CS – Janan, Lara & Sidsel

Eating brunch with Nishant and Sandhya, two other Couchsurfers living in Shanghai.  It was the only day warm enough to eat outside so far!

Sidsel (Danish), Janan (Turkish but lived in the UK the past 5 years), Jon, Boots, me, and Lara (German).

The girls are all teaching English in a “village” of 1 million people about 5 hours from Shanghai.  They said they’re the only foreigners in the town and are practically celebrities there.

These girls were creative with the photo booth!  I love the first one.

Eva & Josh – more couchsurfers


Eva and Josh stayed with us one night, after flying in from Denmark, then left for their new home in Xia’men the next day.  We tried to keep them awake until 10 to fight their jet lag and I fed them coffee in the morning.  They’ve invited us to their home and we’ll definitely take them up on that in a few months.

IMG_4595Eva has a job leading Danes on tours of China and spent a few days in Shanghai with a group recently.  She stayed an extra night with us after they left.  We took the sidecar out to eat, then played some Wii Fit the next morning.

Couchsurfer Lucy

IMG_4564Lucy stayed with us last month.  She was the first couchsurfer to ride in the sidecar.  Yes, we did leave the car park, but it was dark outside so not good for photos.

IMG_9986Boots is always a popular photography subject.

IMG_4571Lucy is a photographer too.  Gotta watch out for that paparazzi!

Eating Vegetarian


Kelly and Ellie are both from Florida and on an around the world trip.  They work and save up money, then go traveling again!  They are both vegetarian so one night we went to Vegetarian Lifestyle, a Chinese vegetarian restaurant where the food is made to look and taste just like meat.  The “spareribs” were delicious and very real.  So real that Kelly stopped chewing and said, “I think this is meat! It has a bone!” (it was really a radish) and so delicious we ordered seconds!


The food was so good that we’ll probably go back, even though we aren’t vegetarians.  :-)

Hot Pot


Melissa and Matt are an American couple who’ve lived in Japan for the past 4 years, teaching English.  They surfed our couch for a few days and we had a great time.  They are traveling around the world on their way home, and have joined the Peace Corp and will most likely be stationed in China next year! We’re hoping to see them again.  We’ve had such great experiences with our Couch Surfers.

This was my first time going to hot pot, which is pretty unbelievable since we’ve lived here for over two years.  It was really good.

Fun with Couch Surfers

I have a computer program that controls my DSLR.  It can do things like time lapses.  It also has a photo booth function!  I’ve been having each of our Couch Surfers do it, then I print out two copies on 4×6″ sticker paper.  They get a copy, and they stick the other ones in our guest book and leave a message for us.


Marion and George, from the Netherlands.  They gave us the guest book as a gift.  We’ll definitely see them again the next time we make it to Europe.  We have quite a few Dutch friends.


Melissa and Matt, Americans who’ve been teaching English in Japan for the past four years.  They have joined the Peace Corp and most likely will be stationed in China next year!  We’ll definitely go visit.

photobooth1Kelly and Ellie, from Florida.  Kelly fell off the stool….  we had a blast with them.  We’re thinking of visiting Florida in the middle of a South Dakota winter sometime way in the future!

Couchsurfers and a CS party

George and Marion (our Dutch surfers) on the top of our roof.

Boots likes to lay on our CSers stuff on the bed and wait to get petted. (photo by Marion)

Marion, Sandhya and I. Sandhya and her husband Nishant hosted the party and cooked delicious vegetarian Indian food. VERY delicious!!

A very diverse group – guys from San Francisco here for the eclipse, a guy that lived at the South Pole three times (my cousin Brian did that; worked at the research station there and shoveled a lot of snow), people from Isreal, Lithunania, Columbia, the Netherlands, Italy, India and a guy with Pakistani heritage living in London – all getting together in China. The world is really small now!

The Captain’s Bar

After viewing the SWFC, we decided to check out some live jazz at the House of Blues and Jazz. After a couple drinks, we went to the Captain’s Bar, conveniently located right across the street. It’s the top floor of the Captain’s Hostel and has the Bund view without pretentious drink prices.

Marion and George are Couch Surfers who stayed with us 4 days. They’re from the Netherlands, and George was studying business Chinese in Beijing.

The view is quite nice when the lights are still on. Behind us is the infamous view of Pudong across the Huangpu River.

37 Fuzhou Lu, near Sichuan Zhong Lu

Two more couchsurfers

Recently, we had Sonja, a German woman who is doing her PhD study on China’s influence in Darfur, stayed with us several days. She was staying in Shanghai longer than we could host, so she moved to another host.

Bettina, a German woman on sabbatical from her job at a EU Library in Greece, stayed with us a little while after that. Since they were both in town, we had a little CS get-together for lunch Friday.

Bettina, Jon S., Sonja, me & Jon at the Blue Frog in Daning.

At the local dive bar after a fabulous meal at Da Marco.

We have had all good experiences with Couchsurfing so far. We’ve hosted four times now, and will host two more couples in July. We’re hoping to surf sometime in the future!


Jon and I are members of and last week we hosted two Australian girls, Amy and Casey.  They were super nice; both of them (especially Casey) liked to cook.  We were spoiled by them cooking for us several times!  They have a cat (Michael Arthur MacMoussen) back home so really liked Boots too.
Couchsurfing is a site where travelers can offer or request a couch to crash on, or just find someone to meet up with for coffee or a drink.  It’s kind of like Facebook for travelers.  It’s also similar to eBay, in that you give others feedback so others know how they were as hosts or guests. 
We also hosted a Polish couple, Daniel and Martina, before I went to the US.  In the last couple weeks we’ve gotten requests to host people from Italy, Spain, Germany, Mongolia, and the Netherlands.  We won’t say yes to everyone (you can pick and choose as you like, no pressure) since we want to have a little time to ourselves!  We wish we had this when we were traveling through Europe – it’s such a great way to meet like-minded travelers if you host; save costs and meet people living locally where you are traveling if you surf.
Here’s another article a fellow China blogger just wrote on it. 


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