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Chennai Couch Surfing meet

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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 and I came to know about it  when the battery got completely drained out. 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 they would 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 wide 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 flyover 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 a real life 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.

trablogger

View posts by trablogger
Trablogger aka Jithin is an Indian travel blogger who is obsessed with leading a travel life. When he is not traveling, photographing, writing or blogging, you can see him thinking about sustaining this travel life or helping someone to travel more.

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trabloggertravelstarthereMariaThe People I Met On The Road : Ambarish Sivasubramanian | PhoTrabloggerfaburlifekhloe Recent comment authors

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travelstarthere

nice post 🙂 come to travel site too 🙂

Maria

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

Maria

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… Read more »

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[…] 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 […]

faburlifekhloe

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 😉

Felicity

What a warm story! Love it 🙂

GreenRideBikers

Happy for you 🙂

Samjoth

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 !! 😀

dianagitau

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.

Fimnora Westcaw

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!

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