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learn russian and kazakh. understand kazakhstan.
At around the age of 8, I realized I was a nomad and didn't want to really be tied down to any one location. However, doing the round the world trip thing in a month/year etc thing is too tiring. (Am I starting to slow down? I sure hope not!) I prefer actually to live in a place for 2 years to get to know it really well and to do short term excursions from wherever I may be.
NOTE: I am NOT Kazakh, I have NOT been living here for long, and I do NOT speak Russian or Kazakh. Just like you, I am curious about this culture and these people. Just like you, I am here to learn. Please bear that in mind when messaging me because I do not want to disappoint you if you had any such expectations. Sorry!
Why I’m on Couchsurfing
HOW I PARTICIPATE IN COUCHSURFING
I like learning about cultures, and I'm happy to show anyone around who may want an "inside"/expat perspective on things.
Met Thomas and got a really good introduction to life in the 05 (Gap).
CS in San Jose with Billy. Excellent time, but I'm gonna keep my mouth shut about this adventure... for now. When I had a steady internet connection I would talk to this guy pretty much everyday! He's freaking awesome!
Beginning of the Marseille era!
Lived with Louise. Coincidental. Fun times. Much beer involved.
Hosted Stella. Proof that CS is excellent because I was able to discover parts of Marseille that I hadn't even explored myself.
Organized American Thanksgiving with Thomas to show French people that yes we Americans CAN cook, and no, we all don't eat burgers ALL the time. But I can cook you a mean hamburger if you'd like. Or I can wing a mean chocolate cake.
Hosted Yona. Learned about some interesting organic farming that I might look into. Thanks also to him, I learned to wing chocolate cake.
CS with Tomas in Olomouc, Czech Republic. And he was absolutely right... we had such an awesome time doing beer tastings and stuff that we didn't want to leave despite the frigid cold!
CS in Toulouse, France while I was doing a workshop on cardboard furniture Aurelien taught me to like goat cheese and then Baba introduced me to the Senegalese culture, both of which I'm dying to get a taste of again!
Hiked Iceland and met Astrid while surfing on Ulfur's couch. Learned about the best Icelandic "tradition" from Ulfur -- swimming pools and hot dogs. There are other wonderful parts too, but how do you beat an 86m slide, hot pots, and hot dogs? You just can't.
I was broke. Some CS NYC meetings, but no traveling.
I didn't really have any extraordinary couchsurfing experiences, no thanks to work. =P However, I did get to meet a pirate hobo named Thomas. We went to my first Dropkick Murphys concert where I learned that mosh pits and moshers are some of the nicest people in the world. And also, that pirate hobos can indeed be very nice people.
On a trip to Ireland, I got extremely sick with the flu. But with the help and enthusiasm of Brandon, I mustered up the energy to go on a hike down to Inch Beach in Annascaul. Thankfully, I did not get even more sick, but as the beach was further than we had thought, we wound up hitch hiking back to town. Without Brandon, I wouldn't have had as much fun. He's the greatest!
I love meeting new people and learning about their lives and passions, what keeps them going.
More academically, language is very important to me. The correlations between a language's society and syntax are very intriguing. On an extremely strange level, I think that the way you speak sheds light on your personality and desires.
And as a traveler, I like doing touristy things sometimes, such as going to very, very strange museums. I liked the French fry museum in Brussels -- I never knew so much about potatoes! And there's a saltfish museum in Iceland too! Excitement!
Music, Movies, and Books
I love all music, but live music is the best! I'm always on the lookout for a concert somewhere, and hopefully one that is cheap. Now that I have more time, I can go hang out and bring you to concerts of lesser known bands.
Some of my favorite places are The Mercury Lounge, The Studio at Webster Hall, and Cameo Gallery.
Some of my favorite bands: Bloc Party, FM Belfast, GusGus, Of Monsters and Men, Daft Punk, Rammstein, Little Bandit, Japandroids, Caravan Palace, Chrome Canyon, Peelander-Z, Macklemore, Biggie ... the list goes on!
Oh... and best concert so far in 2013? FM Belfast!!
Movies aren't really my thing. You have to threaten to pull all of my teeth out before I'll agree to watch a movie with you. And you have to be serious about your threats. Having said that, I tend to like movies with dark characters and themes.
I read a lot of dead Russian authors.
One Amazing Thing I’ve Done
2hr hike from the northern to southern tip of Lamma Island. It's the only lush green paradise left that's part of Hong Kong.
Going rock climbing for the first time, then realizing you don't know how to get down b/c you don't understand the directions being shouted at you in a foreign language. Maybe not so fun after all.
Watching an extremely kempt and coiffed man, ascot tie and a handkerchief in his blazer chest pocket and all, help a NYC cab driver push his stalled car out of oncoming traffic in SoHo.
Hiking southern Iceland for a week straight. Blueberry skyr and cream. Icelandic hotpots. Not getting close enough to an active volcano.
Teach, Learn, Share
For me, leaving a place is what I do best, so from couchsurfing, I hope to learn what draws people to a certain place.
What I Can Share with Hosts
I've been told I cook rather well. I'm not sure if it's because people are too polite to tell me the truth or if the truth serum that I've slipped in to their food is working.
I'll probably have a card-based version of a board game with me, if you're interested.
Countries I’ve Visited
Australia, Austria, Belgium, China, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, United States
Countries I’ve Lived In
France, Kazakhstan, United States