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I hope you will feel at ease at my place and that we will get along well.
I spend 95% of my time in Luton (yes, where that busy airport is).
As you can see, I just recently had my address verified by CS, but keep in mind i am mostly in Luton... NOT in Oxford. There is a reason for that: I direct all my post to Oxford, not Luton. I have my main office job in Luton but I go to Oxford now and then to give guided tours for tourists.
My main address is near Oxford (1 hour away by car, 3:00 away involving 3 buses in the Luton to Oxford direction.
90% of my references have stayed with me in Luton.
I will not pay another £13 to re-verify it.
My days off tend to vary, so just ask but I can mostly host you only if do not have to wake up early the next day (for work or other things). Your message will have to mention a hidden word that I have documented somewhere on my profile, just to make sure you have read the whole thing. Failure to mention this word means I won't be able to reply to you. Thank you.
You can give me a friendly heads up if you want, but please do NOT ask me more than 1 week in advance to host you. It is just that outside 1 week ahead I have no idea what I will be doing, really. I am good improvising.
Your hosting request MUST mention what TIME AND DATE either your bus is arriving into town / or your flight is supposed to touch the ground (whether take-off / landing) so I can "guesstimate" at what time you are supposed to make it to my place. Also the secret word I have mentioned somewhere in my profile so please keep on reading. :)
I don't want people to land so late (late = after 8:00 p.m.) that we won't even be able to have a friendly conversation… we'll see.
I need to plan my sleep!
** Please READ the 2 sections of my CS profile (called "About" + "My House") where you will find VERY useful info about LUTON.
I just moved to a place that is a lot nicer than my former place.
It has a big garden and nice trees and a FRIENDLY female dog (so you should not mind dogs nor have any allergies).
! ** I can NOT host more than ONE PERSON at a time. There is just not enough room.
Hosting two or more is NOT POSSIBLE. If you ask me to host TWO it means you did not read this.
*NO SMOKERS ALLOWED (even if they smoke outside). No no and no.
#CURRENT MISSION: Being happy, making friends ! -
I am in love with Russian language and Culture, so Russian speakers get bonus points.
I also would like to learn how to play chess. So if you can play chess and you could teach me a little, it would make my day ! It should be easier that learning from a book too.
I work for a large international company, but I also had extensive foreign language teaching experience,
I am presently a fully accredited Sworn Translator and a Certified Interpreter for the judiciary (the court of justice).
I listen to music often. I party very little but like hanging out with friends on my days off. I know I should go to bed by 10 pm.
I think I am patient by nature.
I like eating and cooking good food, travelling, music and stories.
I also would like you to take a shower every day (sorry, had bad experiences before). Why do some people have to be reminded?
Why I’m on Couchsurfing
Immanuel Kant, the great Prussian philosopher, insisted on having lunch every day with a total stranger, to gain a broader perspective of life. That is what Couchsurfing is to me !
HOW I PARTICIPATE IN COUCHSURFING
I will gladly help you if I can, to the best of my abilities.
I am planning to go to Russia so your help will be appreciated as I am trying to build my social capital on CS.
I also want to enjoy CS on my next trip, and for that I could use some nice +positive comments+ so be my guest if you feel i deserve them.
Because I will do my best for you, it is only fair that after all my efforts you leave a nice positive comment about your experience with me as your host and you as my guest.
UK (of course)
Canada. Wonderful people!
Germany. Berlin. Wonderful Friends (of course, they are my friends)!
Mexico. Mexico City. Hectic. Call it what you will but no other city in the world has as many museums as Mexico City !!!
Mexico. Guadalajara (GDL). Hot and dry and a quiet city despite 4.5 million inhabitants.
Mexico. Querétaro. Hotter than hell and very dry, perhaps more than GDL, but Fun !!!
**** I want to learn to play chess. If you can teach me even some basic moves you will come on top of my priority list to be hosted****
Reading, movies, skydiving, travelling and meeting nice people.
*** French PAIN D'ÉPICE and German LEBKUCHEN would be a truly appreciated gift.
I am in love with Russian language and Culture, so if you are a Russian speaker you will get bonus points with me//.
- hot air baloonning
Music, Movies, and Books
Every kind of music. I like music. A lot. Especially Blues, Baroque and Electronic
Frederick Forsyth novels *in English*. Bring some if you have any. My personal library has nothing but excellent books. Love every one of them.
One Amazing Thing I’ve Done
I have practiced skydiving, hot-air ballooning, explored caves, swam in a pristine, crystal-clear spring 30 metres under the surface of the earth in Yucatan, Mexico.
Skydiving is just fantastic!
Travelling to Brazil and across Europe. Watching the Amazon forest and river with my very eyes!
I have spent several months in Canada where geese flew just a few metres above my roof!
Teach, Learn, Share
Well I *hope* this will make you SMILE
I like sharing stories of the best moments I've had
(e.g. when my next Skydiving / Hot air balloon trip will be, three so far I have done 3)
I want to learn chess moves. So if you know how to play chess and can teach me a little in just a few minutes of your time, you will make my day !
I can teach you how to cook exotic meals from Mexico (the real thing... instead of that horrible Tex Mex!!). No OLD EL PASO here.... comprende?
Canadians and Mexicans find it strange when some individuals refer to the United States as AMERICA, because:
America is a CONTINENT, not a Country,
It is called the United States (or the US of A) for a reason.
People who speak French or Spanish do not refer to the USA as America. Annoyingly usually English speaking people do.
NO, Mexico is NOT in South America, (please just verify how far away Mexico is from the equatorial line)
not even in Central America.
Mexico is NORTH America. I will be disappointed if I hear otherwise.
Canada and Mexico are integral part of NORTH america. At least 7 states of the US were 100% Mexican territory before the US invaded (not conquered) them and kept them in the 19th century. As if all those Spanish names were not enough.
California Arizona New Mexico Texas Oregon Nevada Utah.
So just because the USA stole them, it did not reclassify the same land anywhere else, the land is still where it was, it "just" changed hands.
CENTRAL America starts where Mexico ends with Guatemala and Belize... all the way down to where Panama ends.
SOUTH america starts with Colombia and Venezuela all the way down to Chili, Argentina and the Falkland Islands. It includes Brazil too, by the way.
There you go... Now you can travel throughout America without offending anybody. See how easy it is?
Now, smile :)
What I Can Share with Hosts
Showing you around. Giving useful, practical advice on how to save time and money whilst being here.
Who would not like money-saving tips while visiting "Rip-off Britain" -when on earth are people going to declare a boycott ???- :)
Telling interesting life stories !!
Regarding the use of the TRAIN to visit as much as you can of the UK:
Long story short, trains in the UK are usually VERY expensive. Almost everything in UK is very expensive, especially trains! There are peak time prices and off peak time prices. Less expensive but still expensive.
Depending on what you need to use, the hour of the day and the day of the week (weekdays vs. Sat, Sun or Bank holidays) going from Luton to London RETURN (meaning round trip) has various costs:
£33 - Mo to Fri - including pass to use the tube all day unlimited
£25 -Mo to Fri - without tube (but then using the tube will cost you £8 for the whole day unlimited access)
Sat Sun or Bank holidays
£10 including pass to use the tube all day unlimited
£ 6 - without tube (but AGAIN, then using the tube will cost you £8 for the whole day unlimited access)
For the underground / tube, using an oyster is cheaper, IF you already have your Oyster which you would have paid £5 already.
Getting an Oystercard will cost you £5 for the plastic card itself, plust whatever credit you will need to top up, but you will need no less than at least £6 to £10 to stay on the safe side, ... more if you are planning to hop on and off .
No, you can no longer use cash to pay for London buses.
Put in other words:
On any working weekdays from Luton to → London with RETURN (that's British for "Round Trip") the same day its 33 POUNDS for one person, including the right to use the underground tube (you better include it as separate tube only is almost £8 GBP and using the Oyster Card is cheaper but if you hop on and off using your Oyster card will cost you more),
Any return (regular, non frequent fare, including London Underground access), could cost you less than 33, around 25 if you have your own OYSTER CARD for the tube.... or pay 8 pounds.
Cheapsest to go Luton to London On Weekdays, After 9:30 am and after 19/:30
Will cost around 15 GBP if not rush hour morning or afternoon and 11 on weekends (the discount card will knock from 1 pound to 30% of the fare but getting the discount involves buying a card which will set ou back £ 33 GBP ... but you can NOT benefit from it its use Mondays to Fridays wtf !!!)
Good only if you plan to use trains more than once and under certain day of the week conditions.
On a Saturday or Sunday LUTON to London St. Pancras will cost you just under £7 GBP... but you must include the Tube allowance so £ 10 GBP instead.
You should favour bus / ground transportation. Problem is buses are very tiresome and take a lot of time. Visitors are convinced UK is very small country, but trust me it is NOT. It takes forever to get from coast to coast. Do yourself a favour and do not try to be everywhere just for the sake of it. Stick to an area and visit as much as you can. Many cities such as Oxford and London have tons of things to do inside them. London is massively huge and will take you a 3 hour journey by tube from NW to SE without stopping anywhere !!!
For long distance travel, if you buy in advance online companies such as NATIONAL EXPRESS http://www.nationalexpress.com/home.aspx
OR http://www.plusbus.info/ are good options and have LOWER prices (lower not necessarily meaning cheap)
(as long as you book ahead… usually no less than 2 weeks before… AND only if you are sure your plans will not change)
problem is, if you miss the buss you have lost everything and have to pay the last minute price for your fare! Return tickets (i.e. “round trip”) are always much cheaper than 2 singles. Again, a bus WILL take a lot longer.
I remember Sept 2015 I tried to book ahead of time for a friend who wanted to use train to go from London and Luton to Wales and Scotland, but train turned out to be a lot more expensive than bus around 500 pounds versus 200. A lot more. Just catch a flight if you can !
Ask yourself: Do I want to spend my valuable and limited time transporting myself from A to B? Or do I actually want to use that same amount of time doing something useful?
There you go. Avoid going far away just for the sake of it.
Stay local, I am sure there will be many nice things to see wherever you want to stay. Just consider local buses are also quite expensive, around 5 pounds for one round trip ticket inside a city.
Also, no matter how “new-age” you are, stay away from Stonehenge. [I am an experienced tour guide with a vast knowledge in Anthropology and Archaeology, so take my word for this].
There is nothing worth seeing there. Nothing to do around it. In the middle of nowhere and it’s very expensive to get there.
Do not discourage yourself. Just PLAN AHEAD so you can make the most of your time in the UK.
Countries I’ve Visited
Andorra, Belgium, Brazil, Czech Republic, Monaco, Netherlands
Countries I’ve Lived In
Canada, France, Germany, Mexico, United Kingdom