Friday, July 11, 2014

Indonesia: My first couchsurfing experience

I've read about couchsurfing from some travel blogs before, and immediately signed up right after. 

Then, I've searched on facebook and saw the groups into couchsurfing. There seems to be quite an activity going on in the country (home country PH) into couchsurfing. In fact, there is a weekly meetup every thursday night (called thirstday) in Makati, Manila.

I have been active in the forum, but as I normally get impromptu hosting from locals of places I go to, which was great enough as they are normally genuine locals like farmers, and fishermen, I never really bothered about asking for hosting through couchsurfiing.

Then i did this long term backpacking trip and realized, couchsurfing is probably a good resource.

I've joined the couchsurfing Indonesia group in facebook, and was glad to be in touch with the ambassador of the country who was kind enough to refer me to the other ambassadors of the other places in indonesia.

It was a surprise (kind of crash couchsurfing) so could only stay at Abu's place for a night. 

Then, after Bali, I moved to Surabaya and Jogjakarta after, where I stayed with Dee, the Indonesian Ambassador.

I was picked up by Dee from the train station, and then we head straight into an art gallery. 

I was intending to do the cooking, we both woke up late. We ate at the market instead, and bought some stuff we could cook late. 

He had to go to work late too, to make sure I know enough before i leave to where I'd like to go that day; More, he even lend me his bike, dropped him to his work, and said he'll just ask some of his staff to drop him home later. I went to Prambanan Temple on first full day in Jogjakarta.

On my second night, it was the couchsurfing anniversary, so I went with him in the gathering,where I met the other couchsurfers from Jogjakarta.

The following day, I visited the Borobudur Temple, and at night, one of the couchsurfers is leaving for Italy, so there was another gathering.

The following day, I went around Jogja, and at night, there was the party at Prangtitis beach, and went again with the couchsurfing group. After the party, one of the couchsurfers (who has a band) had a gig, and went there, where I got to sing with the band (first live singing i've done in my life).

Then, for the following day, I was planning to leave Jogja for Jakarta. Dee even left early from work to drop me to the train station, but unfortunately, when we went there, there were no more economy seats; The next available seats were just too expensive (more than the cost of a flight), so thought it would be better to take the bus instead inn the afternoon of the following day.

Again, for that night, we met with other couchsurfers for a planning of their next trip to somewhere in Indonesia.

The day after, Dee went home for lunch then so he could drop me to the bus stop. He was offering to refer me to some couchsurfers in Jakarta, but since I won't really spend so much time there, I said I won't really need it. I'll just hang for a few hours around, and then head to the airport. He told me how to go here, and what to see.

I stayed with Dee for the week, and I was just filled with something to do; And it was good as I just go to places without really plans.

I was probably lucky to have been hosted by an ambassador, and one who often go to Philippines too, so we had quite a conversation and sharing on how to travel to places between countries. I felt so being home in Jogjakarta (so at home that I even bath in the rain; plus, his house is next to a ricefield which makes it a lot more interesting as it gave me the feel of, not just my home in the metro, but my hometown).

In three words: Couchsurfing is Love

This post is part of the #limbonisASIA tripSee link for more stories, detailed expenses and itinerary

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