BootsnAll Travel Network

Couchsurfing Bangalore


  • Apparantly I bite my nails when I’m nervous because several times throughout my flight from Colombo, Sri Lanka to Bangalore, India, I caught myself making the attempt, BUT before remembering that I was growing my nails out for the first time in my life.  The last half hour of the flight (the entire flight was only one hour) I imagined over and over in my head stepping out of the airport into the center of chaos, the meeting point for cows, fruit, rickshaws, busses, trains, cows, goats, Indian women in a variety of vibrant colored sarees, roadside stands selling everything from southern spices to flowers for offerings (to bring to temples or shrines) beggers and homeless amputees.  I went over and over in my head (and I’ll admit I even made a short list with these few things just in case my mind exploded with external stimulation) of what I would do when I arrived at the airport:
  • pickup backpack
  • go through customs
  • exchange money
  • call Chenmayie to confirm directions to her house in the city

 Of course I mentioned in my earliest Sri Lanka blog, my worrying did me no good whatsoever because it was nothing like in my wildest dreams.  I completed all 4 things on my list and as I walked through the automatic doors of the airconditioned airport into a nice tropical breeze, I realized that the airport was far from the chaos (obviously, I mean come on, who builds an airport in the middle of the city, duh!) I hopped on the BIAS-05 bus, which was conveniently located within 20 feet of where I was standing, 1 ½ hours to the Bangalore where I would then take a rickshaw (the Sri Lankan “tuk tuk”) from the Jayanagar bus station to couchsurf in the lovely home of Chinmayie, Ravindra, and Alaru.

 Couchsurfing is a community of travelers who offer their spare (or not so spare) bedrooms, couches, floors, or guest houses (depends on how lucky you get!) to fellow travelers in their town, free of charge.  Hosts welcome surfers into their homes free of charge and add to the karmic pay-it-forward community so that when they travel, they can surf elsewhere.  Free accommodation aside, couchsurfing is the best way to meet local people and get a real taste of what the place is really all about.

Chinmayie and Ravindra are stay at home parents (Ravindra is a graphic designer and works out of the home) and their daughter Alura is 8 months old.  After being with them for two days I noticed how both equally cared for Alura.  We had a long discussion on how Indian men support their families by spending more time at home with the children as opposed to just spending countless hours away from home “earning money” as support.  This family was more western in their traditions and we talked about everything from raising Alaru to movies, Indian Guru’s (and fake Gurus) and Chenmayie even taught me how to wear the saree.

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