Friday, 4 September 2015

Intro to Couchsurfing: Miami Marlins!

The flight took 8 hours to get here, and since the plane was empty, I had a whole row to myself to lounge across. The air hostesses were all so lovely and friendly. I watch the Longest Ride and bawled my eyes out like 5 times. The air hostess laughed and said she did the exact same when she watched it. It was such a good film, so emotional! Classic Nicholas Sparks. 

I arrived at the international airport at 7pm and still had no place to stay. The humidity in Miami hit me like a brick. Instantly sweat dripped down my forehead, made worse still when I collected my luggage. Thankfully, ten minutes later I received a couchsurfing acceptance from this guy called Jermey Ruder. As it turns out, he works for the Miami Marlins baseball team helping with equipment duties and was able to bag me a free ticket to the game that night. It cost me $20USD to get to the stadium (a rip off given Uber would have charged me about $8 max…), and I nervously awaited my first couchsurfing host. Originally I told myself I would only stay with females since this would be the safest option, however, since none replied I had to stay with this guy, or pay $70 for a hotel…. No thank-you!

Anyway, he soon came out to meet me and was the most pleasant guy ever. Within a minute of meeting me he had given me a key to house – so trustworthy given I had 0 reviews on Couchsurfing! He then led me to his car so I could store my suitcase there and told me if I wanted to sleep in it whilst I waited for him to finish work at 2am I could, or I could get an uber back to his house and let myself in.

He had to dash back to work so I went into the stadium to watch the game against the New York Mets. It was a Star Wars themed night as they were raising money for a kids cancer charity and so there was a lot going on around the stadium – people dressed as jedis, darth vader, R2-D2 etc. Also, between innings dancers came on dressed up too (have you ever seen Darth Vader break dancing? I have!). I was given great seats that otherwise would have been too expensive for me. I had looked into going to a game but decided I couldn’t justify the money for something that didn’t interest me THAT much. Honestly, I was glad I was only there for the second half of the game since it goes on forever. As it was, there was over-time. Luckily the Marlins won so everyone was in a good mood. The game didn’t finish till 11:30pm though and with jet-lag, I was knackered. So, I met up with Jermey and got his car keys and dozed off in his car. He was so sweet he even bought me drinks and crisps in case I was hungry/ thirsty.

At 2:30am he came back to his car and drove us to his apartment. It is right on South Beach, 2 blocks away. His friends from the team were going to stop by for a bit but decided against it the end – I was thankful in a way because although I would have liked to meet his friends, I was so tired all I could think about was sleep. I was given a sofa bed next to his bed in the lounge (it was an all-in-one type room, typical of a good location in a great city!).

In the morning after reading a bit and waiting for him to wake up, he had work again so couldn’t hang out. He invited me to watch them train but I had enough of baseball last night so decided against it. He was such a sweety that he drove me to the hostel I booked on 9th street.

So, my verdict on Couchsurfing? DO IT! Take the plunge, who knows what great situations you will get into, I certainly had a great time. No doubt that evening I would have just gone straight to bed and slept till morning. Of course, check the reviews others have left them – A few people I avoided as people had written they kept trying to hit on them or so forth. Just exercise caution…

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