There is always that first time. Couchsurfing has been always full of fun for me and awesome people, but deep inside I knew, I will meet a shitty host one day who will show me that the world is not a playground and not all the strangers have to be kin and supportive. Sadly I got that valuable experience in Norway, in my top country.
So what happened. His name is Petar, Italian, 27 yo, a guy who is keen on breaking the laws and doing illegal stuff. He succeeded to cross the Ukrainian-Bialorussian border through the forest. But was it a success? He got caught and imprisoned following a travel ban. He got to Chornobyl zone illegally. What for? You can get there for less than 100€ legally. Anyway. I texted Petar 3 days before my arrival saying that I was excited to meet him and spend time with him. I added I would love to see my old friend for a couple of hours on Saturday as he wanted to show me around. My host agreed. He just asked if I wanted to join him and his friend for some drinks that night.
“Sure! Excited to meet your friends, man!”
“For how long will you be gone?”
“I’ll be back in the afternoon and then we can spend all the rest of the days together”
“To spend days with me or your friends?”
As I arrived Petar was just talking about committing crimes, breaking the rules.
It seemed quite weird to me. You can do all those stuff cheaper and legal. Was it him just showing off? But, well… We got to his place and made we chatted for a bit longer drinking some tea in the kitchen.
“I’ll show you a bus stop in the morning so you can get to the city and meet your friend”
“Would be great! Let me check on him. He may come here to pick me up!”
As I predicted, my friend came where I stayed and we had a short road trip around Bergen and nearest fjords. The day was rainy, gloomy, and cold. My jeans and boots got completely wet. I arrived back in the city at 1 pm. Petar texted.
“I am going to the downtown. The keys are in the postbox”
“Ok. When are you planning to get back?”
I turned on the CS hang-outs to check if any locals or travelers would want to hike a local hill to see the view of the city. Sadly, everyone was busy and I enjoyed the Norwegian nature by myself while meeting some strangers on a road, and having a cup of cocoa on the top of the mountain.
“What are you up to now?”
“I’m back home”
“Awesome then I am coming. I’ll be back in 1.5 h, as I have to climb down from Fløyen and walk to your place”
I got home at 5 pm. Being super excited, I couldn’t wait to change the clothes and meet my host’s friends.
“Let me dry my pants a bit. And I am ready to go out”
“Daryna, let me talk to you. Do you want to meet other people while you are in Bergen?”
“Sure. Your friends, locals, other people. I’m up to everything”
“I saw you on Hang-outs earlier today”
“Yes, wanted to meet some locals and hike together”
“You don’t want to spend time with me???”
“Of course, I do. You were busy”
“You were gone for all day having a date with some weird friends”
“Firstly, it was not a date. Secondly, it is not even your business. And lastly, we agreed on this sightseeing tour, didn’t we??”
“No. You had to take me with you!”
“Why did I? He is my friend who wanted to talk to me and by the way, he had only two seats in his car”
“You said you would be back around midday. And now it is 5 pm”
“I feel like you are my mom and I have to report to you. I went to Fløyen as you saw it from Hang-outs. I wanted…”
“You must spend time with me, not with other friends or couchsurfers” – screamed Petar.
How dare you yelling at me!
“Stop this screams and let me say!”
“My house. I will talk and you listen”
He must be psycho!
“You stay with me – you spend time with me. You can’t go to others. You can’s see others. I am not your hotel”
“Now it seems like you are my slave-holder. I am here to meet the culture and the people of the city…”
“But you don’t give a shit about me!” – he was about to blow up.
“Ehm… We spent the evening together. We talked in the morning. We were planning to see your friends. What’s your problem?”
“Pack your stuff and leave”
“You are not normal”
“You used me!”
“Oh, yes” – laughed I, “Can I at least wait till the rain is over, like 10 min”
He put all my food into the bag and replied:
“No. Here is what you left in the fridge. Leave now and go to your friends”
It was 6 pm, dusk, rainy, and cold.
All my clothes were wet and dirty. I had hiked over 15 km that day and just wanted to wait till it gets drier outside. And don’t think I got scared that I had no roof to stay under. Or I had no friends and limited money in one of the most expensive countries. No. I was shocked. For all the time, I had been living in pink glasses. I truly believed human beings are always eager to help and support.
I truly believed men will never kick the woman out into the rain and cold.
I never thought that some CS host might be against travelers meeting locals and making friends. Isn’t it what traveling is about? Isn’t it what integration is about? I truly couldn’t get how this kind of “men” could use this platform.
“I know you are mad at me. But one day you will understand me!”
“Will I? I doubt I will ever get how man’s values could be that fucked up. I doubt I will ever understand how one can forbid to meet other people. I doubt I will ever understand how a man can be that selfish. You simply lack the attention from the female side, from your friends. And you do believe you can tie other people to yourself and buy their loyalty. You have issues”
I closed the door and left. And it was my best decision made in Norway. And just one hour later I met an incredible guy who opened his door to me, shared his hiking stories in Iceland, taught me how to cook Norwegian fish soup and became my friend.
You can watch the whole adventure in my Instagram Insights saved in my profile!
When I was walking away, Petar added:
“And you can’t write any bad references on my CS profile!”
“Oh, seriously, can’t I?”
“No! Then I will write even worse about you making up lots of things. So you better pretend you never met me”
I just smiled. He had blackmailed other travelers like that before. I was not an exception. He had kicked out other people as well. He had left travelers without any roof just when it had gotten dark.
Well, the moral of the story is that some people are full of shit and have any human values, But it is their life and we can’t change them. The truth is the only one dumb guy can’t destroy your attitude towards traveling and Couchsurfing. I have been couchsurfing for over 3 years, and have had over 40 hosts in my life.
98% of them were wise, kind people with beautiful souls, and I am proud to say I call them my friends till today. And yes shit happens. Sick people exist. But still, good overweights evil and with these thoughts, we all have to travel and impact each other But let’s keep our eyes open and avoid that shit on our adventurous roads.