In the latest New Yorker, Patricia Marx uses couchsurfing.org to sleep over at people's houses in San Francisco, Iowa City, Palo Alto, and Bermuda.
Among those to whom I did not write “couch requests” were “a travelling magician and professional fool” from New Mexico; a sixty-three-year-old gay semi-retired handyman in Pahoa, Hawaii, whose mission is “looking for more nudists” (there are plenty of “clothing optional” possibilities on CouchSurfing); another Hawaiian, this one describing himself as “just a guy who has three acres of land, living in a shipping container house”; a woman in Bozeman, Montana, who declared that her “home is oppression-free. Yay!” and also contains high-speed Wi-Fi; a thirty-one-year-old female “daydreamer” from Berkeley who loves pajamas; a Tarot-card reader in Marfa, Texas; a housewife in Charleston, South Carolina, who owns a pole-dancing studio called Dolphin Dance; a kite-surfing physician (again, Charleston) whose ambition is to start a flavored-envelope company; a freelance photographer in San Francisco who claims she’s had hiccups every day for the past five years; a Savannah, Georgia, scientist who is also a “free man,” doing “whatever I want, whenever I want”; a male in Antarctica who wishes to live as a female; a “lovetarian” who grew up in Doylestown, Pennsylvania; a “proud Bangladexican” (Mexican-Bangladeshi) who likes “exciting things,” by which she means animals, forests, and jumping; Mohammad Ashraf Rahimi, in Kabul, who states his occupation as “warlord”; another man, also in Kabul, who works as an aid worker and sometimes as an optometrist; a seminarian living in Vatican City who previously attended the Navy’s flight school and would like to have coffee with anyone passing through the sacerdotal-monarchical state; an empty-nester couple in American Samoa who have two free bedrooms in their house, which is twenty feet from the beach, with “no hot water (who needs it?)”; a twenty-five-year-old Web designer and trucker in Munich whose “perfect day” includes playing football and afterward discussing politics and getting “so mad about it, so we fight with some chairs and destroy the whole bar”; Amin Awad, from Sudan, who loves “modest guests”; an archeologist in Death Valley who assures you that black-widow spiders are gently and immediately removed from her house; a professional vegetable masher in Beijing; a guy in New York City who’s hosted a lot of couch surfers and has had only three who “sucked”; and eighty-four people in Brunei Darussalam.Couch Surfing the Globe
Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing and the editor-in-chief of MAKE and Cool Tools. Twitter: @frauenfelder. Come and hear Mark speak at the ALA conference in Chicago on July 1.