When “the couch” falls through

Earlier this year I read Ben Groundwater’s enjoyable book “5 ways to carry a goat” (no relation). Although Ben doesn’t really do much goat carrying, the general premise of the book – meeting and staying with people who offer him a couple of nights via his blog – does conjure up memories of every traveller’s nightmare, the great, disappearing couch.

The one thing that I found wholly astounding about Ben’s book was his
hit (well miss) rate with his contacts. Considering his trip was planned months in advance, it’s as if people were committed to his journey across the world in a way they would commit to a quick coffee at their local. Appalling!

Fear not Ben, you’re not the only one who’s experienced that sort of disrespect. Try this one on for size (and yes I’ve used real names so as to convict the guilty):

Ring, ring

Mr Matthew Brown esq. of Cape Cod, Massachusetts : “Hello?”

Me: “Hey mate, great to hear your voice, I just arrived at the bus station”

Matthew: “Sorry who is this?”

Me: “Er, it’s Derek, you know the guy you met in Egypt two weeks ago and we teed up to meet this week here at your parent’s place in Cape Cod”

Matthew: “Oh….right, yeah, how’s it goin’ “mate”?

Me: “Er… good. So what’s the go?”

Matthew: “Yeah well I’m going to be working most of this week, so sorry about that.”

Me: “Well I just arrived on the bus from Boston. The bus station is a bit
rough, you know, being next door to the Plasma donor centre and all…”

Matthew: “Yeah that’s not a great part of town… anyway, yeah sorry bud, I don’t think this weeks gonna work out. Gotta go. See ya.”

Click.

Well at least in 2011 we have email, Facebook and other social media at our disposal to help us avoid turning up somewhere in the middle of nowhere without a place to
stay.

All we need now is someone to create an App called “Instant couch”!

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