Couchsurfing: When the Guest won't leave.. - Vikingess Voyages

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Couchsurfing: When the Guest won't leave..

A couple of weeks ago I decided that I wanted to try being a host at, the page for travelers who wants to make their journey cheaper by spending the night in another couch-surfer's apartment rather than in an expensive hotel. I figured it would be an interesting and fun thing to try out, and as I'm a low-budget  traveler myself I felt it was a good thing to offer lodging to a fellow traveller or two. 
My first couch request was from a German girl, who stated that she wanted to stay in Kyoto until Saturday morning. As she planned to arrive on Friday I thought it would be much of a problem letting her sleep in my room for just a day. But it seems everything wouldn't go quite as planned..

Despite a minor problem with the buses, which resulted in me having to wait for an hour in the rain at our designated meeting spot, everything went alright on Friday. The girl was friendly, and really patient with me and my so-so German. However, from the next day the problems started. 

Although she had stated on Couchsurfing that her stay in Kyoto was only until Saturday, she somehow assumed that it was fine for her to extent her stay, without even consulting me about it. I told her that I already had plans for the evening, as a friend of mine was having a karaoke-birthday party downtown. My couch-surfing guest wanted to come along, but quite understandably my friend said that she didn't really want strangers at her party.
So I told my guest that I would let the door to my room stay open, but that if my guest wanted to stay out later than 8 or 9 I couldn't guarantee that the front door would be open, as I live in a dorm and the door gets closed at random times depending on the day. We discussed this for a long time, and it ended with her forcing me to lend her my dorm-key, which she then would leave behind the house for me to pick up when I got home.

I felt really uncomfortable by this, not only because of the thought of the key being left outside the house, but also because I was letting a stranger access to a dorm which has a lot of strict rules, and that she didn't even considering what the other residents or the landlord would think of a stranger wandering around by herself in their house. It almost feels like she saw my dorm as some sort of hotel.

Eventually the plan did go more or less all right though, I got home early in the morning and both her and the key was there. When I woke up in the morning, however, she had already gone out leaving me with a note and all of her luggage. She wrote that she only was going out to take a look at the Golden Pavilion, which is about a quarter walk away from where I live, and that when she came back we could try and find her another place to stay for the evening. So I waited for her all day, and after I had had dinner at 7:30 pm I decided that I couldn't wait anymore, and went to school to continue working on my thesis.

Now the clock has passed 9 pm, and she still hasn't contacted me at all. I suppose she'll turn up really late at my dorm, thus forcing herself to stay one more night as there aren't any other options for her to go. I don't really know what to do, but frankly I just want to throw her luggage out on the street and make her find a hotel to stay at or something. Too bad I don't think I have the guts to do that ><.. I guess I might be too 甘い.

It is kind of sad though, because I don't think I'll ever want to host anybody again after this experience. At least not in the near future. I feel that this guest really is misusing my trust, and my patience is running low right now.. Sigh..

Continue to read part II of this story

What about you, have you ever tried couchsurfing/hosting? What do you think of it?
Luggage left in my room by a couch-surfer.. ><
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About Anette
Anette came to Japan as an exchange student in 2010, met the love of her life and got stuck. From her base in Tokyo she writes about her experiences as a full-time worker in Tokyo and about her travels in Japan and abroad. She's a free-spirited adventurer who enjoys both the great outdoors and her urban lifestyle.

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  1. That's really uncool -- and atypical of my/my girlfriend's experience with CSers. Guess there's always a few bad apples in every barrel?

    1. Yeah, I suppose.. My guest seemed to be a really nice person on the first day, and I'm sure I would have been left with a good impression if she had left when she was supposed to. Yuma and I also couchsurfed together one night in Singapore, and we didn't have any problems, so I'm sure CSers are alright in most cases. I guess I was just unlucky with the outcome this time >.<


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A modern day shield-maiden who loves to explore the unbeaten paths of the world. From her base in Tokyo, Anette takes on both rural and urban challenges, and goes by the motto "No challenge too big, no adventure too small"!
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