Couchsurfing has always been a useful resource around for travelers and backpackers who are on basic budgets. Looking for accommodation, or occasions to meet people while traveling? Couchsurfing will get you there. I enrolled the Couchsurfing website during a time when traveling was not so much in my life, but still employed in a job I worked to get people to travel, the airline industry. Ever since I joined the community, I have attended Couchsurfing meet-ups, surfed, hosted many and even had wonderful opportunities in meeting many great people who had traveled around the globe.
My first Couchsurfing experience in Bangalore, India was in September 2013, a metropol that wasn’t much for tourists. I had my accommodation booked somewhere in the Mahatma Gandhi Road (MG Road), the famous shopping district of Bangalore. Some say Bangalore is another worthless Indian city, but I don’t agree, it was very organized, well structured and so far the cleanest place I have seen and been in India. Well, from a foreign perspective it’s still chaotic and dirty but Bangalore was a highlight after seeing six other Indian cities.
India is definitely the most densely populated country in the planet and needs to be measured by different standards. Bangalore along with Chennai and Hyderabad created the golden triangle of Information Technology in India. I have seen a lot of people carrying a badge or lanyard around their necks, many of whom are employed in the IT industry and mostly outsourcing companies, many of them with a Phd in Software engineering and with excellent English skills.
Anyway, with all the competition for a couch, writing a short and simple request is not something that needs the amount of work required in rocket science, a few paragraphs indicating that you have read the profile of the person you are sending the request to and a little about you is more than enough. There’s no necessity to send your curriculum vitae when asking for a couch.
Sunitha, a young girl working for an IT conglomerate in Bangalore responded my CS request to meet and invited me to visit her family and home. I took a tuk-tuk and found it a little difficult to find her location, more difficulty when I didn’t have a local SIM card and had to make roaming calls to get the driver to speak to her to find the place. It was a very warm welcome, the first few minutes I was a little shy, but as our conversations progressed, we found common interests and backgrounds and had a lot more to talk from the lavish bollywood movies to the white sandy beaches of Maldives. While we were coffeeing, her sister arrived home with her husband (Santhosh) and we had more to talk and share. Finally darkness brought a halt and we had to say goodbye, but Santhosh and his wife suggested dinner at a place close by called the “Dop Pub”, we had good Indian food while the atmosphere was very loud because of a live football match aired at the pub, and of course the crazy loud football fans. Santhosh and his wife even helped me get a tuk-tuk to get back to the hotel during the late hours in the night.
I was overwhelmed by the warmth and hospitality Sunitha and her family showed me with great Indian pride, I hope we will meet again someday and let me repay their kindness and generosity.