Friday, November 23, 2007

When couchsurfing goes horribly ... annoying

People tend to give you strange looks when you tell them you are going to stay with someone you don't even know. The premise is called couchsurfingand it's website suprisingly enough, You sign up, tell the internet a little about yourself, and in a perfect world, you find a joint to stay at and everyone wins. Until yesterday, each and every one of my couchsurfing expierences have been amazing. Carol and Fred are fantastic and we hope to see them again, just as we are excited to see Kirsten and Alex in Germany. I still talk to Kirk on a regular basis but have only spent time with the guy for a collective 4 days. So much so that Colette jokes that Kirk and I are gay. She is just jealous. Anyways, we had posted a message on the Rome, Italy group requesting a place to stay. God forbid we spend money on lodging! A new member contacted us and said he would help us out. The only problem was that he lived 80 kilometeres to the south of Rome.

Colette and I were keen to the idea. It was only € 4.50 train ticket down there and it might be cool to see something off the beaten path. He agreed to pick us up from the train station and even said he had an extra room and bed for us. He almost seemed too nice and too accomedating in his e-mails and when we spoke to him on the phone.

So we showed up at about 6 p.m and he drove down to the train station about 15 minutes later to pick us up. He was a dead ringer for Woody Allen as far as looks go but he had the social skills of a lab rat. We talked to him long enough to go to bed. Even making it to 9 p.m was tough. I joked to Colette about how shitty it would have been to be killed that evening in our sleep and then have him wear our skin around the apartment the next morning. She wasn't amused. In all actuality, it may have been less painful then the mental anguish we suffered over the next day in a half.

We tried to make conversation with him but repeatedly he interupted us or bossed us around. The bus ride down to Napoli was excrutiating with him. The whole day was excruitiating. I feel like I can get along with about anyone but now I am beginnning to rethink that. Colette and I started conversations about her brother and my sister so he wouldn't be able to interupt us. He was the product of a adolecsence spent in front of the computer as the bags under his eyes showed it and his lack of conversation ettiquette or adeptness spoke it. He talked down to Colette and even went as far as to say he was racist in a shared cab with 2 Italian men and a Muslim man. Sadly, we didn't know enough Italian to seperate our physical affiliation with his prescence. Luckily, those guys were pretty cool and it would have been nice to have heard what they were saying because I am sure it was more interesting than what "Woody" had to offer.

Not all was lost though, we took a 45 minute boat ride to Capri, a small island off of the Italian coast. I nearly chunked from the sea sickness escpecially seeing the Asian women 10 feet away heave her lunch into a sack.

These little rigs were everywhere. I think they were 2 strokes because they all burned copious amounts of oil. Piggagio is the maker I believe.

A shot of the coast of Capri.


Kirk G. Thompson said...

So very gay! Haha. :)

By the way, who's taking care of Nibs while away? (Nibbles the dog)

I've reached out to my buddy in Zuri. Let's see what he might be able to do. It is always cool to have friends meet friends. My life is an odd collection of passionate people that give alot, laugh alot, and have that instant connection. As the saying goes, "You should never be in the company of anyone with whom you would not want to die."

Life's an adventure! Live well. Laugh often! and give Colette my best!

Kirk G. Thompson said...

By the way, your commentary on the vehicles is not wasted! One of my friends out here works as the youngest modeler for Chrystler (formerly (last month) Mercedes, Diamler, Chrystler).

The designers of concept cars have been getting a kick out of your narrative! Flippin' hilarious.

Have you seen the garbage trucks busses are Mercedes?

And how about the double jointed busses?

Garrett Hohn said...

Kirk -
The welfare of "Nibs" is being entrusted to Colette's parents.

As far as the vehicles are concerned, my head has been on a swivel out here. London and Italy in particular had the coolest cars. Colette, as well as Mark, gave me shit about my obsession with the cars and their specs. It's good to see some people enjoying my hard work and research.

Btw. Can you ask your friend who makes that little 3 wheeler? I think it is Piggio and I presume it is Italian cause it sounded like shit and burned a ton of oil!

Kirk G. Thompson said...

About that little, 3-wheeled Piaggio... yep. Here it is!

Your efforts are greatly appreciated! And you know, you have an odd way of documenting your travels. Some poeple look to meuseums, others to food and wine, my buddy Fabio (Zurich) made his USA tour of warning signs (HOT COFFEE, Drinking is Harmful, No Lifeguard on Duty), and YOUR TRIP is documented with various autos. Cracks me up! And you are definately an inspiration for me to start a blog.

Have a kick-ass day,

Anonymous said...

That sucks. We told you about the "swingers" we nearly ended up with in Mumbai, right? And I ain't talkin about dancing. Since then, we always check the refs and the sources of the refs. When are you flying out of London BTW? Perhaps there's a window for an ICB session.. Mark

Garrett Hohn said...

Ah, its good to see my 2 most faithful readers commenting on the same blog.

Hey, Mark, no need to hide behind that "anonymous" tag. I know its you buddy. Yeah, its unfortunate not everyone is as kickass as you are! We were going to try to fly into LHR the morning of the 12th from Belguim before our flight back to the states. The alternative was to fly in the 11th and sleep at Heathrow. I think your offer sounds better though. Anyways, we would love to come back to London ... how does the 11th sound for a night of ICB´S. (Not to be confused with Irratable Bowel Syndrome)
When are you done with work on the 11th?

Btw. You´re not swingers!?!?

Kirk G. Thompson said...

G! Yout thinking of a Las Vegas / So. Cal trip, still? I've been moving this week to a new pad in San Clemente (just 8 minutes away from where I've been living). Sure, I moved out of a 3100 sq'ft home -- but at least I'm more comfortable! My buddy Josh and I are always willing to have family and friends around. My thai step-brother is heading out with a few extra girls in January; and other buddies are crashing in over the next few months, too. Great thing is, I'm just a block and a half from the beach! Tough part... it is winter so the water is cold, I'm still recovering from the broken back thing, and I've all this temptation in from of me...

Anonymous said...

11th is cool, I can be out of work by 5.30, but I'll have to go easy on the ICB's as it's a Tuesday night..

Would be a good idea to schedule your flight to London the day before your flight out, to avoid domino-delays (I just invented that phrase).

Try Brussels Airlines, Ryanair or VLM for cheap flights. You can fly from Brussels to London City airport at 10:35am for only €125 for both of you, and leave your bags in my office till the evening.

The room is reserved for you, just keep us updated as to whether you'll need it! Yakshimash.

Anonymous said...

Or Ryanair costs only €10 for both of you! - but the airports are less convenient and you'd have to get up early for the 8.40am flight.

Garrett Hohn said...

Woo. You found a ticket for Euro 10 after tax?!?! If so please send me that link. Count us in for the 11th. Like I said, its either chillin with you on the 11th sippin ICBs or sleeping in LHR

Anonymous said..., but it might be more expensive now.. send us a CS message when it's sorted.