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It never rains, but it pours… (205.6) - Mark's Journal
It never rains, but it pours… (205.6)
I've mostly had my Couchsurfing.org profile set to "maybe" the last several months, reluctant to have too many houseguests when I'm down to one bathroom. (One of the reasons I look forward to being fully employed again: I really want to tear out my flood-damaged basement and build a new one, and I need money to do either.)

But, I still get requests once in a while, including for this past weekend from an Israeli grad student who's on a months-long journey of the U.S. and Canada. (She's also a rarity, a vegetarian who doesn't really like most vegetables, and hates hummus and most legumes. We made spaghetti and sweet corn for dinner.) She was interesting, and I got to show her several key spots in Ithaca that her host for her first couple of nights hadn't, including the overlook above Ithaca College with the incredible view of the valley and lake; Wegmans, the mammoth supermarket; and the Cornell rugby pitch. (Have you ever taken a visitor to see a rugby pitch? I'm betting not.)

She was going to be moving to another Couchsurfing host's place on Saturday, and that host invited us both to a birthday party at her house on Friday night. It was mostly packed with City & Regional Planning grad students, and thus was one of the rare occasions where I could walk into a gathering and not randomly know someone. I met several fun people, and chatted happily for a few hours. (One of the guys I chatted with looked vaguely familiar, but we never figured out why. Maybe random bar moment in Collegetown. Another, my couchsurfer and I picked up on Saturday en route to the farmers market.)

Even better was Saturday, when a random couchsurfer posted to the Ithaca group saying she was in town for the weekend traveling with a wheelchair bound employer who didn't need her for a while, but she couldn't go far, so did anyone want to grab a beer. I sent her a reply and ended up enjoying a beer with her downtown, and then got invited along when the employer needed her. I showed them to the Cascadilla Creek waterfall that's not only within walking distance of downtown, but is impressively wheelchair accessible, so they were really glad I was around. Very, very few waterfalls can be reached by motorized wheelchair. (The only other one I know of is Taughannock Falls.)

Tomorrow night, a friend is stopping over on her way back to Vermont, but first, I replied to a last-minute request from a couple of recent college graduates who are taking a side jaunt to Ithaca in the middle of an NYC stay. They're contemplating Cornell for grad school, so it sounds like a good opportunity. They're staying at my place tonight.
5 comments or Leave a comment
theidolhands From: theidolhands Date: June 18th, 2012 10:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
What a nice entry, I bet they'd enjoy hearing about this at friendly_crips if you feel like discussing it. The mod there is very open & friendly, plus one needed be handicapped themselves to be a member.

Also, hopefully your brownie points are adding up because you're definitely one of the good guys.
dansr From: dansr Date: June 18th, 2012 10:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
You are a wonderful person.
ickletarakins From: ickletarakins Date: June 20th, 2012 03:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
you know, I've always thought about opening up our house for couch surfing. have you ever had any trouble with it?
mhaithaca From: mhaithaca Date: June 20th, 2012 03:36 pm (UTC) (Link)

The worst "trouble" I've had so far is the rare no-show, including the pair the other night. They'd said they would call an hour out, but about an hour past their ETA I texted some last details on where to park. They replied that they'd found another place to stay. It was frustrating that I'd rushed straight home to make up the guestroom and sat at home rather than going out, for naught.
mhaithaca From: mhaithaca Date: June 20th, 2012 03:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
On the other hand, I've met a lot of neat people, and I know I'm helping folks see Ithaca's good side and save some money in the process.
5 comments or Leave a comment