Philippe Tzou

Pinglin, New Taipei, Taiwan

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  • Last login 13 days ago

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  • Ambassador
  • Fluent in Chinese, English, French; learning Dutch, Sign Language - International, Spanish
  • 39, Male
  • Member since 2006
  • still in constant redefinition...
  • Master's in Cultures and Development studies; former EU '...
  • From Brussels, Belgium and Paris, France
  • Profile 100% complete

About Me


Settling down in Taipei


actually the person I know the least in this world is.. myself. i've lived in Ivory Coast, Taiwan, France, United States, Belgium and China in the short (too short) 38 years of my life. when i look at the mirror on occasional self-staring sessions i don't recognise myself as from anywhere really. i think i'm i'm a belgian-chinese-french born in abidjan who really don't want to answer the question where are you from no mo'!

i tend to be talkative when i'm sane, drink too much coffee, introverted when winter comes (in europe at least), drunk when i think too much, pretend i'm well read but in fact i know nothing, hear voices in different languages at any given time of the day, like drama, cinematography, fictions, writings and yelling on busy public street that 'the world is a village', jazz, meeting strangers, talking to bums (when they can understand me), write short stories about bums, behave like i'm someone else, sing songs from the NY musicals 'Rent' when i'm riding my bike too fast, listen to the radio in Paris, face-watching in Brussels, biking in Shanghai, and watching stupid DVDs on the Yangtze river.

oh, and i don't like to describe myself...

I will be starting a new club in town called TGCS, Thank God there’s Couch-Surfing!!


-Life is too Short...
-The world can only be made of good hearts (Chinese saying carved on a stone in Fengdu, the 'Ghost City' on the Yangtze River, China)
-each person is a book, you just have to learn how to read it
-most important one: NOT DAY BUT TODAY!!

Why I’m on Couchsurfing


i worked hard in getting the Shanghai couchsurfing community together in 2007-2009, it s now one of the most active communities in Asia!


there was a life before CS, where i'd couchsurfed friends' couch mostly, be it in Paris, Budapest, Amsterdam, London, Grenada, Taipei, New York, Shanghai or Casablanca.
then some supranatural being made me discover CS, from then on everything went wrong...
so far i've surfed onlyl a few times through CS in Sydney, Basel and Montpellier, but for about 6 months in 2006 i hosted like a maniac in Brussels, hungry for travel stories and experiences which got me totally hooked up with the experience. then i got a weird job working on a cruise boat in China, so my couch disappeared in my 10 m2 boat cabin, so did my CS commitments.. Then life brought me to Shanghai where i lived for about 4 years or so, hosting occasionnally (though not as much as i would have liked to!), but mainly organizing many different interesting events and gatherings for the CS community in Shanghai. I have now moved permanently to Chongqing since March 2011 but since we've settled down.. we've been on the road all the time!


Jazz, writing, reading (fiction and literature), french comic books (bandes dessin饳), int'l politics, ethnology and social science in general, art history, anything that can eventually become interesting; making new friends but as importantly keeping up with the old and current friends around the globe. I also like basketball fans who wouldn't mind going for some nice pick-up games while their in town, and would be very interested in meeting wheelchair basketball fans! :) also, anyone with ideas and projects related to development, social work, sustainable tourism, chinese ethnic minorities, povery-alleviation...etc please make yourself known, i would love to find out more!!
visited 33 states (14.6%)Create your own visited map of The World or Brazil travel guide for Android

Music, Movies, and Books

Books: am considering starting J.G.Ballard's Empire of the Sun if i can find it in Shanghai -shouldn't be a pbl-; had a blast reading "Shantaram" by this OZ writer who once escaped jail and lived in the slums of Bombay; have enjoyed 'the Sheltering Sky' (P Bowles), Twelve Bar Blues (Patrick Neat), Balzac and the Little Seamstres (Dai Sijie), "Kafka's Shores' by H Murakami, many Nabokov and John Irving, have devoured a shitload of books in my life so just tell me which ones you've read maybe we'll end up starting a nice bookclub online!
little update in 2011: have loved "1421" by Gazies Mendes about how China discovered the world before everyone else claimed so.
Music: Bill Evans, Chet Baker, Miles Davis, Brad Meldhau (you guessed it: JAzz); world music from Sahara Blues (Gnawa), Zaiko Langa Langa (Congo), Tibetan mountain songs (those commercial ones on CDs or the authentic ones from people!), there's a great show on Belgian Francophone radio (RTBF1 "La Premiere" called "Le Monde est un Village" that i used to adore during cooking hours; am convinced that i have certain addictions to cinema, and in China gotta say the selection of pirated movies is amazing, though it moves people away from the true emotions of going to the cinema theaters to watch the flicks.

One Amazing Thing I’ve Done

Streets of old Tibetan quarter in Lhassa and the Namtso Lake, Tibet; the market square at Chichicastenango, Guatemala; the Morrocan desert south of Zagora; night drive through the Utah Grand Canyon land; Uluru/Ayer's Rock at sunset, Australia; Grenell Glacier after 10-miles hike, Montana-US; Qutang Gorge among the Three Gorges on the Changjiang river (even though i've seen it 40 times in one year!); the Tibetan houses in Daofu, Kham region in western Sichuan, China.

Teach, Learn, Share

In Taoism we say those who know can't speak of it, those who do not know speak plenty of it... :)
Well, in my humble opinion, the key to Couchsurfing: be communicative! as a guest don't do anything to your host that you wouldn't like to get yourself from your own guest, be grateful, be flexible, be open and relax, appreciate the unique moments and opportunities when you can!! as a host, i think you need to make sure your guest know as early as possible your schedule during the 'surfing period', your availability, how much time and energy you've got to spend with your guest(s), your expecations (or lack thereof!) from your guest like no smoking in the bathroom, no sex in the kitchen, whateva! :)

Countries I’ve Visited

Albania, Australia, Austria, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Morocco, Poland, Romania, Sweden, United States

Countries I’ve Lived In

Belgium, China, Côte d'Ivoire, France, Taiwan, United States

Old School Badges

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