Chennai Couch Surfing meet

couch surfing

This is the tale of How I Met Some More Interesting Random Strangers by Joining a Meet up out of Impulse.

If you have read the open letter to kind blogger, you must be knowing that I was at Chennai staying with a kind blogger.

The story goes like this. I was staying at this kind blogger friend’s house. I had the privilege to use all the facilities.

Being on the road for almost a month, I wanted to check what was happening in the online world. So I used the high-speed internet after a very long time. I had a lot to catch up, I hadn’t update the blog in a while, I needed to reply to some mails, I had to thank the couch surfers who happily offered their couches, I had to write them the feedback. I had so much things to do and I was all alone in that house. So I decided to use WiFi.

After I finished all the above mentioned tasks, there was still a lot of time left and I had nothing much to do. And unfortunately my camera charger stopped working.  It wouldn’t charge the battery. I was completely unaware of this problem, that I came to know about it  when the battery got completely drained. But the good thing was that the battery had enough charge to survive the entire trip and the problem occurred at the final leg of the journey.

As the camera wasn’t working, I didn’t have pretty much anything to do. So I thought of meeting some people. I checked the couch surfing site. Couldn’t find many travellers to meet in Chennai. But then there it was. A Chennai Couch surfing meet up was happening that very day! How lucky! I checked the venue and left a reply saying that I would be joining as well.

After having lunch and resting for some more time, I headed out. I had never attended a CS meet up at such a short notice. It is a bit risky. Risky in the sense,  I didn’t have any contact numbers, I didn’t know whom to contact or how to recognise them and I wasn’t even sure if the venue mentioned was confirmed or would they change it at that last moment.  Anyway I decided to go.

It was happening at some café near Besant nagar beach, Chennai. So I asked some guy i met on the road, how to reach that place. He helped me with the directions and bus number. After walking quite some time and asking so many others,  at last got into a bus that was heading towards this place. But after I got in the bus, I came to know that it wouldn’t go exactly to that place and I had to take another bus to reach my destination.

Then I switched on my loyal, reliable travel partner : Google Maps. It  rarely misguides me. But when it does, it turns out to be quite funny. Reaching a granite slab of  2 feet width while driving a car can be cited here as a testimony. Reaching road blocks are too common to mention, especially if there is any newly built fly over nearby.

Anyway Google maps showed me the nearest point where I could get down to reach the beach. When I checked the maps, it was almost half an hour by walking. So I decided to walk instead of taking a bus. So far from my experience, Google maps wont misguide you while walking, unless until one has given wrong input. They say in computer terms  GIGO : Good Input, Good Output.

After the half an hour walk, I did reach Besant Nagar beach and found out the café. The real trouble started just then. There were some people already sitting in the street side café, enjoying the breeze that was coming from the sea. Now my task is to find out the couch surfers among these people, whom I have never met, not even in photographs.

I checked the CS site to see if anyone had replied . No response. I walked in front of the café checking people, like a thief who was planning to break in a house! There were gangs of girls sitting there in the café and I looked like someone who is secretly checking them out and ogling at them 😉

I had no idea, how I was going to find this people. It was already the time mentioned on the site. I decided to walk around the beach side looking for some clues. What I found is police men and women roaming around the beach. I know that they have a special affection towards the “oglers” 😉 So I went back to the café for another round of search. My search criteria was to look for a bunch of people from different countries and different age groups having  different skin tones , different accent and so on.

I prayed to Google god and ran the search query. Voilà!! In one corner I found a group of men and women. 3 women, 2 men, Indian and Non Indians, age ranging from 20 to 70, that was the first investigation report I could come up with, for that group.

I was still having doubts. I looked at the group with a question on my face. Someone asked “Couch surfing??” I nodded and said ‘yes’. “Haloo. welcome” and within no time I was part of that group.

People joined one by one  till it became a group of around 20. We ordered coffee and snacks. And it was fun. The meet up was organized by 2 girls from Iran. They were travelling across India. When I talked to them, they told me that they were travelling from Goa. They told me about their CS host at Goa. I knew him, I stayed with him as well. Then she told me where they were going next. I knew that host too, surprisingly. So we came to the conclusion that the world is a small place! They were actually following a similar travel plan, which I did  some time ago.

Another interesting person was 70-year-old Barbara from USA who knew more about Delhi and India in general, than anyone present in  that group. She is an avid traveller, even at this age. She is an ambassador of Couch surfing.

Then there was a movie assistant director , some bankers, consultant, people who quit their jobs. It was an interesting group. We exchanged stories, numbers, contact details, shared the bill for tea and snacks and it was time to leave. Then this man, who had undergone an accident, who was advised to take bed rest and not to ride motorbike, offered me a lift. Now that is the kindness of couch surfers! He dropped me at my host’s house.

I had a great time that day. Thanks to all the wonderful people who believes in humanity. Thanks to all couch surfers out there. Maybe you can also be a couch surfer. Join now.

Photographing the journeys to recreate the Travels to take you for a virtual Photo walk.

54 Comments

  1. travelstarthere
    October 23, 2017

    nice post 🙂 come to travel site too 🙂

    Reply
    1. trablogger
      October 29, 2017

      Thank you. Will do

      Reply
  2. Maria
    June 23, 2015

    oh yes, hope you enjoy your stay in Bangaluru… I got something you may find interesting… I am not a Bangalurian a tall but I like the city a lot(: it is the coolest small city… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z8lLKgtKIOc and cool forks like you would love the city even more

    Reply
    1. trablogger
      June 23, 2015

      Oh thank you for the video. It is cool. Yea,, I like the weather here like many others 😀

      Reply
  3. Maria
    June 23, 2015

    Wow… I can connect with your experience completely. I used to attend volunteer meetings and gatherings and even though all of them are strangers, when you realise they are nice and fun people you become part of their group… I get dropped by someone or other later(:… just nice of them(: anyway… glad you had nice time at Chennai, I am surprised you had the nerve to catch buses there(:, it is always nice to be part of a group na…never get bored at the weekends… and it is fun to hear travel stories and all(: anyway gooday… I hear lot of negative stories about crimes happening trusting stranger when I hear things like this brings a smile on my face. I don’t associate Chennai as a happening place with “communities”, if they had that place can be fun especially it is so close to that Auroville for some good volunteering oppurtunities… Bangalore that is where I am from has loads of communities, trekking, story telling, volunteering and a newbie to Bangalore won’t be lost…but every place has it’s charm and every new place as a traveller is nice. This time when I went to Chennai I went to some useless event… Niagara Island Exhibition, it turned out it was full of the Chennai middle class local people and surprisingly I did not mind it(:, one should be happy where ever one is… I think only travellers can be more adjusting, else most of us think having a good time is go to mall and shop or eat…that is good but very narrow scope of real enjoyment that way, possibily I am biased anyway… keep sharing your travel experiences, it will enlighten those who yet to take that leap thanks to our busy schedule and commitments…

    Reply
    1. trablogger
      June 23, 2015

      I think such an event happened in Chennai after a long time and I was lucky to be in the right place at the right time. I used to take public transport or whatever cheaper travel options that I can find 😉
      Glad to know that you are also taking part in such community things. Well right now I am also in Bangalore 😛 Yea, In the newspaper I can see heck load of activities everyday. Indeed travellers are more flexible and adjusting. Thank you for going through my stories and leaving such a huge feedback 😀

      Reply
  4. […] met Ambarish while I was in Chennai, when I went to attend the Chennai Couch Surfing meet. I saw a quite guy, among those who reached early for the meet. We talked and I came to know that […]

    Reply
  5. faburlifekhloe
    February 21, 2015

    I really enjoyed this extremely interesting story from you. It was crazy how we always thought we shouldn’t meet strangers, but somehow it can be amazing meeting strangers on the road. Please share more with us if you have Jithin 😉

    Reply
    1. trablog
      February 21, 2015

      Yea, meeting strangers are fun. Strangers are friends you haven’t met yet 😉 Arent we strangers turned friends 😉
      I will share a few more stories when time allows 🙂

      Reply
      1. faburlifekhloe
        February 21, 2015

        haha exactly we were strangers before and now we became friends 😛

        Cool! Can’t wait for more 😀

        Reply
        1. trablog
          February 21, 2015

          Glad you agreed 😉
          Patience 😀

          Reply
          1. faburlifekhloe
            February 21, 2015

            🙂 🙂 🙂

  6. Felicity
    February 13, 2015

    What a warm story! Love it 🙂

    Reply
    1. trablog
      February 13, 2015

      Not as warm as your stories 😉
      Thank you for the big catch up 😀

      Reply
      1. Felicity
        February 13, 2015

        😉

        Reply
  7. GreenRideBikers
    February 10, 2015

    Happy for you 🙂

    Reply
    1. trablog
      February 10, 2015

      Thank you 🙂

      Reply
  8. Samjoth
    February 9, 2015

    You are a hell of a gypsy man !! 😀
    Couch surfing..?? hmm..I don’t know if its my cup of tea..!!
    But let me go through, and I do have your professional expertise guidance!! Right !! 😀

    Reply
    1. trablog
      February 9, 2015

      haha.. how I wish to become a gypsy 😀
      Please do go through the site. or maybe read it before you go through
      https://trablogger.com/2014/10/01/couchsurfing-an-idea-everyone-should-try/
      if you haven’t read it yet 🙂

      Reply
      1. Samjoth
        February 9, 2015

        Sure bro and thanks !! 🙂

        Reply
        1. trablog
          February 9, 2015

          my pleasure 🙂

          Reply
          1. Samjoth
            February 9, 2015

            🙂

  9. dianagitau
    February 9, 2015

    I love your world,so many wonderful adventures and sometimes its hard to believe that there are really that nice people out there. Its nice to see all these things through your adventure. Thanks for sharing. I was also impressed by the people who had quit their jobs to travel.That’s my longing, though not sure i will experience that in this lifetime. Thumbs up on the post.

    Reply
    1. trablog
      February 9, 2015

      Thank you so much Diana. Don’t have hard time in believing that there are good people in the world. Because there are good people in the world 😀
      Glad you enjoyed my adventures and misadventures 🙂 Quitting job and travelling is not a very easy thing to do. But maybe you can do it some time in your life. Because there is nothing impossible in this life time If you really want it 🙂
      Thanks a lot for reading and liking this post 🙂

      Reply
  10. Fimnora Westcaw
    February 8, 2015

    I’m happy I got out to check on my email (no internet access at my house for some days now). Your story is wonderful! I so very much enjoyed the idea of the Couch Surfing (I’m going to go and read it again when I get my internet back). It reminded me of the sciFi and comic conventions that I’ve had a chance to attend years ago!

    Reply
    1. trablog
      February 9, 2015

      This is so encouraging 🙂 Thank you so much for letting me know that you really enjoyed reading it 🙂
      Maybe you should try couch surfing at least once. 🙂

      Reply
      1. Fimnora Westcaw
        February 9, 2015

        I will definitely do that, when I get internet back on my own computer. 🙂

        Reply
  11. Priceless Joy
    February 8, 2015

    As far as I am aware I don’t think we have “couch surfing” in USA. If we do, I have never heard of it. Sounds like a lot of fun, but could be dangerous.

    Reply
    1. trablog
      February 9, 2015

      Oh no, there are couch surfing in USA also like almost everywhere in the world. In fact the head quarters of this organization is in SF. And the 70 yr old woman I mentioned, is from USA 🙂
      Yes, it is fun and at times dangerous too.

      Reply
      1. Priceless Joy
        February 9, 2015

        Well then, I just learned something. I had never heard of couch surfing.

        Reply
        1. trablog
          February 9, 2015

          If you are interested you can read more from here
          https://trablogger.com/2014/10/01/couchsurfing-an-idea-everyone-should-try/

          Reply
  12. ANooP
    February 8, 2015

    You are a traveller by heart, I think you have travelled plenty. Well good to know that!

    CS I need to check it out! Who knows when it will help!

    Reply
    1. trablog
      February 9, 2015

      haha.. Thanks a lot man 🙂 But I haven’t travelled plenty compared to the real travellers. But yes, I did a bit of travelling.
      CS is to help and to be helped when in need 😀
      You can read more from here if you didn’t read it before
      https://trablogger.com/2014/10/01/couchsurfing-an-idea-everyone-should-try/

      Reply
  13. ccchanel41
    February 8, 2015

    You are so very cool trablog. I loved this story. Your adventures are the best. 🙂

    Reply
    1. trablog
      February 9, 2015

      Thanks a lot for reading and inviting me to join the ‘cool’ status with you 😀 You are always sweet as well like I said before 😀

      Reply
  14. Lifelover
    February 8, 2015

    Must have been quite an experience. I didn’t know anything about this couch surfing. Sounds interesting.

    Reply
    1. trablog
      February 9, 2015

      Thank you for reading.
      Yes, it was a great experience. You can read more about it from here
      https://trablogger.com/2014/10/01/couchsurfing-an-idea-everyone-should-try/

      Reply
  15. estelea
    February 8, 2015

    Waou, love the story of the 70 y.o. lady too 🙂 It amazes me that so many women do couchsurfing, but your story kinda of changed my perception. Safer and friendlier than I initially thought! Cheers to the couchsurfers 🙂

    Reply
    1. trablog
      February 9, 2015

      Glad you enjoyed reading it. Thank you for reading 🙂
      Yes, there are a lot of women couch surfers out there. I hope you will become one. I am still looking forward to that beach offer. You can start your couch surfing then 😉

      Reply
      1. estelea
        February 9, 2015

        Hehehehe, will keep that in mind! We’ll open our house, would be fun to have you here, for sure 🙂

        Reply
        1. trablog
          February 9, 2015

          here? where? Phil? Canada or Seol?! 😉

          Reply
          1. estelea
            February 11, 2015

            Phil for now, then ?….you re and will be welcome anywhere 😉

          2. trablog
            February 11, 2015

            That is some offer that I cannot resist 😀

  16. Amy
    February 8, 2015

    Enjoy reading your cool travel story! Google god change how we travel. 🙂 You reminded me when my camera ran out of battery. I totally, completely Freaked out. 🙂

    Reply
    1. trablog
      February 9, 2015

      haha.. glad you also believe in Google God 😀
      Haha.. it happens. Right?! lack of charge in electronic gadgets can drive anyone crazy 😀

      Reply
      1. Amy
        February 9, 2015

        😀

        Reply
  17. amcmulin914
    February 8, 2015

    I have really enjoyed the last couple traveling posts by you. Informative, funny, high quality. Great job.

    I also love how you roll with the synchronicity in your favor, that’s the key to a happy life. There is so much time in a day if you just relax and let things develop. And say yes to people! Meet up with actual people and have experiences. These online tools should be portals to other real human being. Anyways, well done!

    Reply
    1. trablog
      February 9, 2015

      Thanks a lot Austin, for reading the letter and this post 🙂 And of course for your kind words.
      Aren’t we saying yes to great people here in WP and connecting with them? I am sure this is also a portal that helps us to find the lovely human beings out there, through their words and thoughts 🙂

      Reply
      1. amcmulin914
        February 9, 2015

        Couldn’t agree more. I have really come to enjoy my blog when it became more about connecting to real people instead of just posting content or whatever.

        I’ll get going on that story, stoked for that. I have written over 11k words over the weekend on the first draft of a novella I am trying to finish (a werewolf story!), so I am all warmed up. Also going to try to take a little more time on this piece too, since we got such a great story going. 🙂

        Reply
        1. trablog
          February 10, 2015

          A little bit of appreciation always gets us going that extra mile 😀
          Yes, I have read the post as I am replying late and now I can say you kept the momentum of the story well. It is a nice continuation. 🙂

          Reply
      2. amcmulin914
        February 10, 2015

        Holy baloney friend I don’t know what I just tore from my brain, but expect it shortly! 🙂

        Reply
        1. trablog
          February 10, 2015

          haha.. I already read that 😀 Cool one 🙂

          Reply
  18. ady
    February 8, 2015

    Wow !! What an adventure and great experience 😀 I hadn’t heard anything like this before ! It’s a nice way to to make friends with like-minded people 🙂

    Reply
    1. trablog
      February 9, 2015

      Indeed, it is definitely a good way to meet and make new friends 🙂 Glad you enjoyed reading this. Thanks a lot.

      Reply

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