CouchsurfingStories#1

August 11, 2009 at 1:47 am 1 comment

I have several drafts of couchsurfing stories saved in wordpress. It’s this travelling, non-commercial website I also mention in my About section.

But I could never decide on writing further. The story about the British movie freak where I watched Lola runs in Manchester for the first time. Or the story about the former employee of the old German Parliament in Bonn in the 80s, that I met (or: “couchsurfed”) in Berlin. He: living lonely, sorrounded by all his cats and his massive flat-screen. Second occupation: Former tax-advisor for tax havens.  I just arrived, we drank wine, I had my own room, he told me about his cats and his live in London, his witnessing of 9/11 in NY. The greatness of conversation corresponded to the luxurious room, bath towel on bed — just like in a hotel. I just couldn’t decide.

Which story is worth writing down? Or is this senseless, because all these stories are worth nothing without the mental images you personally collected at your journey? Maybe you know the situation, when people tell you about a travelling story, but you are just not interested, because they don’t  mean anything to you.

So I won’t write down any of my stories, but a different one;

In a park here in Hannover, I met a British guy who is into literature and travelling around with almost nothing. No plans where to go next. “I don’t plan” he said.

Some months ago, he just came from a faraway country into London. What a coincidence: G-20 Summit. Big thing. Financial crisis. Estimated 20.000 protesters that pilgrimaged to a rather small square just around the Bank of England.

He could decide on which group to join: Autonomous ones, anarchists, ecological groups, tourists, handy-cam ones, undecided ones, people with a Bank-of-England coffin, having the picure of the BoE-executive printed on it. Or just follow a man on a bike made up like a pirate ship, himself wearing a pirate costume?

He didn’t decide to join a group, he just walked alone with his script among the crowd to detect literary essence. He wasn’t present, but just documenting what was going on. But was anyone present actually? Everybody filming everybody: The police filming the protesters, the protesters filming the police with handy cams. Journalists filming the filming people. Helicopters filming the people filming the people. And he noting it down. So who was present?

This is the Youtube-Age. Anyway, there were agressive protests, just as expected; People throwing stones into the Bank, even trying to burn it, but being stopped by other protesters because bankers where upstairs. Computers being smashed, drum n’ bass music played in the background from sound systems in shopping-carts. A japanese girl with platform shoes dancing to rave music, sorrounded by helicopters.

I could listen even longer…but the protests had its end, so his story does. Later the evening, I saw him vanishing, just around the corner at Hannover’s federal bank, walking home with his host carrying his bike. He is on the road again, never seen again, but stories that stay.

A story like a journey. No youtube, no picures. Just words. And an internet plattform like couchsurfing.com that gives you the opportunity for such acquaintances. Sometimes that’s all you need.

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Entry filed under: Hannover. Tags: , .

featuring: SocialBar Hannover Coffeeshophilosophy!

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About jannesr.wordpress.com Blog

This Blog has no real mission, but it is just a place for me to publish stories.
I like to have the pressure to simply write something down for an abstract audience. Bristrouble.wordpress.com was another attempt of me to do this when I was in Bristol. See below.

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