decade!

Now, in May 2024, I am back in CouchSurfing action, having been hosted three times and hosted once.

I’m looking for a host in or near, Nice. 19th to 22nd May. 2024, and I’m looking forward to meeting another CSer when she hosts me in Bolonga towards the end of the trip I about to take. 

Couchsurfing is a great way to meet people from all over the world and to host and be hosted in the spirit of community.

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