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Francesco Arbolino

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

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Last login about 5 hours ago

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Overview

  • 191 Positive References
  • Fluent in English; learning Russian, Spanish
  • 30, Male
  • Member since 2010
  • Bicycle mechanic, Photographer
  • BFA in Photography
  • From New York, NY, USA
  • Profile 100% complete

About Me

I'm not open minded, just absent minded. I do have a lot of thoughts running around in my head but they usually aren't too complicated (although sometimes!) You'll often catch me with a look of thought on my face, but trust me it doesn't mean it's about something serious. My last host asked what I was thinking, and I replied "grilled cheese sandwiches." This was after a conversation about poetry and quantum physics. It was a while since I ate one!
I enjoy challenges and adventure more then most people. I recentely went to Russia without a visa just for the adrenaline rush of the possibility of being jailed, deported, heavily fined and banned from Russia for the foreseeable future. Luckily...I wasn't caught.

I love to push my comfort zone to explore new boundaries, and I try to take those opportunities as often as I can. Deep down I'm just a timid, shy guy but when I can muster up enough courage I've done some pretty incredible things. I still think I have a long way to go.

I really enjoy hitchhiking and do it alone often, but I enjoy it more with a friend on the side of the road with me.
I like to tell stories, but you'll have to ask for them...or just read my shitty blog http://wanderingamerican.com/

PHILOSOPHY

Honestly...it changes every day of my life.

Why I'm on Couchsurfing

HOW I PARTICIPATE IN COUCHSURFING

I've mostly surfed and experienced kindness only rivaled by the people who've picked me up off the side of the road hitchhiking.

I've also hosted to give back to the community I find so important but the matter of fact is I travel a lot more than I stay put.
COUCHSURFING EXPERIENCE

I was once attacked by a CSer's dog, and was bleeding heavily from my hand. Luckily her sister was a dentist and wrote me a prescription for some antibiotics. That was fun!

I once had a host who got so drunk the night we met that he told me he loved me (this was not sexual). I had to carry him home, and he told me I could sleep anywhere on the floor I liked before he passed out. No blankets, no pillow, not even a camping mattress. I woke up the next morning to the sound of him puking in the bathroom. Two days later, he realized he had an air mattress. He thought it was broken, but in fact wasn't. So after two meaningless nights on the floor I finally had a bed.
The interesting part about this is that I think i connected with him as a person more then anyone else I've met through CS...

Interests

Anything to do with Bicycles
Whiskey...at the moment I'm VERY into single malts.
Brewing my own beer! (this is a new hobby)
Photography (I went to school for it)
Hitchhiking
Tattoos
Quantum Physics
The Theory of Relativity
Geography (test me)
History (and Art history)
BEER. Belgians and Germans make it best.
Alchemy
Magic
Cosmology
Archeology
Stock Market
Graphic Design
Interesting subcultures
Water balloons and waterguns
Languages
Cashews
Hide and go seek
Mullets
Women
Cartoons
Motorcycles (I have 2006 Triumph Speed Four and a 1973 Honda CB750 modified Cafe racer that is so so beautiful))
Modern Art Where do I begin? Alphabetically
Matthew Barney, Jean Michel Basquiat, Joeseph Cornell, Dali, Marcel Duchamp, Lucian Freud, Eric Fischl, Paul Gauguin, Alberto Giacometti, van Gogh, Philip Guston (One of my favorites) David Hockney, Jasper Johns (another favorite), Wassily Kandinsky´s later works, Paul Klee, Gustav Klimt, Willem de Kooning (a favorite), Matisse, Roberto Matta, Gordon Matta Clark, Joan Miro, Robert Motherwell, Picasso, Pollock, Robert Rauschenberg (a favorite), Mark Rothko (a favorite), Frank Stella, Richard Tuttle and these don{t even include Photographers.
Photographers: Diane Arbus, Harry Callahan, Paul Caponigro, Henri Cartier-Bresson (a favorite), Gregory Crewdson (a fav), Philip-Lorca diCorcia, William Eggleston, Robert Frank, Yashiro Ishimoto,Dorthea Lange, Sherrie Levine, Sally Mann (a fav), Robert Parker-Harrison, Lucas Samaras, Cindy Sherman, Stephen Shore, Edward Steichen, Alfred Stieglitz, Paul Strand, William Wegman, Minor White, Edward Weston, Joel-Peter Witkin (Maybe my all time favorite) along with the Starn twins photography. If you have a chance PLEASE check out these two!

Music, Movies & Books

A.C. Newman, Dan Deacon, The Decemberists, Air, Aimee Mann, Andrew Bird, Animal Collective, The Apples in Stereo, Arcade Fire, Azure Ray, Badly Drawn Boy, Basement Jaxx, Beach House, Bear in Heaven, Black Moth Super Rainbow, Beck, Ben Folds, The Big Pink, Bloc Party, Blur; Bon Iver, Broken Bells; Broken Social Scene, Butthole Surfers, Cagedbaby, Chad Valley, Cake, Calvin Harris, The Cardigans, Charlie Daniels Band, Chromeo, The Clear, Client, Cold War Kids, Crystal Castles, Crystal Fighters, Crooked Fingers, Cut Copy, Dandy Warhols, Death Grips, DeerHunter, Dan Deacon, Do Make Say Think, Doves, Empire of the Sun; Elliot Smith, Everclear, Explosions in the Sky, The Faint, Feist, Fang Island, Flaming Lips, Freezepop, Fleet Foxes, First Aid Kit, French Kicks, Fuck Buttons, Ghostland Observatory, Grizzly Bear, Godspeed you black emperor, Goldfrapp, Gorillaz, Groove Armada, Hot Chip, Hot Hot Heat, Iron and Wine, Islands, Jay Z, Junior Boys, Killers, Klaxons, La Roux, LCD Soundsystem, Local Natives, Low, M. Ward, M.I.A. , M83, Magnetic Fields, Memory tapes, Mack Miller, Moderat, Mogwai, Metric, MGMT, Midnight Juggernauts, Miike Snow, Mountain Goats, Muscles, Nada Surf, Neon Neon, Neutral Milk Hotel, The National, New Pornagraphers, Oasis, OK go, Okkervil River, Our Lady Peace, Passion Pit, Pete Yorn, Phantogram, Phoenix, The Presets, Ra Ra Riot, Royksopp, Ryan Adams, Santogold, Shins, Sigur Ros, Silver MT Zion, Sleigh Bells, Smashing Pumpkins, Sufjan Stevens, Telekenisis!, Tool, Twin Shadow, This Will Destroy You, The Big Pink, TV on the Radio, Ugly Casanova, Van She, Wavves, Washed Out, Why?, Wild Nothing, Whiskeytown, Wolf Parade, Wrens, Xiu Xiu, Radiohead, Yeasayer, Yacht, Yelle, Yeah yeah yeahs, Matthew Dear, Eels.

Books: Clockwork Orange
Catcher in the Rye (one of the only ones I´ve read more then once) and EVERYTHING else by J.D. Salinger
The Age of Spiritual Machines-Written in 1999 detailing how the future will unfold in the next 100 years! It´s an extremely interesting read, especially now, because over 12 years have past since it was written, and some of the things have already come true!
Interesting science reads on Physics, Quantum Physics and the universe include:
Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea
Decoding the Universe: How the New Science of Information Is Explaining Everything in the Cosmos, from Our Brains to Black Holes
A Short History of Nearly Everything
Anything by Jack Kerouac
The Doors of Perception
I think maybe my favorite EVER is Zen and the Art of Motorcycle maintainance which is a seriously amazing and difficult read.

TV shows: I'm a South Park fanatic, East Bound and Down, Twin Peaks, Dexter, Quantum Leap, Sliders, Wildcats, Curb your Enthusiasm,
It's always Sunny in Philadephia, Six Feet Under, Boardwalk Empire, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Family Guy, Sealab 2021, Archer
Unfortunately we cannot be friends if you like 2 and a half men...well it is a horrible show, but I guess I can look past this one thing.

One Amazing Thing I've Done

My most recent: Riding alone on a 1979 Honda Cub 50cc motorcycle from Saigon (HoChi Minh City) to Hanoi without health insurance. To say this bike was in poor condition was an understatement. It didn't have blinkers or a horn, brakes barely worked, tires were bald, speedometer/odometer and rear tail light didn't work, and the whole thing was spray painted puke green. Over the course of nearly 2000km, I learned to love this bike and all her quirks, then I sold that cold hearted bitch for more then she was worth.

Entering Russia illegally without a visa and going to Moscow. I took an illegal taxi in the middle of the night as soon as I arrived and the driver was pulled over for having his tail lights out. The feeling of going to Russian prison and being deported back to the US felt very real in that moment. Luckily I just shut my mouth and the cop didn't ask for my passport.

Took a 5 day hike in the Guatemalan jungle to reach El Mirador, the largest Mayan pyramid ever made, and I slept at the top under the stars with the sounds of howler monkeys in the jungle around me.

Made my way to the northern most point in South America, Punta Gallinas by indigious boat, slept in a tradidtional Chinchurro under the milkyway, went biking with a indiginous 10 year old boy to 60 meter sand dunes that drop into caribbean waters, ate lobster everynight, and did it alone, without another tourist in sight for days.

Watched giant sea turtles lay eggs off the coast in French Guiana under the moonlight with my couch surfing host.

Hitch hiked down the Maroni river between Suriname and French Guiana on a cargo boat carrrying 6000 liters of gas. I spent a week in a Maroon village during a once a year celebration of the dead. Slept in my hammock, bathed in the river, drank rain water, ate mangoes off the trees, drank water from coconuts, went fishing, got drunk with the villagers, then spent an entire day sitting on a metal gas can in the pouring rain to make it back to civilization.

Slept in my hammock in a prison cell on the Salvation Islands in French Guiana. Spent the days searching for Monkeys and Coconuts with my machete, the nights reading a book in my hammock. I still think about getting a tattoo of a butterfly on my chest.

Got into a kickboxing match in Thailand with a professional kickboxer while drunk and definitely regretted it the next day.

Found myself in an interesting situation in the Californian desert with a ex convict living in a storage container. He told me stories about his tattoos that he got when he was 13 years old, and showed me his scars from being stabbed multiple times in the stomach. Needless to say this was an interesting night.

Befriended an Eygptian store owner on the Sinai peninsula. I would stop by his store and we would drink tea for hours while talking about our cultures. Before I left, we exchanged gifts. He gave me a Tamarind sugar that I´ve never been able to find anywhere else in the world.

Travelled the USA with my best friend when we were 19 years old with my 1987 VW Vanagon Westfalia, sleeping in Wallmart parking lots along the way. The Van broke down in the Texas desert one night, so we had to get a hotel room for the only time in the 4 months we were on the road. Total cost of accomodation for the whole trip: 15 dollars. (this was before couchsurfing)

Hitchhiked north of the arctic circle in Norway and Finland and was lucky enough to catch the northern lights even though it was only the end of August, which according to everyone is very very rare. Then slept in a tent with temperatures reaching -4.

Was hit by a car riding my bicycle. I lost a liter of blood from my head, had 110 stitches in my skull, and ended up with a 25,000 dollar hospital bill. BUT I lived to tell about it, and I was back on my bicycle in one week with the stitches still in my head. (I have photos for anyone who wants to see!) or the scar...if you have the chance to meet me.

Hitchhiked to Oulu Finland on the day of the semi finals of the World Air Guitar championships. I befriended a group of them, including the American champion and stuck around for the World Championships the following day with first row tickets. My new friend came in second, just behind another American! A few weeks later after hitchhiking down to Estonia, I randomly ran into the guy who came in 4th in my CSers kitchen in Tallinn...they didn't even know each other!

Sailed the Darien Gap bewteen Panama and Colombia during rough seas, and felt seasick the whole time but never threw up.

Hitchhiking from Spain to Portugal I was picked up by a man, only to find out while we were driving that he was a drug smuggler. He buys kilos of hash in Andalusia Spain, and smuggles them across the UK boarder. I asked him how he does it, but he said he couldn't tell me!

Teach, Learn, Share

Teach:
How to be a cheap fucking bastard
Photography
Bicycles (I worked at a bicycle shop and managed one for 13 years)
Useless facts. Did you know the Earth weighs 13,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 pounds?
or that the moons orbit is moving away from the earth at 1.5 inches a year?
Learn:
I´d love to learn to Hello, Yes, No, Thank you, and a few others in your language.
I also can't cook for the life of me. Maybe you can teach me how to make something besides pasta or eggs. Do Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches count? Because I can make those.
Share: Our experiences on this earth...maybe over a cold beer? Or whiskey!
I also love sharing music with others who are passionate about it.

What I Can Share With Hosts

Mostly: My company. I Really will do my best to get to know you WITHOUT asking the 'normal' questions you get asked by most surfers.
Depending on the situation, I can bring some alcohol or cook a basic meal. Honestly though I'm not the best cook.

Countries I've Visited

Albania, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, England, Estonia, Finland, France, French Guiana, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mexico, Moldova, Montenegro, Myanmar, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Oman, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, Russian Federation, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Spain, Suriname, Sweden, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste (East Timor), Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Viet Nam

Countries I've Lived In

Australia, United States

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