Monday, April 27, 2009

6 surfers, 2 trips to Keukenhof and My first days in/before Norway!

Well, a lot has happened since last time I contacted you, world, so let's get down to it. First I was visited by two Taiwanese CouchSurfers that are currently studying in Bonn, Germany, so a bunch of German was spoken inbetween the English, and I learned to say Jordan's famous sentence (Il y a trop de chinois) in Mandarin, being something along the lines of "Hao doh zhongo run o". I went to the Keukenhof for the first time with them, to see what all the fuss was about, and even though it's quite pretty, it's hardly worth the 13,50!

Gotta love them flowers, I guess

Now the title does say 6 CouchSurfers, so yeah, for the second time in a short period, I had full house again. Three Czech erasmus students and their Bulgarian Hungarian warrior friend (I do like to switch the two around) graced my couches and matresses and it was super fun hanging out with them, seeing things, and generally making fun.

L2R: Me, Eva, Marcela, Adri, Anna (Jefferson, Morgan, Sanders and McGraw - not in that order)

Something I haven't taken any pictures of was the trial of Jasper's new card game: Pergamon. Though the game is probably going to take a few revisions to play a bit more fluently, it has a very neat idea behind it, involving the excavation of treasures, and stealing them from eachother. It was a neat night.

Now, those of you that paid attention will also notice a second trip to Keukenhof. This is because not long after my first trip The Leiden CS community was doing it's yearly bicycle trip there. So I set my alarm early the night after Pergamon, got on my newly bought second bike (named Jaklin Charlotte) and was on my way. Even though they'd manage to get a neat half price deal for us, it wasn't really worth seeing it again so soon. Deb didn't think it was worth it either so we set out on our own little bike trip to the beach, only to meet up with the rest of the crew at the teylingen ruins later.

Good weather at the ruins

More pictures related to this

Then there's me doing some real travelling again. A few months ago I bought my ridiculously cheap ticket to Norway for 22 euros each way, followed by some traintickets cross country (to Bergen and Oslo) and so last week I left for Bedburg-Hau in Germany, a city about an hour's bike ride from my departing airport, Weeze. There I was welcomed for two nights, by Jaron, a really awesome and friendly CouchSurfer, and his friends. We had some drinks and music by the rhine, and I saw the cute city of Kleve, which was about 10 minutes biking.

"Yup, that's a fire, alright"

From there, I left ealy in the morning to the airport, when a few kilometres from the airport, inside the town of Weeze, this happened to my bike:

My poor penelope broke an arm! Luckily she still managed to get me to the airport in time, but I'll have to have her fixed when I get back.

Upon arrival in Sandefjord, where all sorts of weird things had happened to my hosts, I was hosted by the awesome Hans-Morten and his family. I was lucky in terms of hosts once again, because Hans-Morten is a really clever man, something he seems to have passed on to his three children, if they didn't get it from his wife, who not only had a good head on her shoulders like he does, but who welcomed me in his stead when he was out as I arrived.

My hosts, only slightly unprepared for the photo

I took the train to Bergen this morning, and I will be reporting more when I get the chance, which might not be until I'm back home. In the mean time, happy surfings!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

KitchenSurfing, and surfers from Israel, Turkey and France!

Last week I followed up someones, let's use the word "recommendation", to join the Kitchensurfing meeting in Rotterdam, which pretty much comes down to a few CouchSurfers cooking there specialties for a whole other bunch of us and general fun times conversing, and hanging out.

Host to this kitchensurfing was Giorgio, an Italian with an appartment with an extremely beautiful view over some of Rotterdam's port. Chefs du jour were Kirstin, Giorgio himself, and Birgit. Especially Kirstin's main course, although turning out quite different from what it was originally intended to be, was extremely tasty. Giorgio's spinach pastry like dish was also quite pleasant to the taste. Birgit's Austrian desert failed a bit, but through no fault of her own: People insisted that it would work in the microwave, which it didn't.

In the end, the atmosphere, view and food made it an awesome experience, that I definitely want to repeat some time.

Chefs Kirstin and Giorgio hard at work

Next, my Couch is in high demand this weekend, I'm guessing because of easter. As a matter of fact, if I had said yes to everyone who requested my couch for this Saturday, I would have had 10 people sleeping here. unfortunately I only have room for 4 (or 5 in special circumstances), but if I could have, I would have taken them all in.

However, the group of four that requested my couch, I could host them last night, so of course I did. They were a great group of globetrotters that had originally all met in the U.S. Two of them were from Paris, and the other two from Turkey. So now I have 20 Turkish lira and a tiny wooden ladybug on my CouchSurfing Wall. Also added was the baerensiegel from the bag of Mainz-local gummies that Martin (see last post) gave me.

L2R:Askin, Nora, me, Jeanne, Mezut

Before all that, I had another awesome surfer: Elisha, from Israel. One of the best things about this was that he got me to finally pick up my guitar and tought me some basics, so I can now practice by myself, and maybe play a song or two eventually. I don't have any pictures, but I do have a very dark video of him performing an Isreali song! You'll have to turn the volume on your computers and speakers all the way up, though, because the microphone on my camera sucks!

Van CouchSurfing 2

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Full House

For the third time in my CouchSurfing time did I have an official full house. That is to say, when I reach the amount of people that my profile says I can host or more, do I have full house. That number currently stands at 4 and that's the amount of people that I hosted last night. It started with Martin from Frankfurt and Katherina (or spelled similarly) from Cologne. We were supposed to attend the pillowfight (for international pillowfight day) in Amsterdam, but we arrived way too late. For good measure I beat up Katherine a bit regardless.

Next, 4 surfers that I knew/met at the Rotterdam meeting came over for a day in Leiden, and we had an amazing time. First we all had a great dinner at Eazie Wok. Next we got to see the city,and then at Jazzcafe the duke the band playing, "The tone dogs", were really amazing!

L2R: Liang, Mirjam, Emilia, Victor

More pictures of these events

PS The post below has been updated to include the new CS wall items.