This morning I was talking to one of my T.A.’s about traveling. She recently hosted two guys who found her off the travel website CouchSurfing.org and told me it wasn’t been the best experience – they’d acted “like they deserved it.” I was hoping to find out how it went for someone on the receiving end of the hospitality, but unfortunately she only recently joined the site and hasn’t had a chance to surf anyone else’s couch. She knew where to find the cheapest hotels though, she said, and if she really needed to she could sleep on the street.
I assumed she was joking as she’s a twenty-something Chinese woman who doesn’t look like she’s even heard of mace, but when I asked her if she’d actually ever stayed on the street I found that, yes, she has – in 2008 she went to Shanghai alone and spent one night sleeping in a stairwell on the Bund. The next night she tried to camp out in an ATM, but because there were security cameras the police came and kicked her out and threatened to put her in jail. “There’s nightlife there,” she said, “so it’s safer.” Just like New York!
P.S. Also, did anyone catch that the title is a really bad pun about her being ethnically Han and traveling solo? Is that racist? I can’t even tell.