CouchsurfingStories#2: A tourist in the own city

August 29, 2009 at 6:15 pm 1 comment

On Monday, there were lots of guests in Hannover for the Coldplay concert. After a while of not-hosting (nobody asked me, indeed), I was happy to be the couchsurfing-host for two guests from Russia, St. Petersburg. My idea here is not to tell boring travelling stories like “have-you-been-here-and-there and I-have been-here-and-there and so on and so on and I have been to more countries to you and it is all soooo great and exotic.” No, this is boring, as I already wrote in my first couchsurfing story.

I think it is more interesting to tell you how couchsurfing changes the way you think.

So, on Monday, my guests from Russia, me and others were sitting in the Hannover-Künstlerhaus with some fruit juice. Two hours before Coldplay started to play, I and another person from the couchsurfing-Hannover-Community said goodbye to the guests, as we were not joining (Tickets 60-80 Euros!).

We helped to carry the sleeping bags of them, and as I was walking with a sleeping bag, an ice in the hand, lost in thoughts, it suddenly came to my mind: I feel like a tourist in my own city!

And this is cool, being a tourist in your own city.

It always happens to me, that I feel more conscious about the seemingly well-known-environment. People notice the facades of the houses, that are sometimes extremely beautiful in the area where I live. I first noticed them after a year living there.

Often, I become aware, that I should appreciate more the area I live: Guests notice how great it is to have a lake to swim and a big forest. Tourist go into a museum, inhabitants of a city only rarely. A year ago I went with a Canadian guest into the modern art Sprengel-Museum, and she told me about her modern art idea:

“I and a friend once wanted to make an art installation consisting of a transparent plastic-block were we vomited into.”

Disgusting idea, but could be modern art. If you have such stories, connected to all the modern art,  it really helps you to understand, how people might draft modern art ideas.

Couchsurfing also helps you to understand what Germany is, if you walk through these allotments (Kleingartenkolonien, Hannover has many!), where you think Snow White will soon show up between all the kitschy Gartenzwerge.

As I visited Oldenburg again, where I was born, I showed a Brazilian the Schlossgarten. Autumn, leaves were falling, ducks were swimming in a little lake. She spontaneously said: “It’s so Disney!” It seems that Disney had a huge impact on the global Europe-image, and there was also an exhibition in Munich about this («Walt Disneys wunderbare Welt und ihre Wurzeln in der europäischen Kunst»). The danger, off course, is that you affirm klischees. But, I think, the danger is the very much higher, if you travel with friends using a hostel and then visit all the mainstream attractions such as Maschsee or Rathaus.

If you want to change yout perspective in a more luxourious way, you can do what Svennov wrote on his Limmerstraßenblog:

Nach dem Einchecken bin ich zum Gast in meiner eigenen Stadt geworden, denn normalerweise wäre mir das Viertel um den Maschsee viel zu langweilig und das Maschseefest zu sehr verseucht mit unkultivierten und gleichzeitig langweiligen Menschen. Aber an diesem Tag war es genau das richtige, ein Kurzurlaub in einem anderen Stadtteil; ich beobachtete die Menschen wie ein Aussenstehender, sog alles in mich auf und fühlte mich ein bisschen wie auf einer Safari, die ohne Kamera auskommt.”

Join if you also want to be a tourist in your own city. Or go into a hotel as Svennov did, but this is probably the more expensive option.

Entry filed under: Uncategorized. Tags: , , , .

Houellebecq, Hannover und Hakenkreuzbuch Randbeobachtungen: SPD-Wahlkampfauftakt in Hannover

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Caio  |  September 15, 2009 at 11:01 am

    Those night outs in Hannover with you and Johnny weren’t that touristic or Disneyistic, but still pretty cool!
    I agree with the couchsurfing thing, it’a also a completely different experience when you are the guest. You not only get to see the touristic things, museums and parks, but also the much more interesting day-to-day of the locals and the hidden gems that only local dwellers know of!


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