04 October 2005

Casey Fenton Will Be In Rotterdam

When I learned, last summer, that I would have to commute three days a week for my study, I started looking for options on how I could sometimes stay overnight in Amsterdam.
  • I checked to see if it would be cheaper to stay in a hostel instead of paying round-trip train fare.

  • I checked the Sleeping in Airports site since Schiphol is only a 15-minute train ride while the trip from Rotterdam is one hour plus (two hours door-to-door).

  • I emailed the Amsterdam members of the CouchSurfing Project who had established good reputations.
Staying in a hostel would cost the same as a round-trip train ticket (but save me a lot of time) if I had to be at school for morning classes, since I can only use my train discount card after 9 AM.

I learned from www.sleepinginairports.net that Schiphol is great for sleeping AFTER you check in.

Once you pass security, there are plenty of couches and overstuffed chairs.

However, the airport seems specifically designed to keep awake the 'just visiting' people: no carpeted areas, all chairs have immovable, iron armrests.

Fortunately, about six couchsurfers replied.

As I emailed with them about my urban camping ventures and philosophies, a synchronistic email hit my inbox.

Aldo invited all of us Rotterdam couchsurfers to join a surprise party for Casey Fenton on Friday.

I read the email two hours before the event and met them at the cafe.

Casey Fenton lives somewhere in the USA.

He arranged his travel plans to come through Rotterdam so that he could meet Aldo, the first European to sign on to the CouchSurfing Project.

I told Casey that I enjoyed the coincidence of meeting him during the first week of both my new urban camping venture and my new blog.

He hadn't heard of the term 'urban camping' but thought of himself as an urban camper as well.

As we talked about how much we hated traveling as tourists, I related a comment from a friend who once said that being a tourist was like going to a fantastic place and being quarantined in the bus, and quarantined in the hotel.

We agreed that it is always better to travel and see a place from the perspective of a local.

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Anonymous Bernd said...

I so agree on being quarantined while travelling as a tourist. The best memories of my travels are the one where I experienced how locals live. I lived for several weeks with a family while I was learning Spanish in Guatemala and the best part of my tour through Cuba was visiting the house where the guide lived...

Wednesday, 05 October, 2005  

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