Usually, as a solo traveler, I try to choose my couchsurfers as carefully as possible. Although I’m trying to leave the paranoia that everyone wants to rob you or rape you, you always have to be careful, so I spend my time reading references of every host, every profile to see if we have something in common or something I can learn from, and of course, the pictures: well, if he is a guy and something actually happens, at least if he is cute, I can go for it. Golden rule.
By this way, I’ve met good people along the way and we have become friends. Impossible to forget the really talkative Juanen from Valencia, the super friendly and gorgeous Fernando from Madrid, the beautiful couple of Daya and Fabian in Zurich, my cute affair with Johannes in Innsbruck, the hilarious Manuel from Salzburg , the Austrian-Brazilian Phillipe from Vienna… The couchsurfers are the best ones, whoever invented this website deserves the Nobel Peace Prize.
However, among them, whom I found most interesting (and please note that the competition is really difficult, because the couchsurfers are usually people who have traveled a lot, very well studied, at least bilingual, and very open minded) is Georg.
A guy with very long dreadlocks (with more than 8 years cultivating that wild hair plant could not be otherwise) this Viennese by birth is, undoubtedly, a character that will call your attention if you see him walking down the street. In fact, he says: “When I was in Rome, people took pictures of me, I do not know why.”
You do not know why? With those dreadlocks, with his clothes covered by cat’s hair (Mimi, a very temperamental cat that will scratch you at the slightest gesture, is the responsible) and his habit of walking barefoot down the street when it’s hot, it doesn’t surprise anyone but him, of course.
In fact, when we walk along one of the main streets in Vienna, near the Stephan’s Dom, a gringo, a let’s-spend-spring-break-in-Austria-dude-AWESOME- duhhh kind of guy, stops us and asks him if he sells marijuana. Proudly, like an alpha male trophy, the U.S. guy shows us a pipe with his college-frat-mentality, like a small child who has decided to skip school with a dude-we-have-such-a-badass attitude. But Georg is not surprised. At least someone asks him the same once a day, he says.
His stories may begin with the peculiar sentence, “The first time I got arrested…” WTF??? Because obviously, this guy has been a good part of his life someone like an edukator, not a mass murderer or a liquor store’s robber, but a rebel with a cause. For example, he used to participate in parties organized in abandoned places, in which the entry was not paid by money, but by at least 4 stars torn apart from Mercedes Benz parked on the street… And his idea for the upcoming holidays is to be homeless for a week to experience how it is like.
Of course he wants to have this experience: he works in a homeless shelter, helping people with problems with alcohol and hard drugs such as heroin. And he has seen anything that you can imagine and beyond that, so he has a thousand of stories to tell for every one of the thousand of nights he has been on duty.
When I arrive to the train station, he picks me up and gives me a yellow flower, the kind that grows everywhere. It has been so long since the last time a guy gave me a flower… But the best part is that Georg and I are just friends, real friends, the best ones, without complicated sex affaires, friends who trust totally and absolutely on each other.
With him, I go to the rooftop of the Hundertwasserhaus in Vienna in the middle of the night, thanks to a master key that he has from a former job, when he used to take care of elderly people at their homes. While the rest of the tourists must content themselves with taking pictures of the facade, he takes me in so I can take a deep look of this building which I have fallen in love with, with its crazy and colorful architecture, no straight lines, as nature itself. It’s with him that I go to a buffet in a Pakistani restaurant, where you can eat all you can and pay only what you want. With him I go to a party under one of the bridges that cross the Danube. With him I take a ride on the highest flying chairs in the world, 170 meters high, from where you can see Vienna spinning around.
At the amusement park, in the middle of a piece of land that was used by the royalty for hunting, we find one of the worst things ever: a carousel with real horses. I’ve never seen anything like this. Man, poor animals, all day round and round until dizziness. Besides, this is a ridiculously small carousel, with that circus shitty music like an ironical cruel torture soundtrack, as the A Clockwork Orange style. “If you read in the newspapers that someone has released these horses, you will know it was me,” says Georg. I could almost fall in love with him, but I’m tired of falling in love, trying to be nice, and play this game of courtship, flirting, thinking about sex, relationships, whether this guy can be or not my future husband, thinking about you and finding out the way to forget you by losing myself in some other guy’s kisses, as if in a forest of masculine arms I could lose you out of my sight. It is better, much better, to be alone with a friend and relax with zero poses and zero strategies, just be me and that’s it, sleep quietly with him knowing that nothing will happen and without checking whether I’ve shaved my legs or not.
We spend the nights together watching movies, almost like a cultural exchange: he invites me to see The Edukators in German and I invite him to watch the Mexican Amores Perros, which by chance he has on his hard drive and still have not seen it. We smoke. We laughed. And we talked late at night before going to bed, while the temperamental Mimi is watching us from the heights of her closet.
The Dadaist trip is not only about sightseeing. It’s about learning. It is about meeting people. And, in particular, it is a practice to be alone, because I need to get used to the idea that’s the way it will be for the rest of my life, I’ve stopped believing in love, my prince charming doesn’t exist, and there is no other way, but to get used to being happy with myself… But of course, you’re an exception… as we have said, you are the only exception. But… how long? Will we be together one day? I tell you honestly: I have begun to lose the faith. Maybe the best I can do is collecting friends wherever I go and give up any chance of a romance, even if I spent a great time with Johannes and his beautiful eyes in Innsbruck. As long as I keep traveling, chances are I won’t find the man of my life and I do not know when I’ll stop.
But as long as I have friends like Georg, being single is bearable.
Danke schön, Georg … Hope we can meet each other soon.PLEASE NOTE: English is not my mother tongue! These ones are rough translations from
the original Spanish version Sobre el caballito.Sorry about the mistakes! 😉
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3. Or maybe you would like as well to...
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