Saturday, January 22, 2011

My 5th birthday

On the 20th of January there was my 5th birthday of my Couchsurfing profile. When I look back I can't remember who was my first CS guest or host. My story began way back in March 2005 when I created profile on Hospitality club. Few weeks after that I got a request from Chilean guy who wanted me to host him for couple of days in Novi Sad. Back in that time I was living in student dormitory and I could offer a piece of floor for sleeping and I was a little bit afraid of hosting unknown guy in my room. Back at that time, girls who lived with me in dormitory completely supported an idea of HC and they told me that they will be around so I don't need to be scared. The profiles on HC have never been something that you can rely on but still I agreed to host him and I told him that I will wait for him on the train station since he was coming from Budapest. Andres came with a smile on his face, a bit shy since he just created profile like me, full of stories and beautiful photos from Chile. I gave my best to show him Novi Sad, to introduce him to my friends who welcomed him as equal and practiced their Spanish with him. Yes, he was a great guest and after him everything came so naturally. Marianne from Canada and some German guy were next, then I went to Ukraine where I was staying with my first host in Kiev, Belarus and Russia and somewhere in Moscow I heard this magic word "you know, there is another website, called Couchsurfing" and of course I told it to my best friend Alzheimer so I forgot. A month later someone in Serbia reminded me about it and I decided to take a shoot.
No, I don't remember all the people I hosted and met. I do remember all the people that hosted me and their places. I was staying in small apartments, big houses, backyard rooms, rooftops, shared rooms with number of people that I don't know... I was sleeping in big beds, small beds, on the floors, mattresses, shared beds... but all of them looked like I'm at home, because I never felt any different. I hosted 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 person at once... I made loads of meeting... introduced CS to a lot of people... some of them are using it well, some of them are not... It's life...
Some people that I met stayed friends until now, some were just passing by, some stayed longer than planned, some taught me interesting things, some of them I taught things I know, some of them were smiling, some of them had sad faces, some of them came completely wet in sandals in middle of winter, some of them came without anything, some of them came twice or three times, some of them returned the visit, some of them cooked great food, for some I cooked something, some of them I just met for a beer and we became great friends, some of them I went to see again, some of them I met again just by accident somewhere in middle of Europe and I got one of the biggest hugs in the world, some of them didn't even know about CS when I hosted them, ... and I can go on like this for ages...
I will just mention some people that always come to my mind when I talk about Couchsurfing... that doesn't mean I forgot rest of you... Massimo Bennardo who hosted me in his beautiful house in Pistoia and after we saw each other almost every month, Mimmo Panza, the true spirit of Couchsurfing and beautiful host, Rogerio Mota one of the funniest guys I met, Ricard Salevik showed up in really hard times for me and even he didn't know me he was a shoulder to cry on, Dalibor Begic greatest bastard ever, Halim Levent and Orhan Celik the biggest party makers in Istanbul, Eugene Novikov my first host, Christine Weis the flower of Vienna, FloFish does he needs introduction?, Tomi Perko and a beer and chatting long way in Prague when I didn't want to speak in English, Tiziana Concas the girl who hugged me like she know me for ages, Imad Idder the soul of Essauira, Dama Yinta my little monster, Achilles Peraklis always hungry but could never finish a Serbian plate in my favorite restaurant, Anton from Moscow gave me my best hair cut and told me about CS and if I start writing the names of people from Serbia I will never finish... :D But still, I have to mention my best friend Slobodan Kovrlija whose fault is all this, he was the one telling me about HC, CS and Serbiatravelers club in the first place

So... THANK YOU ALL for being part of my life and making my life more rich and thank you for being my friends :D Thank you because I can always say: "yes, I have friends somewhere over there, wherever I go...”

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