On Friday Sweden celebrates Midsummer. But instead of eating pickled herring and freezing my butt off I'm going to Istanbul! I'm really excited about it, even though I haven't had time to plan at all. The whole thing was decided a few days ago. I bumped into a friend who lives there and who said "Perhaps you'd like to come to our Midsummer party? We have a 120 sqm roof top terrace in central Istanbul." Wow, that sounds fantastic, I said. "It is fantastic", he said. And then it was decided.
So I thought I'd see if some couchsurfers were willing to host me. And they were...
I put a public trip on CS. This is what I wrote:
"Hi, I'm going to Istanbul for the weekend. On Saturday I'm visiting some friends, but the rest of the time I just hope to relax and see some of Istanbul. I've been there once before - and loved it! I'm a calm and an easy going person. If you don't trust my only Couchsurfing reference (a guy who haven't even met me, I know, crazy huh?!), take a look at my Airbnb references. If you'd offer to host me for a night or more I'd be super happy. And since my friends live in Cihangir it would be even better if you live close by too.
Hope to see you in Istanbul! (And that I won't have to sleep in a park)"
(I realize now though that I actually have three references, one as host, one as guest, and one personal, that's the one from the guy who haven't even met me, but still managed to write a pretty accurate description "I already know she is funny and thoughtful but more importantly a reliable person" ;-) ... )
Anyway, I don't know if it was the thought of me sleeping in a park or something else. But I got 19 messages (including one from a Bangladeshi guy who just wanted to meet up). 16 have offered to host me, so far. 16?! In only a few hours...
Here are a few of them:
Recep, 46, single, working at a bank: "i have a 2004 honda. if we can have chance we can try high speed and reach the place (riva) where there are rough waves . it is a seaside of blacksea."
Sercan, 29, fluent in sign language and accredited coach: There is accommodation on Saturday night. Location Taksim"
Nami, 30: "petty officer in navy. i will be in istanbul too same date with you. if you want and interested we an meet, trip, drink a cup of tea. anyway we can be friends and speak about our cultures"
Melih, 28, cabin crew at Pegasus Airlines: " Im flight attendant in turkish airlines... I would like to try answer your questions with simple and good answer. I can help about find job for short or long term too"
Hakan, 26, cardiologist: "I am glad to host you for these days :) but unfurtunelly i am doctor and i couldnt help see you around, only i can help for a room"
Hakan, 23, offers "all my home except the wardrop" to guests: "I am student of management. My flatmate is gone and I am alone for a while. You will have a single bed. My home is a little bit old but it's useful."
Saim, 33, latin dance instructure, offers to guests "42 inch TV, AppleTV, Playstation, Washmachine, Dishmachine, Refrigrator. Shortly all my home :)"
Oral, 49, loves motorbikes: "If you want I can host you. And I can show you the city."
Murat, 33: "Selam! if you still need place to stay, lets have a look my flat. it is not very very big but enough for little lady i think :) "
Kursat, 38, single father, works in international logistics: "Hi Maria, firstly I trusting you. I give you private room. But my daughter is come to my home every weekend .I am a little speak english (still I learning). I doesnt want you stay in a park ;) "
Hakan, 35, doinga phd degree: "I am international trade phd student so wanna learn your economy informations about international trade"
(Yes, all offers from men. No Turkish women on Couchsurfing?)
Wow! What a hospitality! So many great offers. But I chose the one below. I think... because I don't really understand - "broken English" - if they offer a place to sleep or not? But according to the CS app I'm going there tomorrow... Luckily also my friend has offered to host me, so I have other options as well. We'll see... perhaps tomorrow evening I'm at some salsa club or barbecue in that "balcony overlooking our vast manhattan". "there will be of course a chance to roam a lot:)" Hmm...
"Heyyyyy Heyyy Maria
Let's see if you're going on a trip pleasant and crazy, don't forget to stop by us:)
We are weird and fun of people from time to time, are a group of 2 guys . Broken English. ridiculous conditions bullshit answer above all tips from people trying to get a potential gold mine is making a life.I say, if you want to live the days 1...2...3.. the Inn is full just:), I guess we invite you, we're one of the 1 millionth sends strange Turkish:), most of them are male, for sure, I laugh when I read that its a hospitable public we but we y'all:))
We are also too a sign of salsa dancers. you know, the way you can take a few salsa Turkish night. There is also a car outside of work and for 1....2... days night there will be of course a chance to roam a lot:)
we can't forget to toast our balcony overlooking our vast manhattan:))
And I promise İf you bring us local drink I'm going to make that big barbecue with my own hands unique in our balcony overlooking:)
Let's propose a toast to istanbul;)
We ll wait you. Come on :)
Let me know pls"