I have written about the basics of Couchsurfing in a previous post, here is a glimpse of it for those who doesn’t understand how it works.
The best thing about traveling is that even if you are shy, it is easy to start a conversation with the people around you. Even at the worst-case scenario you will have travel in common!
The Couchsurfing Project was first founded by a community of individuals (hosts) who opened up their homes for fellow travelers (surfers).
It’s actually much more fun than just a way to get free accommodation in almost anywhere in the world. It’s a place to learn, teach, exchange hospitality and meet people who love travel and adventures as much as you do. It’s a perfect guide to interact with the locals in their own country and milieu.
My first Couchsurfing meetup in Kuala Lumpur happened during my recent solo trip to Malaysia, the weekly meetups are held every Wednesday night at the Calavera Bar & Restaurant located at Jalan Mesui, a quiet street – just a 3 minute walk from Jalan Changkat (the most popular party area in Kuala Lumpur). I have stayed several times in the Bukit Bintang area, so it wasn’t difficult finding the venue. The first thing I noticed when entering Calavera was the human skull paintings and mural. The name Calavera in Spanish means Skull. The place has an unmistakably Latin-American feel, with its orange walls, colourful decor, and a bar covered in energy-saving light bulbs. Calavera on Wednesday nights are exclusive for the Couchsurfing community in Kuala Lumpur, it is also the ladies’ night with DJ Augie and Nesh spinning the discs.
I was warmly welcomed by Wong and Jenny, whom were Malaysians – I am not sure if any another Maldivians have participated in a meetup in Kuala Lumpur, but they both were very excited to meet me, especially when they knew I was from Maldives. I also met Abbey, another local who takes Couchsurfing very important and serious in this community, it was my second encounter with Abbey in Kuala Lumpur. Everyone I met at the meetup were very friendly, foreigners I met during the meetup were expatriates and students living in Kuala Lumpur apart from the locals. Jenny and Wong were making plans to go trekking on a weekend, however due to the shortness of my stay I was not able to join them. They also went to observe the Thaipusam celebrations at the Batu Cave on January 24, I wasn’t able to attend it either since I was leaving back to Male’ on the 26th and had unplanned last-minute shopping.
If you are in Kuala Lumpur and traveling solo, you will enjoy participating in a Couchsurf meetup to banter among the locals and the travelers, get tips and advice, and hilarious anecdotes. Everyone in this community is friendly and always up to something, it is very likely that you will run into some sort of adventure with them before you leave Kuala Lumpur. You can search for the events in Kuala Lumpur from the Couchsurfing website and confirm your presence to attend the event, this helps the requirement of additional tables based on the number of participants prior the event. The two high and long tables near the entrance on the left are reserved for CS members with a “Couchsurfing” sign on them. I you want to dine there (before or during the meetup) there is a great choice of starters/mains and barbecue dishes. The meetup usually continues until 11.30pm, and many of them heads off looking for other entertainment around the Changkat area. There is no particular attire, so just go as you are.