From time to time it was a real circus. The days were going so fast, that from time to time we had to take a break, check the Occupied box on the profile and take time off. Off everything really. From time to time we had to spend time together, just the two of us. It’s no wonder I guess, that in time some couchsurfers more or less blend together, unable to be recognized anymore. Going through the CS correspondence I found quite a few names that I couldn’t pin the face to it. Or any kind of event or even conversation..
For this particular forgotten CSer I even have an excuse. We were both sick when a Russian girl, announced way before, arrived. Actually, I had to go pick her up way across town. I had to look for her, actually, because she couldn’t explain to me where she was. Before I thought about her passing the phone to someone more local, I had been to three locations already. But that’s ok. It was only for the night and I have to admit I was way to tired to pay any attention to the rest of the visit.
There was this one time, I remember clearly, we totally forgot about one kid that hitch-hiked to town. At four I was emailing him we would meet in this pizza place in an hour and then I have no idea what had happened. I totally forgot. We both did.. When it hit me, it was past nine. We rushed to the pizza place and luckily we found him there, accompanied by his ride, a cute young girl with a big smile on her face and luckily not much to do. He eventually stayed with us but I can’t really remember anything else.
That’s why references are important. It helps to remember. The sooner it is written, the better. It help a little if it’s belated as well. But on the other hand, they can be a bit confusing as well. I know very well, we had an indoor gulf set in the pantry but I could swear me and Mitja just test it once and put it away because it was too loud and clumsy on the wooden floor. Imagine my surprize when I read in one of the belated references, what good time two french guys had, playing inside gulf and drinking beer, and I had no idea who they were or when that happened. Some clearity appeared when I saw the photos but not enough to be able to recall the night.
A group of young french people came by right around the Lent festival. Which they knew nothing about, surprizingly, since it is one of the biggest music and art festivals in Europe. With the loud music and crowd at the concert we weren’t able to talk much or at all so forgetting them was easier than most.
There was also this korean dude I’m always confusing with someone else. Funny thing though, Mitja remebers him very well, they connected over korean movies and photography tricks while I couldn’t pick him out of a line-out. I have it somewhere in the back of my head that he came by bike but on the other hand, that could easily be a whole different person.
Amongst the forgettables there were also a few I wish I forgot. That’s a bit harsh, I admit, but some really strange people found their way into our flat. Anyone who has ever met someone over the internet, clicked with the other person and was later seriously disappointed, when they met in person, will know what I’m talking about. Usually you can somewhat have a feeling what kind of person is coming from the request they’d written, it’s a skill that’s improving over time and number of requests. But sometimes the written request has no resemblance to reality what so ever. When this Romanian looking Polish girl came into our lives, we were about to go out for a concert. We met with some friends at our place before and waited for a funny, out-going girl to arrive. She came in with this frightened look on her face like she came into a lair of rapists or something and didn’t say a thing. She sat down on the couch looking really uncomfortably, kept covering up and carefully avoided every eye contact. It was a real struggle talking to her but we were able to find out that she was tired and didn’t want to come with us to the concert, she was traveling with her boyfriend but she didn’t want to invite him to stay with us as well. We finally left but pondered a while if she was safe to be left alone or should we perhaps lock her in, risking something could happen inside while she would be locked in. Finally we decided to leave, thinking that this might be one of those life lessons. If something was to happen, like we would return to an emptly appartment without a sight of the girl or her elusive boyfriend, we would learn to trust our instincts, and if not, we would learn to have a bit more faith in humanity. Luckily, the place was intact, the girl was fast asleep and we were a bit ashamed of ourselves. Lesson learned.