Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Couchsurfing experience #1: Daniel

Daniel is what you would call a successful man. He's a graphic artist, living in Oslo. He owns his apartment outright and this is not the first one he's owned. He also owns the graphics consulting company where he works and at the age of 31, has done pretty well for himself. He started couchsurfing when he went to Peru and a few other places earlier in the year, and since then has had about 30 couchsurfers stay at his place.

When we first arrived in town and German K got in touch with him we thought we would be meeting him in the afternoon. Alas, work got in the way and he said to just get in touch with him when we were done with our activities for the day. This worked out for us because we ended up wanting to see more stuff than we had originally thought, and had plenty to do in the meantime.

We were finished with the Munch Museum and were sitting in the cafe (Hong Kong P about to take a 20 minute power nap) when we received the text from him that he was ready and could pick us up from wherever we were. We were also informed that we were going to have dinner made for us, a traditional Norwegian holiday dish made from lamb -  Pinnekjøtt. We had to admit that he was awkwardly nice, but maybe this was just part of the Norwegian charm, so we went along with it.

He picked us up outside a few minutes later, in his car (another Norwegian luxury).

And drove us back to the cutest apartment. Damn you sweet Norwegian money!

It was like one of those computer-generated Ikea rooms - everything was white, beautiful, and perfectly in its place. It's like he owned nothing that didn't have a perfect place to sit. I don't know how people do it. He was even growing a moss wall (of the super dry, spongey variety, luckily that didn't freak me out) in his living room. WTH!?

Needless to say, his apartment was too cute for words. Apartment Therapy would have thrown up it was so awesome. I had no idea real people actually lived that way. It's not possible, I thought.

Anyway, he had a guest room for one of us, a couch for another, and a fold out bed for the third. This man was prepared to put up three people alright.

He also had a map on his wall so each of us could designate (with little country flags) where we were originally from (note: NOT where we were currently living). We never did get around to it, and it seemed not all of his couchsurfers did, but a few of them did, and there were little flags all over the map. Pretty interesting idea.

He also had a guest book. Where you could sign and leave your message.

Appropriately German K had thought ahead (having corresponded with all of our hosts ahead of time, and having written them very nice emails) and had bought each of them gifts plus postcards for us to fill out and leave with our thanks. Ah, German K, always planning ahead.

For Daniel she bought a little sketch book and pencil, since he's a graphic artist, and we left a festive reindeer postcard (I think these were the same for all hosts). Pretty awesome.

And that, was our first couchsurfing experience. Dinner to be described in the Foods of Oslo entry, next.

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