le couch surfing, part deux

so this whole freewheeling fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants travel thing has been pretty great so far. you can't deny that there is a certain cool factor that comes with being able to say things like "eh, i guess i'll head to amsterdam tomorrow." plus, everything just kind of seemed to be falling together for me. until i was on my way to paris with no accommodation booked in the middle of high season. brilliant move, i know.

i was aware that it would be difficult to find a place to stay in paris in a budget, but i figured it would end up being more of a sacrifice of comfort than anything else. when i did a search the night before for places to stay while i was in town, everything was booked up for the first night i was going to be there. not just everything "decent." i mean there were no hostels that had one bed inside the city and under 60€ a night. enter panic mode.

trying to take some advice from another friend of mine who had done a similar trip, i decided there was nothing i could do except decide not to worry about it. i would get on my bus, head to paris, and see if i could find a tourism office that would help me. otherwise i'd just have to bite the bullet, find a best western, and regrettably shell out my food budget for two weeks on a one night stay. on the bright side, it could be a new diet plan! (oh, girls...)

as i mentioned before, everything seemed to be falling into my lap on this trip, and once again it seemed luck was on my side. i had posted on couch surfer that i was going to be in paris on a whim, pretty much expecting the same level of response i have gotten in the past without actively seeking out a host: none. the afternoon before i left for paris, however, a host contacted me asking if i wanted to stay with them as they had just received a cancellation.

despite my only 74% positive experience with couch surfing (no, i didn't actually do any qualitative math here..), i decided to have another go. particularly because i didn't really have another option available to me. i was slightly hesitant because this someone who reached out to me was a 28 year old male, and i would have to be completely naive not to wonder if there might be any potential for him to try to have a few string attached to the deal.

when i arrived, however, i found that this was absolutely not the case at all, and i even felt a little guilty for suspecting him of any ill intentions. he was at work for the whole day, but was nice enough to leave me his keys so i could explore the city a bit while he was out. when he returned, we had a nice chat, he made me some AMAZING pad thai (not exactly french, but a very nice gesture nonetheless), and all he wanted was to practice english with me and get to know someone from another culture. he even gave me an "insider's list" of things he loves about paris for me to go see/take photos of/eat. it was SO nice and totally regained my faith in the couch surfing system.

unfortunately, i don't have any sneaky pics of his place to share, but i hope if he reads this he doesn't mind me stealing a somewhat anonymous photo of him from his couch surfer profile so you didn't just get a 34954885 word post with no photos.

don't be fooled by the knife.

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