I have heard a lot about couchsurfing, and had decided to register for an account last year. I have never had a good impression of couchsurfing, I have read stories where others had terrible experience while using couchsurfing.
In 2009, a Chinese tourist was raped by her host in Leeds, England. Abdelali Nachet, 34, threatened to kill her and raped her twice, the ordeal had lasted throughout the night. Nachet was in turned sentenced to 10 years imprisonment.
There are more terrible and scary stories of various couchsurfing going through terrible ordeals against their will.
After register for an account last year, I kind of kept it stagnant, not intending to meet anyone or to host anyone. I enjoy my privacy and frequently stay in private rooms even when I am travelling alone. I got to know someone from Vietnam, let’s call him AW, and when AW and his friend was travelling into Singapore last year, they had proposed to meet for dinner, but as I did not know them well, I decided to give it a missed.
Singapore has a relatively smaller couchsurfing community compared to other countries that are willing to host other couchsurfers. When we were young, we were taught a chinese proverb, 防人之心不可無, 害人之心不可有, which means that you need to be cautious against others, and do not have evil intentions.
AW was travelling around Indonesia and Malaysia recently, and had a short layover in Singapore. AW had asked to hang out while he had a short layover in Singapore. Since AW looks like a pretty nice guy, I had decided to give it a try to meet him and his cousins. As they have visited Gardens by the Bay, Sentosa, Merlion and even Marina Bay Sand. I brought them down the heritage trail to Little India, where they visited the Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple and followed by Clark Quay.
As AW would be leaving Singapore early morning back to Vietnam, we ended the day at 85 Bedok North Market. We had delicious BBQ chicken wings, satay and even pork minced noodles.
AW had initially wanted to take a shower at my place before heading to the airport, to wait till his flight. Since it was getting late, and we seems to be able to click, where he shared his life, his travels and adventure with me. I decided to open my place, and for the first time be a couchsurfing host.
I had offered AW my brother’s bed, as he had moved out. We spent so much time talking about the various adventure that he had, and he shared with me his couchsurfing experience. He also offered his place for me to stay when I travel to HCMC in the next few months.
When I was about to doze off, I saw AW writing something, I was too tired to bother about it, and after a while he came up to me and gave me a handwritten postcard with words of encouragement.
The Borobudur Temple is the world’s biggest Buddhist monument, build in the 9th century, it was neglected for many years and was buried under volcanic ash. It was rediscovered in 1815.
It reminds me to be resilience and to never give up, sometimes life throws you under the bus, but keep trying and keep your spirits high!
My unexpected couchsurfing host experience was awesome! Friendship has been foster, and I believed that true friends are borderless. I still believe that you should follow your instinct! Trust takes time to be built! Have fun and Couchsurfing!