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the_juanderer

New York, NY, USA

Wants to Meet Up

100% response rate · Last login about 2 hours ago

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Overview

  • 219 Positive References4 Neutral1 Negative
  • Ambassador
  • Fluent in English, Spanish; learning French
  • 99, Male
  • Member since 2009
  • Hanging out with Couchsurfers
  • useless Harvard degree
  • From New York, NY, USA
  • Profile 100% complete

About Me

I was born and raised in New York City. When people tell me how cool that is, I tell them, "Yes, I chose my parents carefully." ;-)

As time went by, I got some education and along the way I lived for three years at International House (http://www.ihouse-nyc.org), a residence for full-time graduate students and young professionals doing internships where over 75-80% of the 700 residents are from outside the US. Living there is what made me want to travel.

After being laid off from a soul-crushing job, I got my passport stamped for the first time in my life in July 2009 in... Iceland! And then I went crazy to make up for the previous lack of travel in my life: 3.5 months in Scandinavia and Western Europe, 7.5 months in Asia, 1.5 weeks in Colombia, 65 cities, 25 countries.

During this time, I: - learned not to be afraid of the unknown - did a lot of touristic things - learned what a hostel is (really, I didn't know before that!) - rode the European trains an average of once a week (nearly got stranded in the middle of Czech Republic) - discovered Couchsurfing - danced salsa in almost every city I went to - DJed salsa in: Reykjavik, Oslo, Copenhagen, Berlin, Paris, Prague, Walsall (near Birmingham), Bangkok, Bali, Kuala Lumpur and Shanghai - lived for 5 months in Malaysia as part of a failed effort to establish myself as a salsa DJ and instructor in Southeast Asia - did many non-touristic things

Best year of my life!!!

I returned to NYC in 2010 and made friends from all over the world as a substitute for travel until I left to be an expat again... :-)

Recently I traveled to Guangzhou, Melbourne, Kuala Lumpur, and Cebu. Not as much fun as the 2009-2010 trip, but I did get to swim with whale sharks. :-)

PHILOSOPHY

"Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time." (Winston Churchill)

Pure capitalism sucks too. But it does suck less than pure socialism or pure communism. There should be some kind of mix. Let's say that I am anti-extremism in any form.

Also, corporations should not have all the same rights as humans. Religion should not have any role in government (about that I am an extremist). Government should not have any say in who has sex with or marries who, as long as it is consensual. Especially when those who advocate such laws are usually violating those laws themselves...

Why I'm on Couchsurfing

At first I thought CouchSurfing couldn't possibly be something sensible or sane to do, but now that I've been a part of it since August 2009, it is an insanely great community that I love being a part of.

Until January 2015, I was very active in the Couchsurfing community in NYC, hosting the Thursday night weekly meetup. In the process I met literally thousands of people from all over the world, and occasionally I hosted.

The NYC Couchsurfing weekly Thursday night (7:00 PM - 1 AM) meetup is currently at Solas, 232 E 9th St, between 2nd and 3rd Ave, with rotating hosts. I have left it in good hands, and encourage you to go when you are there!

There is also a Facebook page (where I am one of many admins) for the NYC Couchsurfing community here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/nyc.couchsurfing/

I wonder what I'll do in Melbourne!

I've surfed 12 times and hosted about 45 people so far. My experience of Couchsurfing has been awesome, with one minor surfing exception. I hope that you can contribute more awesome experiences.

Interests

- drinking wine, preferably red (I developed my taste for red wine while I was in Europe), but my favorite is a good vinho verde - picnics in the park - drinking wine at picnics in the park - drinking wine at the home of a friend rather than a bar

- karaoke

- Preferably vegetarian food for reasons of health, climate change, sustainability, and pollution... but it's not a religion.

- Foreign foods, especially typical foods. I would much rather eat in a food stall in Asia than in a good restaurant in the US. :)

- Theater: I've seen The Book of Mormon, Wicked (5x), Les Miserables, Holler If Ya Hear Me, Motown, In The Heights (2x), The Lion King, Ragtime, Chicago, Mary Poppins, Avenue Q (2x), The Addams Family, Cabaret, Phantom of the Opera, Billy Elliot, Hair, Rent (2x), Baby It's You, Bullets Over Broadway, Memphis, Stomp, Blue Man Group, Guys and Dolls, and probably a few others that I've forgotten...

- If you dance salsa "on 2" (New York style), let me know, we'll go out dancing (or at the least, I'll tell you where to go). If you dance salsa on 1 (LA style), we could still dance. But if you don't know how to really dance salsa (and I am just being honest here), please don't offer to go dancing with me... you really can't learn how to salsa dance in a few hours... or even a few days. :/

- Movies (all types except horror -- yes, even chick flicks)

- Good conversation and travel stories

Oh, and... traveling. :D

Music, Movies & Books

Movies: The Princess Bride; Up; Ong-bak; Kung-Fu Panda, Thank You For Smoking; Office Space; Gladiator; El Laberinto Del Fauno (Pan's Labyrinth); Once; Ondine; Shall We Dance? (original Japanese version).

Books: One Hundred Years of Solitude; The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo; Atlas Shrugged; Like Water For Chocolate; The Kite Runner; Wicked. Last book I read: A House for Mr Biswas (that was a depressing book).

Music: FANIA, El Gran Combo, Sonora Poncena, Tito Puente, Hector Lavoe, Willie Colon, Willie Rosario, Roberto Roena, Ismael Rivera, Bobby Valentin, Eddie Palmieri, etc. Also, cheesy -- I mean awesome -- music from the 1980s (from America, that is).

I also like some recent Top 40 stuff. But Kenny G, Celine Dion and Michael Bolton really make me want to barf.

Radio: NPR news; This American Life; Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me; The Moth; Radiolab.

One Amazing Thing I've Done

I was on a hike on a glacier in Iceland, and I had forgotten to bring water. As I walked along the surface of the glacier with my sister and the tour group, I was so thirsty that I just knelt down and scooped some water into my hands from one of the puddles of pure glacier water and drank. However, after doing that the second time, the bones in my hands were literally in pain from the cold temperature of the water, so... I got on my hands and knees and put my mouth to the puddle and drank, kind of like a horse drinks from water. Unfortunately, no pictures or video of this particular moment exist.

That is one amazing thing I have seen or done in my lifetime. Ever notice how most people put 6 or 7 or 8 (or more!) things in this section? :P

Teach, Learn, Share

I can teach English (I am an excellent grammarian) and Spanish, although Spanish is not my mother tongue.

I want to learn the word "cheers" in as many languages as possible. I'm up to about 17.

If you want to surf my couch, you have to share how tall you are with me when you make the request. Your actual height will not affect my decision, but if you don't tell me, then I'll know that you haven't read my profile very carefully, and your chances will be much lower... However, you are from a country that I like, or from a country that I have not hosted someone from yet, your chances are better. :-)

What I Can Share With Hosts

I'm not sure why they have this section. I'm sure you can figure it out from the rest of my profile.

Countries I've Visited

Australia, Austria, Belgium, Cambodia, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Italy, Korea, Republic of, Malaysia, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, United Kingdom, Vatican City State

Countries I've Lived In

China, Malaysia, United States

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