So, this weekend I had my first Couchsurfers in Quebec. I have been hosting people in Vilnius (Lithuania) and Barcelona (Spain), now it came time for Quebec. I have been member of Couchsurfing I think since 2008 when I went to Brazil for my Capoeira workshop. It is really nice experience and culture sharing. I have met a lot of wonderful people from couch surfing that either surfed my couch, or I have been hosted by or even just meeting at the CS meeting. Finally, I had my CS experience in Barcelona. It was great. I was hosting two women from Washington who came to Quebec to stay in Ice hotel for a nigh and decided also to do some couch surfing. Sasha was the one to write a request to me and Marcy came along with her. I accepted Sasha’s request because she read my profile, found common interest point and put an effort in writing a request. Often, too often, I get lame requests where people don’t even manage to write my name or write a wrong name or just provide detail of their arrival rather than including why should I host them. Sometimes people just don’t understand that Couchsurfing is not only about free accommodation and I am not interested in letting someone to stay in MY house just because they are arriving to my city. CS is about sharing experiences and meeting people that you would want to meet anyway. As I always say, it is hosting a friend that you haven’t yet met. Maybe because I do have requirement for the people that I host most of my experiences were great from both aspects: being host and being guest.
Getting back to my guests…So, we had lost of fun as there is a winter festival happening in Quebec, so there are lots of activities. We also went to Crossfit training as the girls do that back home. I really enjoyed it and even consider maybe start doing Crossfit as well as I like challenges and competition. Then we went to do some rock climbing in my indoor climbing gym. I think they enjoyed it, even though probably Sasha was a bit disappointed by herself as rock climbing is much harder than just pushing weights and require a lot of coordination, strength and endurance. Sasha for me appeared to be very competitive, even in some sense negatively competitive as she had to compete about everything. She w as competing in every conversation either with Marcy or with me. So, I found it really interesting to observe. I like to compete, but I like silent competition, because I think that you don’t need to talk about your strengths, you need to be able to demonstrate them without showing off. So, all in all, I would conclude that Sasha is feeling very insecure inside and she always need approval by the others that she is worth something. However, I think that there are many people like that out there is the world. Don’t get me wrong, but I think that western society model, especially american culture has a lot to do with people not feeling secure about themselves and feeling a need to prove themselves in every step. I just wanted sometimes to say to her that there is no need to prove anything that I don’t care at all if you are better than someone, that you are on vacations and should just simply relax. There was one thing, however, that I disliked….that was her continuous mention of money and saving and showing me if they made something for us. First of all, if you are staying for free, there is no need to say that you are staying for free, because it is obvious. If you do something nice to me, like get me bottle of wine, there is no need to say that you got that, because it makes me feel uncomfortable as if I should be grateful for something. I should not, because in CS in it normal to do something for your host as a sign of appreciation as it is normal for the host to make sure that your guest are feeling comfortable and share your meal with them. But I don’t accentuate after lunch or breakfast that I got them lunch or breakfast, because it is not about that. I simply share and I felt from Sasha that it was rather calculation than simple act. I don’t know exactly how to explain that, it just did not feel authentic. I am sure that she doesn’t even know that about herself and definitely had no bad intentions, she just has a lot of insecurities that come out in somewhat inappropriate ways. And regarding me, I just feel better writing about it, because it makes me feel better as I don’t want to have any negative feeling and her general behaviour and respect to my house was great and I could not expect for better guest.
But I really liked Marcy and I felt instant connection with her, because she has really nice personality and had no need to prove anything. We shared a lot of common character traits and passions and I feel that she is the type of person that could be my friend.
Concluding I would say that this couch surfing experience was definitely positive one, I had a lot of fun and great conversations, I had a chance to experience something new and maybe found new activity. The girls in general were really great, respectful, clean and friendly.