“Am I in the way?” Sarah-From-Norway peered up at me from where she stood by the dorm door. “No, no! I just don’t want you to be creeped out by my lurking up here taking a photo of our room.” She laughed and started telling me about her recent “rescue” from a couchsurfing situation.
Couchsurfing is a review-based social network of people of nearly every city on earth meeting up, hanging out and getting a free place to stay. Some see it as a hook-up opportunity while others don’t. I’m registered, but have never actually participated. For a nice dose of Schadenfreude, check out this article about a guy visiting Brooklyn who, I don’t know why didn’t just leave after the first day (not to mention the second or third day!) And check out this couchsurfing blog for lively tales from couchsurfing various cities.
Great Escape. Back to my new acquaintance, Sarah. “Rescue” is a bit dramatic, but was the word she used. Some “creepy” guy claiming to be gay had turned out to be rather touchy-feely while hosting Sarah and two Swiss girls. Nothing happened per se, but after a day of general uneasiness, the two Swissies decided to bail and had the courtesy to let Sarah know, offering to take her with them. And here they all found themselves, with me at the Pariwana Hostel: me, Olivia, Moni(ca) and Sarah.
Limeño Borat I tagged along to meet up with a Lima guy, Cesar, they’d met through couchsurfing. (You don’t have to stay at the person’s house. Some people just like to meet foreigners like us.) Cesar reminded us of Borat, but wasn’t within miles of a decent impression. We put it on his to-do list.
Here I am in my new child’s-size $16 hoodie along with: (l-r) Sarah, Moni, me, Olivia, Cesar.
Rio = Robbed Sarah had just come back from Rio, Brazil where she’d been robbed – where, according to her, everyone gets robbed. I love her exact quote: “You can’t go to Rio and expect to not get robbed.” As she went on about the danger and uneasiness of being in Rio, Moni would interject, “But that can happen anywhere.” Yes, but it doesn’t happen at the same frequency anywhere. For the most part, dangerous places are more dangerous. After talking at length about how dangerous Rio/Brazil is, Sarah added, “I can’t wait to go back!” Of course you can’t. Because that makes sense…
How Old Are We? Cesar looked around the table and asked, “How old are all of you?” Moni said, “You have to guess!” And so he went around the table, guessing anywhere from 21 to 24. For me, he guessed 23, to which I said, “Wow, good guess!” I definitely get asked how old I am more than most people. It’s not something I normally ask others, so don’t know what triggers the question. Awhile back, I started responding with “How old do you think?” I then just go along with whatever the person guesses. I straight-faced-jokingly guessed that Cesar is 42. He said he’s 26.
Pisco-Sweet-Not-Sour You can see us drinking Pisco Sours, which I’d heard were so ah-mah-zing and the pride-drink of Lima. Um…no. They were sugary-sweet like margaritas. The Pisco Sour should be called Pisco Sugar. (Fiona recommended that I try Pisco and ginger ale before writing it off altogether. She doesn’t care for sweet drinks either.)
Bed-side Shelf. Here’s the small shelf attached to my top bunk. It was the perfect size for my eye makeup remover + cotton, contact solution and case, glasses and earplugs.
Rise N Shine! Here are my three new friends in their own worlds at breakfast and later as we parted ways. G’bye, young friends. Stick together and be careful couchsurfing!
Other pics from around Pariwana Hostel: