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I am a Sri Lankan, currently living in Pisa, Italy. I lived in Galle (Sri Lanka), Colombo (Sri Lanka), near Washington DC and in downtown Toronto before moving here. I am a researcher with a wide range of research interests. Apart from the research work, I like to read and travel. I am also an amateur photographer.
I have had the chance to travel to many countries and cities because of my research work. I used my work trips to explore different countries and cultures. I like meeting people, exchanging ideas, and sharing my own experiences.
Why I’m on Couchsurfing
Couchsurfing restores my faith in humanity. I have met so many wonderful and caring people through couchsurfing in the past. They introduced me to their culture, their food, and their way of life after welcoming me with open arms and with no judgement. Meeting local couchsurfers and travelers while in an unknown part of the world makes the journey even more memorable.
P. S.: Couchsurfing is an app/website for travelers and locals to meet and share cultural experiences. In case, one needs a refresher on the policy statement that governs the use of couchsurfing app and website, have a look at the following link. https://about.couchsurfing.com/about/policies/
I like photography. I like to take photos of the ordinary as well as the extraordinary. I like to see patterns within chaos (that's what I do for research). Check out some of the photography (I do on a daily basis) on my Instagram @kasun.fernando
I like to have conversations that are intellectually stimulating and will expand my horizons. Because I have a wide range of interests, I don't think I'd fail to find common ground with anyone. I like to challenge myself and my beliefs and try to keep an open mind during conversations.
I take the less-traveled road when I am traveling. I would like to meet locals and get their opinion about what to see and what to do in their city. I like to explore different cuisines (with some restrictions because I am vegetarian) and introduce Sri Lankan cuisine to others. I think food is a good equalizer and a way to connect with others regardless of the differences we may have.
I am an avid reader. Recently, I have switched to audiobooks because I find it easier to listen when I walk. I find scientific, mathematical, and technological discoveries to be fascinating. Humanity has progressed so much during the last century and it makes so much sense for us to be knowledgeable about "how stuff works" without having blind faith.
- art history
Music, Movies, and Books
I don't read to escape reality. So, I like to read books that are grounded in real experiences. However, there are several exceptions; one is the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. The Lord of the Rings trilogy and the rest of the Tolkein universe is another. Also, I like the Harry Potter series and Neil Gaiman's American Gods. Fantastic as they may be, there are very real characters in them. I think that is why I made exceptions.
Some of my favourite authors of fiction include Arundati Roy, Helen Oyeyemi, Haruki Murakami, García Márquez, Anton Chekhov, Salman Rushdie, Jhumpa Lahiri, Orhan Pamuk, Romesh Gunasekera, Shyam Selvadurai, Khalid Husseini, Milan Kundera, Franz Kafka, Amitav Ghosh, William Golding, Michael Ondaatje, Albert Camus, Sayaka Murata, Kazuo Ishiguro, Deborah Levy and Kurt Vonnegut.
I also read non-fiction, mostly in the article form. I also listen to podcasts. I regularly read articles on aeon.co and listen to the Philopher's Zone on ABC. The trilogy of non-fiction, Homo Sapiens, Homo Deus, and 21 lessons for the 21st century written by Yuval Noah Harri is my all-time favourite non-fiction book(s). If you have ever wondered why your nation fails (as I have many a times) the answers are in Why Nations Fail by Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson. It is also one of the best non-fiction books, I have read.
A complete list of books I have read is at https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/4097654
My musical taste is eclectic and ranges from classical to jazz to hip-hop. As long as the music is pleasant to my ears I am willing to listen. If someone told me to pick one genre, I would pick electronica. But I discover new music (I like) every day!
I am not much of a fan of movies. As a child I watched a lot of Bollywood movies (made in the 60s to early 2000s). But I don't watch them anymore. There are modern classics like The Imitation Game, Les Misérables, Inception, The Matrix, The Lord of the Rings, and Forrest Gump that one cannot miss. But apart from those, I like to stick with documentaries and tv series or short YouTube videos.
One Amazing Thing I’ve Done
What constitutes an amazing experience is really subjective.
I think one of the most amazing things I have done is watching the sunrise from the Calanques National Park, Marseille, France. A close second is becoming a mathematician with peer-reviewed publications in top-tier journals.
Teach, Learn, Share
I can teach you about my culture including simple but delicious Sri Lankan recipes.
Also, I am open-minded and a keen listener. I would like to learn about your culture and learn from your life stories.
If I am hosting you, I will share my apartment with you. You may use it as if it were your own. But as they say, "Cleanliness Is Next to Godliness" and I hope you keep the place clean.
What I Can Share with Hosts
I always carry some spices and tea with me when I travel. I can prepare some traditional Sri Lanka dish (with the ingredients I can find in a nearby grocery) and share. I am open minded, knowledgeable and curious to learn about different cultures. So, we can have conversations about our cultures, and any other topic that is interesting.
Countries I’ve Visited
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Italy, Malaysia, Monaco, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Slovakia, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States, Vatican City State, Viet Nam
Countries I’ve Lived In
Canada, Italy, Sri Lanka, United States