I have come to see more and more that Couchsurfing is rarely free, and more about community than just letting people crash in your living room.
Yeah, there is nudists who will invite you around to their place, but CS is littered with people who just genuinely want to hang out and meet people who are on their travels.
A lot of people have actually ended up leaving CS in favour of another platform, with a whole generation of CS-ers joining, purely on the basis that it is just free accommodation.
Very simply, you get out what you put in, like most things in life.
CS is no different. If you put in appreciation, you get appreciation back.
It’s very simple.
On this occasion, Tizi & Clement had asked us to be back before they went to bed last night, but being that we came back a little late last night, we didn’t want them thinking that we were taking them for granted. So, this morning, we got up a bit earlier and I ran out to get some breakfast before they ran off to work.
I was up at around 5:45, because a lot of the bakeries opened at 6. After a few runs around trying to find variety in pastries, I returned with coffees, and a whole arm full of baked goods to start their work day with.
I get home, and they are still fast asleep, and that is ok. I don’t blame them either, it is still 6am.
They told us that they would be up around 7/7:30 for work, so I didn’t want them to have to wait on us. I must have misheard because even Bec was confused, and suggested that we go back to sleep, so that is exactly what we did.
Bed time 2.0, and it was great.
We left our door open, so that when they started to move we would hear them, which is exactly what happened. We heard the door open, and sat up like it was nothing, and pretended like we weren’t waiting or anything. It was kind of a funny awkward moment, but only between Bec and I.
I had already set out the breakfast so it looked like it was ripe for the picking. Clement was first up, and upon realising that breakfast was already, casually walked back into the bedroom and tried to coax Tizi to join us for breakfast.
It was a great way to start the day, and just as good way to finish our time in Lyon.
Tizi & Clement get their day started, and we end up crawling back in to bed pretty damn quick. We are heading to Paris today, but our bus doesn’t leave for a while yet, so we decide to catch up on some extra sleep.
10/10 do not regret.
We pack up our stuff, and head to the opera house. Being that it is the centre of the city, we can pretty much head anywhere we need, plus Bec was really keen to have a coffee and croissant at this one particular cafe near the square.
Bec cranks out her phone and goes all professional instagrammer on the croissants and coffee. Not gonna lie, though, it is the perfect way to start the day for the second time. Coffee and croissants for breakfast twice in the one day? How can anyone be angry about that?
We still have a bit of time to kill, so we begin to wander the streets, and find a whole secret suburb of great coffee shops and brilliant little squares. We have been suggested to try this coffee shop on the corner, but to be honest, all of the coffee places around this area look brilliant. Our only regret is not coming to this part of town sooner.
We order our coffees and they are probably the best coffees I have had in France so far. Not even having a giggle with ya. The milk is silky, the coffee is strong, but not over powering, and the portions are perfect. An absolute 10/10 in my books.
We sit and enjoy the day passing us by, with people riding through, and the occasional postman, completely blocking the flow of traffic, like its the norm. At one point, this bloke blocked the traffic for about 15 mins. Everyone was backed up, absolutely road raging, tooting and going of their faces, and here we were sipping our coffee in a little square in Lyon.
Just doing our thing.
Minding our own business.
Watching the world fall apart because of a postie.
We have to start making our way to the bus, so we strap on our gear, and make our way back to the station.
We pile onto the bus, and Bec and I think that we have hit the jackpot, with some of the more spacious seat being freed up, just as we get on the bus. But, there was a reason that they were freed up. You see, the girls who were sitting where we were realised really quickly that this side of the bus doesn’t have power.
Being that they wanted to charge their phones, this presented a bit of an issue, because I wanted to charge my laptop. Turns out that only half the bus has power, and I cant get any blogging done now. What was meant to be a productive day, has not because another restful and relaxing day, full of reading and sleeping. Not to say that I didn’t enjoy it, but I really would have liked to get some more blogging done too.
So, for the next however many hours, I didn’t get any blogging done, but such is life.
We arrive in Paris, and you can tell that you are in a city, but only because it looks like a city. There is nothing that stands out to say that you are in Paris. Bec spotted the Eiffel tower while we were coming in, but it kept darting behind buildings, so I just figured that I would see it another day anyways.
We arrive at the metro station closest to Arnaud’s (our host) place. Other than his picture on the CS profile, I have no idea what he looks like. I spot this bloke across the road, and he is the only guy that looks anything like the bloke that I requested to stay with in a pretty decent radius, so we make our way over to him, and sure as eggs, its Arnaud, just seeing off his last group of surfers.
These two American guys have just stayed with him for the last few nights, and certainly seem to have had a pretty hectic time in paris. Arnaud has also got this one german chick staying with him at the moment, who is going to give the two American guys a lift up north. Turns out that there was a huge cockup with communication between the three of them, and Margot, the German girl has had to stay another night to be able to give the guys a lift in the morning.
I mean, that is true hospitality.
We get back to Arnaud’s place, and as is the custom with anyone who stays at Arnaud’s place, the two American lads get their photo taken on a polaroid, which then gets pinned on the word map, according to where they are from.
Its good to see the competition, so that way when it comes our time, we know what we have to beat.
The yanks have booked somewhere else to stay for tonight, so we see them off, and bid them farewell. Its a really odd thing, I mean they are such nice blokes, but I know that it is only going to be the most flukeish coincidence if ever we meet them again, let alone, if we actually remember who they are.
Nonetheless, we wish them good luck, and genuinely mean it too. I mean, I will pretty much never see these guys again, and I really genuinely want them to have a great rest of their trip.
Its fricken weird.
We leave our stuff in the house, and head out for dinner. Arnold knows the place pretty well, but still, we find something that he hasn’t eaten at yet. We are all pretty damn happy with our meal choices, and the service is absolutely exceptional. It ended up costing us a good 30 euro for the two meals and two drinks, but it was pretty much worth it.
We got to enjoy a night of good company, quality conversation and practice in our french.
We head home for a good night’s sleep.
Bec and I have the sofa bed, Margot has the inflatable mattress under Arnaud’s bunk bed, and all of this is in just one room.
Not even joking.
This is the cosiest of cozy arrangements, but I love that this is how it goes.
Nobody really cares, and everyone is there to have a good time.
Come back for the next story,