13 October 2007

Crossing the Couch Pool

Wednesday I had dinner with Aldo. He was born and bred in Rotterdam, a true Rotterdammer. He still lives here.

I remembered from the first time we met two years ago that Aldo was the first European to sign up to Couchsurfing.com.

This week I learned that he was also the first person to actually surf a couch via the group's interface.

From this angle, Rotterdam holds an important place in the Couchsurfing.com history books.

In my limited scope, I still see couchsurfing as one type of urban camping. For me, it's like carpooling.

In the urban jungle, you can share houses in much the same way that you can share cars.

I dearly love my experience of this concept, but I told Aldo that I don't see the point of the monthly meetings held in Rotterdam.

I don't (yet) attend. It's nothing personal. I probably wouldn't go to monthly meetings about carpooling either.

He replied that they are weekly meetings. He explained that a lot of people want more than couchsurfing. They want community.

Our dinner discussion also covered the argumentation block I'd just taught using Jared Diamond's book.

For this reason, more than once, our conversation came back around to history's record of the human need to band together through the development of organizing systems.

At the beginning of her article, Penelope wrote,
"'It’s a lifestyle and a commitment,' Mr. Medel said. He and his fellow New York hosts meet at least one night a week at a bar in Union Square, new surfers in tow. They throw birthday parties for one another and mount what they call invasions of other cities, as 30 or so New York surfers did last summer in Boston, strewing themselves on the couches of 30 or so Bostonians for three days."
First, I wondered if anyone would call carpooling a lifestyle and a commitment. Maybe.

Then, back at home, I did a search at Couchsurfing.com and saw that we have 300 registered couchsurfers in Rotterdam.

(I proudly thought that if we used the weekly meetings to get organized and invade other cities, there's no doubt the odds would be in our favor! Our place in the history books would be secure.)

The day after dinner, an email from Kate arrived in my inbox. She said, "I caught another bookcrossing book and its been really invigorating. I really like it and have plans to release a lot of my read books when I get a minute."

When I was teaching the argumentation block last month, I saw a clearly marked bookcrossing book in the Utrecht train station. The title didn't grab me so I left it for someone else.

Now I'm wondering if my behavior fits in with a bookcrossing lifestyle and commitment. I have a feeling that I could probably find out at the meetings: http://bookcrossing.meetup.com/


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Friday, 07 November, 2014  

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