Couch Surfing in Paris!

Daniel and I have been super excited and keen to try couch surfing and even though the thought of it sounds dangerous and scary, our first experience of couch surfing was anything but and confirmed the wonderful things we’ve heard about experiencing couch surfing.

For those of you who don’t know, or are like Daniel’s mum and thought couch surfing was when you surfed on a couch down a hill of sand, couch surfing is a sort of “cultural exchange” program where you sign up to the website, fill out a very detailed profile and then either host people to stay where you live when they travel to your town or “go surfing” while you are traveling and stay on someone’s couch. The idea sounds daunting and scary and I know, my parents included, will automatically think its just a website for freaks who want to have you in their home so they can steal all your stuff or murder you in your sleep.

However, couch surfing is not like that at all. Thank Goodness! The beauty of couch surfing is that you can get to know the person as much as you want before you stay there so it’s up to you how well you get to know your host or surfer before they arrive.

Anyway, enough about the formalities…head to http://www.couchsurfing.com if you want to get involved. I suggest you do it!

Martin, our host, agreed to have us a while ago and we were very excited to meet him. We got to Paris on a Friday evening and caught the train down go Martin’s apartment. He lives in student housing so it was really cool to know we’d be hanging out with students who were most likely similar ages to us.

Martin was really lovely. He was so friendly and accommodating and always made us feel welcome and at home. His friend from his home town, Charlotte, was staying with him at the time and she was just as wonderful.

On the Saturday after a day of sightseeing we met up with them at another student’s apartment for some drinks and we then went out with them which was very very cool. We all took some drinks and went down to the river where a couple of guys had set up a speaker with their iPod and were playing tunes for us all while we all dance and drank.

The next day Martin and Charlotte made us breakfast which consisted of croissants, baked beans, bacon, sausage, eggs and mushrooms. We couldn’t believe how spoilt we were! That day we had a pretty lazy day and went to a park near the University and then went home.

We really wanted to cook Martin and Charlotte dinner but they insisted that they already purchased the ingredients to make us traditional French savory crepes for dinner. How could we resist? Some of Martin’s other friends came over for dinner so the 6 of us had a lovely night drinking wine and French cider with savory crepes filled with cheeses, tomatoes, ham and egg. We also tried our first duck liver patte which was surprisingly nice! I don’t know if I would voluntarily buy it as a dip with my lunch but it was definitely nice to try!

On Monday Martin had work so we did some sightseeing and then went to watch him play soccer with some friends he is doing his internship with. After this, we finally got to cook him some dinner but felt bad that all we could muster up was pasta because it was already 9.30pm and with the shops closing at 10pm the pressure was on and we couldn’t live up to it. We then did some cheese trying with Martin who taught us all about the popular cheeses in France which so exciting cos I love cheese so much.

We had a really great first couch surfing experience with Martin and couldn’t believe how nice he and Charlotte were. They were always so nice and accommodating even though I’m sure we put them out of their way sometimes!

So there we have it, our very first couch surfing experience! We were so glad for it and can’t wait to do some more around the rest of Europe!

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