entering the land of the gods

a study abroad journey

Couchsurfin’

We met some amazing people through Couch Surfing this weekend! What is couch surfing, you ask? It is an international craze in which people can offer their “couch” to traveling or travelers can look for a “couch” to surf on.

I was craving for an experience to stay with a local of Bangalore in order to better experience the culture of India and make some more international connections. So, I created an account with www.couchsurfing.org and looked to see if there were any couches to stay at in Bangalore. The trick to couch surfing is that you need to be careful about who you stay with. Like any internet sight, you can get people with bad intension or amazing hosts. After receiving invitations from about 12 hosts, I sat down and really looked into each person. You are able to look at the person’s profile and look at comments from those past surfers.

In the end, we accepted a request from Rajesh! Rajesh has hosted almost a dozen surfers in the past year and had very positive reviews from those surfers. Needless to say, it was an amazing experience! Rajesh is a great guy with a kind heart, a passion to meet new people, and a love for life! Immediately upon our arrival he prepared tea for us and picked up idly and vadas for breakfast. He explained the bus system and was very encouraging in helping us make our plans for the weekend come true. Little did we know that we would spend so much time together! Some hosts simply provide a place to stay while others don’t mind exploring the city with their guests. Rajesh was eager to take us to some of his favorite places and meet friends, which we were thrilled to experience!

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Bangalore has a few local breweries in town so on our first night, Rajesh took us to his favorite local brewery right down the street. Toit is a hopping place boasting 6 craft brews. This place is a three story pub with a wooden interior and hoppin’ music. We loved the atmosphere and loved the beer. After tasting each one of the beers I went with the Toit Weiss, which is described as a German wheat beer with “a hint of clove and a fleeting note of banana.” I am no beer fanatic so I don’t know if I caught all the spices, but it was great compared to a crappy Indian Kingfisher 🙂

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Lamb and Fig pizza

While there, we met some of Rajesh’s friends and cousins! It turns out that Rajesh’s family is originally from Assam (NE India) but he grew up in Kerala (SW India). Most of their family still live there now.

It turns out there are some Kerala restaurants in Bangalore, so Rajesh and Rajat took us to a place for breakfast on Saturday morning!

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Puttu: made of rice powder and grated coconut, steamed in a metal or bamboo holder and kadala: a curry made of black garbanzo beans

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appam: a spongey, dosa like bread eaten with curry or chicken stew.

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(I don’t remember what this is called but- ) Steamed rice noodles eaten with a potato and coconut chutney.

Yum- it was all so delicious! Perfect with a cup of chai.

Again, it was amazing to make some new friends- we will definitely be keeping in touch. And I will definitely be couch surfing as I continue to travel!

IMG_1689This is Rajat. Rajesh’s cousin!

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