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  • 120 references 85 Confirmed & Positive
  • Fluent in English, German, Portuguese; learning Ancient Greek, Hindi, Japanese, Latin
  • 43, Male
  • Member since 2009
  • Data Analytics in a chemical company
  • MSci (Oxford, UK), MBA, PhD
  • No hometown listed
  • Profile 100% complete

About Me

Heidelberg CS Stammtisch had now two successful quarterly events with more than 10 people showing up in both cases, so I would say it is now stable.

Next event in Heidelberg:

A quick note on navigation
COFFEE Requests go directly to the ‘things I have done / things I can share / hobbies section’.
HOSTING requests please make sure you have read my profile, keep your request *short* (!!!), and ensure you have a complete profile for me to look at. (20+ References, descriptive text including hobbies, 10-15 photos, 80% straight decline for lacklustre/short profiles).

*Empty decline* After about 2000 received requests in the time 2013-2019 in HK and Tokyo and a couple of complaints after declining including some recommendations on how to improve the profile I now out of principle do the 'empty decline' without comments or giving reasons. If you thus get an empty decline it is usually a combination of lack of photos, lack of a reasonable number of references or just short text on your profile, i.e. I do no know enough about you from reading your profile that makes me want to host you and possibly have to conclude that you could not be bothered to really spend a lot of time honing your profile. So to be clear - having a properly filled out profile is the sine qua non condition on getting hosted - or in other words - not sufficient but definitely necessary!

HOW TO GET A HOST - please just write me just 2-3 sentences (!!!) with the preferred nights (max 3), and a cue/mentioning the key aspect you want to stay at my place / think I would want you to stay at my place, then let your profile speak for you. If you are two people then I also need the link to the CS profile of the other person. That is all that is necessary. So here are the five magic sentences (they by the way also work well with other hosts).

A. "Reference /Vouch" : "XYZ whom you know / knows you well vouches for me and recommended me to stay with you" - a mutual friend (by far best option) who recommended you to stay with me and would vouch for you as a good guest in a separate message to me- look me up on Facebook and see whether you are lucky to be mutually connected by a friend who would write you a support message.

B. Alma mater: "I also went to Oxford/Cambridge and we even studied the same thing" - you are from my alma mater (Oxford (Cambridge also Ok) and we also share a mutual academic interest you want to talk about, can banter about rowing and college life etc.

C. Hobby: "I also row/am a hobby ancient historian / am a social psychologist or sociologist…" we have a mutual hobby of mine you want to explore (see below)

D. Teaching/ Skills barter: "I can cook Aloo Ghobi, Panna Cotta, can train you to tidy up Marie Kondo style or play the Ukulele and would be happy to teach you " - : Skills Barter model: Hobby / Recipe / Capability of yours you wish to share with me. This does not include cleaning and cooking as a service / working holiday model.

E. "Date app swipe": "I like your profile, lets have a bottle of wine and see if we hit it off ". This is the equivalent of "I would have swiped right if this was a dating app and would love to get to know you". It is a request for a coffee/wine - getting to know. Regardless of outcome you are still staying in the guest room, conversation plus optional snog not invitation for ONS. Basically CS/Hosting etiquette is loosely that female/ courteous guest can initiate without putting the male/host into an awkward position, whereas the opposite usually doesn't work/is not cool.

NEWBIES: If you are a newbie read the full page here (I put a long description into the section Roommate Situation) and you get a lot of hints how to tweak your profile. Also maybe meet you at the Heidelberg or Mannheim CS Meetup, then feel free to ask me for a bed there and then again. Newbies generally have a bad reputation for being unreliable and unpredictable, last minute cancellations, unreasonable requests etc., which is why it is difficult getting a host as a Newbie. That is why it is important that in this case your profile is really interesting and you really specify why you want to get hosted with the person you are requesting.

In Tokyo and Hong Kong I used to get about 40 requests per month (100 in prime season) and aimed to host about one or two singles/couples/friends travelling together. I look primarily at the profile, read it thoroughly ( I will spend much more time on your profile than your message, I do want to know who I host in case I decide to), and then hit the accept or decline button, as I see fit. Usually after reading a profile I just know whether I want to host you or not basically going by a good gut feeling developed in having hosted about 100 times now. Thus don't spend a lot of time on writing a long message, just which two days you wish to be hosted and why you want to meet me (as opposed to go to a hostel or another host) - please select and mark one of the options given above - really no need to write more than 2-3 sentences:

Please note I host usually for two nights at a time, extensions are offered spontaneously, but not on request and not before. Requesting for more than two nights means you either have not read the profile or have a good reason to believe I would want to host you for more nights (a vouch from a mutual friend is usually sufficient).

A note for hosting Ukrainian refugees

My place is only suitable for a first stop for maybe two weeks max. It is rather small, others have better places. However if rather than going to a public housing or a family you rather stay with me, please just contact me, I am genuinely happy to help, can put some food on the table, and have a safe space where you can just relax for a few days, listen to music, read, and just "arrive". I would empty my working room and put one or two matraces on the floor. My apartment is not really suitable for registration.

I am a good host as a Couchsurfing host, but may not be the best as a refugee / family host. I have been hosted a few times by couchhosts when I was backpacking in Odessa and Kyiv in 2010/2011, and am very happy to return the favour.

However if we really get along well and genuinely click, all bets are off. I have had old friends stay for several months in my apartment, and when I was in Tokyo a couple of couchsurfers stayed also several weeks. But for that we need to get on really well so no guarantees.

Why I’m on Couchsurfing

I love meeting people and getting to know them in a short time while they are here. I have had phenomenal conversations, funny, deep, and really memorable.The case of making a friendlike acquaintance to look forward to meeting again on a different occasion is something to be aspired to.

I like interesting discussions (psychology, philosophy, ancient history, travelling experiences) and hearty people (infectious laughs, spontaneity, ‘banter’, british comedy – after staying a year in Brazil I came to love the south American positive view on enjoying life (epitomized for me in the small cities carnival and the book a caricia essencial from Shinyashiki) ). I also like Whisky and wine, specialty coffee and honey, and if you these happen to be your hobby as well, we can sample a bit. I make an excellent hot chocolate and can even give an open ear if the traveller blues happen to hit while at my place.

A note on the "Dating App Swipe request": I take hosting ethics extremely serious, so obviously unwanted advances are a complete no-go, and indeed Couchsurfing truly should not be considered a dating platform as some female guests of mine have told me a lot of male counterparts have apparently started treating it as, but two past couch surfers pointed out two very thoughtworthy observations:
1. A bit of frolicking and a few snogs (B.E. for kissing) can be excellent pastime after a few glasses of wine watching the skyline, if the other person is likewise inclined and both are single
2. there are not many funny, intelligent and well-travelled people in the world to go around, and CS definitely has a much higher percentage of them than the average pub population, and if one ended up talking all night on life, the universe and everything, and then the other party also knows the one and only answer, life is too short to just put on the professional mask and bid a polite farewell.
3. The mechanics are also straightforward - the lady has the onus of initiating as the host (usually guy) is restrained by the duty not to put the guest in an uncomfortable position.


Ancient history, mathematics, travelling, cultures, languages (both modern and ancient), psychology and philosophy (ancient greek philosophy, Existentialist, Yalom, Fromm, ...), getting to grips with my Nikon D7100 and lenses, learning about coffee, cooking (I have a Thermomix and love it)

  • books
  • photography
  • coffee
  • massage therapy
  • movies
  • video games
  • traveling
  • languages
  • mathematics
  • philosophy
  • psychology
  • craft beer
  • ancient history
  • big data
  • relationships
  • dating
  • ancient cultures
  • existentialism
  • romance

Music, Movies, and Books

Books: Lord of the Rings, Chronicles of Narnia, To Have or To Be, The Art of Loving (Fromm), travel books, Financial theory and corporate policy, Hull Derivatives, ...
Movies: Many, quite a cinemaniac. But I suppose the Fools rush in, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Star Wars, Star Trek, Keeping the Faith, Mary Poppins, My fair lady, Tatort, Loriot, many others

One Amazing Thing I’ve Done

2 months volunteering as maths teacher in Nepal
6 months spent in Sao Paulo including visit to Iguacu
Camel Trip in Rajasthan and general backpacking in India
1 month travelling the Silk Road (Urumqi/ Turfan / Dunhuang / Lanzhou / Xi An / Guilin / Chengdu).

Teach, Learn, Share

Studied Mathematics at University and thus should be able to explain a few things. Loved reading philosophy and psychology books in the last years.

What I Can Share with Hosts

Rowing ergometer if you need to burn some calories
Pavoni Espresso and Bialetti Mokka
A reasonably sized philosophy and psychology library
Whisky, Wine and craft beer to supplement conversations.

Countries I’ve Visited

Argentina, Austria, Barbados, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, China, Colombia, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Moldova, Myanmar, Nepal, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States

Countries I’ve Lived In

Brazil, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Nepal, United Kingdom

Old School Badges

  • 2 Vouches
  • Pioneer Badge

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