A rewarding part od couchsurfing is learning to see the world from as many different perspectives as possible. Talking about things that matter most to people and are passionate about is an education you get nowhere else, no more than second hand. We’ve learned about diving from divers, about climbing from climbers, about teaching from teachers, about winning from winners and losing from losers, traveling from travelers and about life from all of them.
In May of 2011 we were expecting a talent scout from France. The thought of meeting someone who is in close connection to fame and celebrities on a daily bases was intruiging enough to invite her to stay with us. Who knew, we might be discovered and be on a world tour this time next year and changing the world with our not yet identified talents.It turns out that this highschool teacher looking, slow and eloquently talking lady had as little to so with fame and celebrities as we did. She was a manager of a small festival on the French coast and was looking for choirs, classical music playing bands and performers, with preferences on Baroque music. Our just developing hunger for fame got shuttered instantly, but I guess it’s all for the best, we wouldn’t have handeled it well, anyways. We did try our best to connect her with some people. Brother from a long lost friend from preliminary school happened to spend all of his time to build up a classical ansamble with his wife and luckily I could connect them with a little help of Facebook. I also found a few good candidates by simply going online but the most promising cooperation happened spontaneously. We went for some coffee and met Mitja’s childhood friend there. They got to talking and soon figured out that she could use him, as well. I can’t believe how I didn’t think of that but I guess you have to be a talent scout to intertwine two such different styles of music as classic Baroque and electronic music but she was really excited. I have to admit that I was anxious to see the results. But even though they have exchanged a lot of correspondence and had almost agreed on everything several times, sadly nothing happened. It was a bust on the ansamble as well, so she had to return to France empty handed this time. She came back in September for a second meeting, this time succesfull, with nobody I know or helped her get acquainted with. I couldn’t get any credit for this but I did gain a friend and an invitation to see the festival.
We meet a couple of real life genuine modern hippies. I have a feeling it wouldn’t really be expected of us to run into hippies, we wouldn’t mind but we haven’t so far but I meet the most interesting people I’ve met, I’ve met through CS. Two young ones came into our lives on their hitch-hiking pilgrimage to Istambul, where they’d sit on a plane to India. Very stereotypically they went to Ashram all naturally dressed, dreadlocks and the works, to meditate, learn more yoga and get new recipes for vegan food. Only she spoke English and spoke it well, he spoke only French and seemed a bit slow, frankly but I could be wrong. We would all try to translate to him but sometimes the conversation speeds up and we just couldn’t. He would be looking at us, we talked, she laughed with us and I understand how he could have felt a bit secluded. So we left them to spend a lot of time alone as well. They went on long walks, eat the grapes and spent a good part of the evening out on the terrase. They made a vegan chilli with potatoes for lunch the next day and we baked some young corn over the bonfire in the evening, they liked that very much. There’s not a lot of things vegans get to barbeque.
She came back to visit us few years later. A different guy came with her this time and their destination was a bit closer but she hasn’t changed a bit. A hippie through and through, on the way from a transcendental festival only hippies hear about, full of happy stories about her friends, living happily ever after in a community on the Canary Islands. As happily ever after should be like. With sun shining all the time, aloe vera growing on every corner, the sea of the most blue color ever everywhere you look. There are also some awesome caves to explore to avoid the boredom of paradise.You can just hear some nice, calm music and wonder if it is playing only in your mind. But the best feature of all these great features is a toilet shed out in nature, the door is just high enough to cover you when you sit down and just low enough to present the best possible view of the greatness of the big blue sea while you’re taking a dump. Exellent!
While we were living in Maribor, we got a visit from a couple on their way from Haiti. They were humanitarian workers that were helping out after the disaster and were on their way to the next crisis. I guess seeing all those sad things, sad faces and sad fates makes you fed up with the world, ready to give up and loose faith in a normal future but not them. Strangely hopefull, borderline naive maybe or is that only to an unknowing eye, they genuinly believed the world can be repaired. I’m not saying I don’t believe that it can’t, I just think it’s not likely to and I’m really gratefull for each person who does. At the time they were filming a documentary about their trip, their work and their lives so we answered a few questions infront of a camera but unfortunatelly didn’t hear from them afterwards. I would have liked to see that.
One of he most eyeopening experiences was meeting a doula. An old soul, the professor of life and a ray of a beautifull sunshine in darkness of normal. Doula helps with big life decisions or transitions, like birth or death. She gives support, understanding and comfort, enormous patience and deep love. The bond between her and her boyfriend was strong, serene and reassured. Every little thing that weekend was enriching, enlightning and left me wondering. About birth, about death. About big life decisions.
…to be continued