In and out of consciousness as I napped on the beach waiting for the text from my couchsurfing host to say he was home. I was exhausted, and wasn’t prepared for what awaited me…
His name was Chris, an American who is working in Sydney. A couple of friends of mine have done couchsurfing in the past, so I thought I’d try it out. Before picking Chris to message, I made sure I read the reviews and the description of where I would be sleeping. But reviews can be deceiving…
Initially, I was to couchsurf at another house, but it soon became clear that he saw couchsurfing as tinder, and asked me if I wanted to sleep in his bed. Sadly for him, I declined.
Dragging my bags up the hill I approached Chris’s place. Here I saw a small man with greyish long hair appear wearing white sunglasses. He didn’t really look like his profile picture, but then again he wore sunglasses in the only photo of him – so that should have been a sign. In “girl” world, guys who aren’t confident in their looks tend to wear sunglasses in their profile pictures, since you can’t really tell what they look like.
When I arrived he showed me the couch where I’d be sleeping, so I placed my bags next to it. As this was my first time couchsurfing I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to do. Chris began talking, offered me a drink and I declined as I was super tired and didn’t want anything, but he poured me a coke and vodka anyways – so I guess I was expected to drink. He began asking me what I did, where I’ve been and then started talking about his project he is working on, etc… Each time he kept pouring more vodka into our glasses and me thinking about wanting to sleep. He played me some of his music, but it took him awhile to play something I liked, and then he stopped.
Eventually, he wanted to show me the beach and then go out. Honestly, I wanted to curl up in a ball and sleep but trying to be polite since he was letting me stay I agreed – I did let him know that I was tired, but it fell on deaf ears. Chris packed a vodka and coke water bottle to go, as well as a joint.
One thing you should know about me is that I don’t like to be pressured into doing anything. I don’t like when people try to force me to drink or smoke a joint. I particularly don’t like when they keep trying after I have said no. I especially don’t like it from a stranger who I’m supposed to be spending the night on their couch. So with all that said, I made sure that I was fully aware of what was happening.
Throughout the walk, Chris kept wanting me to drink more, started laughing at what I was saying – I’m funny but what I was saying wasn’t funny at all – and eventually, he tried flirting. At one point he went to the washroom, so I dumped out a good portion of his alcohol bottle, in an attempt to end this night. He wanted to go to a bar with live music, but I didn’t bring my ID with me, so instead he said that I have to try this amazing chocolate place because in my profile I said I liked chocolate. We walked there and it was closed, so instead we got gelato but he didn’t have any money so I said I would pay considering he already ordered it, and conveniently went to the washroom.
After he came back from the washroom, he took a big lick of my gelato cone and then went back to eating his. Again, he wanted to go out, so we stood in line for a bar which he said to not worry he could get us in since he knew someone. We did not get in. He did not know anyone, and I was starting to wondering if he had friends in Sydney at all. I really was tired of it all. He then wanted to go to a fish and chips place, but I said no – he had no money on him, so I wasn’t going to pay for everything.
We finally get back, and I go directly to the couch, pull on the covers and go to sleep. I thought I dashed all of Chris’s dream with that move. But no, at 3:30 am Chris comes out of him room, and lays down on my legs near the end of the couch. Fully awake now and moving my legs out, he says he is drunk – eye rolling on my part. He then gets up and goes into the kitchen, then back to his room, then to the washroom and then back to lay down on my legs again and rubbing his head on them. I sit up and start on my phone – this act prompted him to return to his room.
I don’t know what he was expecting from the couchsurf, but I was extremely grossed out and annoyed. I decided that if he came out again, I would take my stuff and sleep at the ferry dock until the first ferry back to Circle Quay. He didn’t go to work in the morning, and I said that I wasn’t going to spend another night. The experience definitely put a sour taste in my mouth for future couchsurfing as well as ruined my first experience in Australia. Some of my clothes smelled like his place, so I’ve had to wash them in order to get the gross reminder out of my head.
If I ever do couchsurfing again, I’ll either do it with a friend, or couchsurf with a girl host. But I’ll definitely not couchsurf with a desperate man again!
Every country is like a particular type of person. America is like a belligerent, adolescent boy; Canada is like an intelligent, 35-year-old woman. Australia is like Jack Nicholson. It comes right up to you and laughs very hard in your face in a highly threatening and engaging manner. – Douglas Adams
Total Cost = $8 AUD & a decent nights sleep!
- Two gelatos $8 AUD