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Hi, I'm Erik.
Like many Berliners, I'm not "local" in the strict sense of the word. I'm not German, though quite germanised after being here for seven years. Relocating to Berlin really invigorated my life, diverting it from its previous pre-set course, leading to an inferno of new experiences and possibilities I never considered before.
Over time I studied many different things, but mainly in the realm of history, languages, linguistics and linguistics policy with a general focus on Eastern Europe. In general I work to live instead of vice versa. I'm not a hippie though ;)
In my spare time I do, well, fun things. This can range from reading a good book, going to the gym, doing some self-studying, trespassing an abandoned factory and everything within and outside of this rather arbitrary scale. I like nature, though in the end I'm a real Stadtkind (city dweller). The sounds of bustling life, manoeuvring my bicycle through the streets and discovering new places every day has not managed to bore me yet.
Of course, I like to travel as well, though my preferred destinations may seem a bit odd to some. My main places of interest are Eastern Europe and former Soviet Union countries, but I occasionally flirt with the Middle East and Africa as well. I would like to visit Eastern Asia and Central America as well some day, or spent a few days on a quaint Pacific island like Nauru. So basically I want to visit most of the world.
Usually I travel alone, so I don't have to make compromises as far as my destinations or travel routes are concerned. This is also one of the reasons for hosting one person at a time myself. I like to meet local people wherever I go, but also don't mind exploring a place by myself.
My trips so far in recent years:
Oct 17: Belarus, Ukraine (Kyiv, Chernobyl Exclusion Zone)
Jul - Aug 17: Russia (St. Petersburg, Murmansk Oblast), Norway (Finnmark, Svalbard)
Apr - May 17: Oman, Iran (Razavi Khorasan), Afghanistan, Kuwait
Dez 16 - Jan 17: Estonia
Aug - Oct 16: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan
Dec 15 - Jan 16: Algeria
Jul - Sep 15: Romania, Russia, Azerbaijan, Georgia & Abkhazia, Croatia (Zagreb), Slovenia, Italy (Trieste)
Apr 15: Portugal
Mar 15: Moldova (incl. Transnistria)
Aug - Sep 14: Greece (Thessaloniki), Turkey (Istanbul), Bulgaria, Macedonia, Albania
Mar - Apr 14: Morocco, Western Sahara, Mauritania, Senegal, Gambia
Feb - Mar 13: Iran, Iraq (Kurdistan), Turkey (Kurdistan)
Sep 12: Lithuania, Latvia, Belarus
Sep - Okt 11: Turkey (Ankara), Georgia, Armenia & Nagorno-Karabakh
Jul - Sep 11: Poland, Ukraine, Moldova (incl. Transnistria), Romania, Slovakia (Bratislava)
Sep - Okt 10: Lithuania, Latvia
Apr - Aug 10: Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, Panama, Paraguay, Argentina, Spain
Why I’m on Couchsurfing
I host and surf and it has happened that I met up with people for no apparent reason other than having fun or doing interesting things. I am well aware that this is a bit of a revolutionary way to interpret the project, but someone has to lead the flock.
Once in the good old days when it was still possible to use the profile as a showcase for one's awkward HTML skills, there was a scrollbox here, informing you about all the people who surfed my place and with whom I surfed. Now there isn't any more, so you will never know.
I'm very fascinated by the patterns egg yolks form when you pinch them in the back. There are some minor interests on the side as well such as languages/linguistics, history and urban exploration. I'm also one of those writers who don't seem to be able to finish a story and one of those amateur photographers that will never reach fame. Tragic.
- instead of looking at some very general tags
- you could also read my profile
- thank you
Music, Movies, and Books
My musical preferences range from minimal synth, new wave and post-punk via electro and neofolk and I have even been caught listening to an occasional indie song. I have been told once: "The most cheerful music you have is Joy Division". Just judge for yourself: http://www.last.fm/user/decoupeerzaag
Films, of course. I could make a list, but I won't. Dark, dystopian films with a touch of a psychological thriller will most likely get me interested.
Among my favourite authors feature Michel Houellebecq, Frank Kafka, Hermann Hesse, Oscar Wilde, Voltaire, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Louis Couperus, Ferdinand Bordewijk. I could continue, but again, I won't.
Basically, I'm a tolerant when it comes to taste. Some things do make me laugh secretly, though, but you're not supposed to see that. That would ruin the secretive part.
One Amazing Thing I’ve Done
Camping on top of an abandoned communist monument in Bulgaria? Peaking into one of Saddam's headquarters in northern Iraq? Hopping onto an iron ore cart for a night through the Mauritanian desert? Hitchhiking all across Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh and being invited home all the time? Crossing the Amazon river in the Peruvian and Colombian jungle? Being driven around town on an old motorcycle by a Paraguayan housewife who was so enthusiastic that someone came to visit the place? Staying in oversized, dark and degenerated hotels in the former Soviet Union? I don't know. I have seen and done a lot of interesting things, I'm just not so good with superlatives and exclamation marks.
Teach, Learn, Share
At times I try to teach people not to visit Checkpoint Charlie, since there's nothing to see there. To no avail, of course. Silly people.
Furthermore I could help you with some languages, teach you some useless skill, bore you with historical knowledge or enlighten your day with other facts from a wide range of topics that no one cares about. Over the years I collected enough boring wisdom to kill any party. Don't provoke me.
What I Can Share with Hosts
Everything that makes sense sharing.
Countries I’ve Visited
Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Mauritania, Mexico, Moldova, Morocco, Netherlands, Oman, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, Senegal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Vatican City State, Western Sahara
Countries I’ve Lived In
Chile, Germany, Netherlands