Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Couchsurfing experience #2: The Turkish Couple

At the end of our figs figs figs we headed to the tram and made our way to our second couchsurfing hosts' house. Since German K had made the arrangements for all we actually didn't know much about this host and we hadn't been in communication with them most of the day, unlike Daniel.

Now I hate to admit this, since usually I'm decent at these things, but I don't remember their names. So, instead I will pretend that I am protecting their privacy and call them The Turkish Couple.

The Turkish Couple moved to Bergen because the husband is studying information visualization, getting his PhD and teaching on the subject. This is actually a subsection of something I studied while in university, and it is fascinatingly complex. There is such a need for people like him that I was excited to delve deeper into the subject. Unfortunately my traveling mates were generally not (well, Hong Kong P found it fascinating, but German K didn't and neither did the wife, who probably hears about it all-day every-day), so I gracefully allowed the subject to be changed when I felt I had perhaps lingered too long on it.

When we arrived they set out the normal assortment of Scandinavian welcome foods - seasonal gingerbread (which I've taken a huge liking for), Panda candy (which is hilariously a Finnish brand..and these ones were filled with liqueur), and offered to make us drinks of whatever kind we wanted. Being the only one who couldn't drink caffeine I asked for whatever decaf tea they had that would be easiest for them to make.

Instead I got something absolutely wonderful. They put a few slices of fresh ginger and a few sprigs of fresh rosemary into a glass of hot water and let it sit for several minutes, asking me to stir in as much honey as I desired.

The result? Fabulous and refreshing. There is never a drink that tasted so much like the Christmas spirit to be found at any local Michael's craft store. I love the smell of fresh potpourri in the morning, and I do mean this in a perfectly genuine way. It's glorious. I'm definitely stealing this and bringing it with me. This idea needs to be spread the world over. It's simple and beautiful.

The rest had Turkish tea and the husband drank something I couldn't identify.

As we talked and it got later, I decided it was probably time for me to get ready while everyone was talking as there was only one bathroom, and now five people who needed to use it. And I really needed to shower. I smelled like a fireplace for some reason (despite the fact that I had showered that morning and most of the day had been spent on a train).

The wife immediately offered me a towel and said I could use all of the shampoo, conditioner, and body wash I wanted. She also gave me a loofah to use. Really sweet. I thanked her profusely and then had the best shower ever.

Unfortunately what I didn't realize was that their water system ran on a hot water tank per apartment, unlike in Finland (where you have a huge community one, and hot water is constantly in the pipes to keep pipes from freezing and to keep hot water for radiators). So Hong Kong P had to wait a little bit before the water regenerated enough to take her shower, but whatever.

I was also promptly asked if I'd like a hair dryer and set up in their bedroom to use it while they all continued talking. It was wonderful; way better than a hotel.

When we were all ready for bed, this was when the humor came about. It was obvious from the layout of their apartment that we girls would be sleeping on their couch, which turned into a sofa bed. What we didn't know was the shape and size of this sofa bed, once folded out, since we were sitting on it like a sofa the whole time.

As it unfolded, all of us began to see how this was going to be...interesting.

You see, as a sofa it was an L-shaped sectional, so when it was folded out, it became a very long rectangle.

Unfortunately that also meant that it was very narrow. Too narrow to, for example, sleep three.

So we were going to have to lay it across its widest length.

The problem? The bed dimensions were approximately 10 feet by say....4.5 feet (with the backrest included).

I think you can see where I'm going with this.

Even Hong Kong P, at maybe 5 feet (on a good day) wasn't going to be able to lay on the bed without her feet hanging over the edge.

But that's what needed to happen, since we definitely weren't going to spoon together just to save our feet from being over the edge. Apparently they'd had three South American guys do exactly what we were going to do so we knew it could be done with little danger.

And actually it was pretty comfortable. All of us eventually turned to this side or that and had enough room inbetween to curl up legs to have our feet not completely sticking out the end. I don't know how successful German K was at this, since she's the tallest (around 5 feet 10 inches) but we all slept really well.

And the next morning we got up, pretty well-rested, and caught our flight to Tromso.

No comments:

Post a Comment