Taiwan Travel Stories

CouchSurfing.Com Says Sleep on Couch

There is a social web site that allows people to find couches to sleep on around the world.

I has some fears and trepidations the first time I heard of this phrase or site “Couch Surfing.”

Taipei, Taiwan
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Blog of Andy HoboTraveler.com --- --- Travel Bag Design Survey --- Professional Traveler Bag

I was lying on this couch in the TaiwanMex Taipei Taiwan Hostel appreciating what a fine couch this was, when I started to think about CouchSurfing.com.

Mimi the cat has trying her best to be a good photo model, I am sorry the fluorescent lights have not assisted these photos well.


“Geez, have you seen the couches of the world?”

The USA has great couches, I truly enjoy lying around in the USA on a couch, however since I have left the USA about 10-11 years ago, I cannot really say I have seen many couches. I see some highly uncomfortable benches they call couches, however relatively rare to find a good lie down and sleep for a couple of hours couch.

“They will make me eat their food.”

I have this uncanny ability to get asked into the homes of people, I love to enter homes and visit, see how other cultures live their lives. I truly am appreciate that something about myself that enables people to feel comfortable enough to ask me to their home.

I almost religiously say.
“NO thank you.”

Well, the reason is this, if you are invited into a home, what is the first thing they want you to do?

I am the most persnickety eater on the planet, I cannot eat a new food until I nose around if for at least a week. I have to look, examine, probe, ask a few questions and then finally if nobody is looking, I will try it.

Strange I know, but is like this, I could easily start to vomit the food if I did not like it, I mean I can have such a revulsion to most foods that it embarrassing.

What do people do when I am invited into their homes, they say,
“This is a popular food of our country, you have to try it.”

I want to say,
“You do not know me, I will not try it, even if I was an Ambassador of the USA in you country visiting your ruling King, Chief or Dictator.”

So, the idea of getting invited into home is a nerve wracking for me, I want to have my friends sign a written document.
“I will not try to make you eat.”

“Endless tours of the city and country.”

I am not a tourist, I do not enjoy looking at tourist attractions 24/7 and really do not want to be given an endless tour of a city, country or all the Bars they know, a couple is ok, but truly some people never give up.

- I end up being the Rich American that gets to pay for every persons meal and all their friends.

Scare the people, maybe I will scare them so much they throw me out of the house. I am a little over the top mentally, I overwhelm the majority of people that are near me, I may be too intense.

Hmm, maybe I get addicted to Couth Surfing because I like it so much.

… hehehe and probably will stop me.
I do not want to put my photo on any web site.

Well, I think CouchSurfing.com should be good fun, I hope the world enjoys it, I need to see if I can do it without using a photo. It would be nice to sleep on a couple of couches in Korea and Japan.

Now, truly folks, I have been couch surfing for years even before it became fashionable. Like I said, I have this uncanny ability to get invited into the homes of people, and they often offer me a bed. I suspect you will never read about it on a this blog, I try to keep friendships at a distance in case they go bad, I find is bad form to go around chatting about people who are generally nice, however have their days of being complete jerks.

Wade of VagabondJourney.com has been enjoying couch surfing in New York City, he got to sleep on a girls couch, seems like a good idea, I am not always sure about the new male gender on the planet, seems less annoying if I would go couch surf on a girls couch.
CouchSurfing.com by Wade

accommodation uk flights family vacations at travelhoo.com
CouchSurfing - Participate in Creating a Better World, One Couch At A Time
CouchSurfing - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Free Accommodation world wide through Hospitality Exchange - Hospitality Club
GlobalFreeloaders.com - The Worldwide Free Accommodation Network
Hitchhiking, Backpacking & Budget Travel On the Road -digihitch.com
Home Exchange, House exchange, Free Holidays Accommodation, Vacation house swap
The Top 5 couchsurfing websites
Vagabond Journey.com Travelogue Couchsurfing in New York City



Trying to catch up on my goal of photos daily, to say the least it has not worked good so far, there is no 3.5 diskette drives here.

No captions, but for the bloggers a head start on the newsletter people.








A girl from California, USA has been in the Hostel for the last few day, this is very good for me to seem my culture or the California culture up close and real. Sometimes I forget where I come from, this makes it possible to only remember the good and forget the bad.

California girl was a WASP JAP, not if that is not complicated.



The real fact was she has some form of Asian, Korea, Japanese and maybe Hawaii background.

I suppose you will read this, so I will stop there, but to say clearly, I remember what I do not like in American women, and I remember what I like, because she has both. I am positive the culture of the USA woman is not my favorite.

It would be like a female version of John Kerry.

Hehehe, if you do not say the name, do not show the picture, are you talking about the person?


Phil is here in the Hostel, I have successfully talked him into explaining the reasons why we went to the Taipei 101 building today.

This is the worlds tallest building so we have various reasons to visit, we took the metro or subway there and visited today....

OK now a guest noise maker... Phil

Ok... We always need good reasons to do something, I mean besides drinking. So here's what we came up with:

1. Throw water balloons down on people. No good, too difficult to get through security.

2. Exercise. Ha ha ha. Good one!

3. Check for terrorists with dirty bombs. Why would a terrorist come to Taiwan?

4. Jump. Could be a good thrill, then you don't get to talk about it.

5. Spit. Maybe...

6. Piss in the wind. What if we don't need to?

7. Be able to brag about having gone up the tallest building in the world.

8. Just another place I may meet cute girls. Here's my personal choice! We always end up with the same good reason it seems. I'm a guy, what do you expect??

Having found a good reason and went there full of hope, I can only say I failed miserably. But still had fun. He he

Thanks Phil

TAIPEI 101 Tall Building

I have finally learned something unique about Taipei, therefore I am ready to stop watching movies and go walk around Taipei. There is a building called the

Taipei 101

or maybe the

Taipei Financial Center


TOP FIVE I FOUND IN Wikipedia.org


1 Taipei 101,

2 Petronas Tower I, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

3. Petronas Tower II, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

4 Sears Tower, Chicago (IL), United States

5 Jin Mao Building, Shanghai, China

I noticed this building was always pointed out or discussed on maps, then I did a search on the internet, but I more or less ignored because, who cares just another tall building.

Then third day into Taipei, I ask someone,

"What is the big deal about this building?"

A person said,

"It is the worlds tallest."

So here I am looking at the official Taipei 101 building, reading maps, and everybody assumes that everyone studies Taiwan...

Therefore I am going to go see this building, now that someone made it clear.

I think this is the official page, not very good at anything, unless you want to rent an office.


This one is sort of fun.



I do not know what year it is for China, but I am pretty sure in about four minutes there will be fire crackers. Now is the time for Chinese New Year, the fireworks have started.


I am having a big squeak in the hinges of my laptop. When I hope and close the thing it makes noise. It worry me because I know eventually the plastic will break like another laptop I owned.

This page says WD40 is good or I think the key stuff would be possible, I am being very cautious, do not want to gum up the computer keys.


That page is good, but I am trying to find something in the grocery store to use... hehehe I must remind myself to do this when I am in the USA.

I love internet sites, they are always great solutions that work great in the USA and the rest of world huge problems.

The biggest joke in the world is to buy them cooking gas containers to cook food when you are camping, people bring them or buy them and find they are worthless in other countries. Like trying to buy a backpacker water bottle in Taiwan, yes probably possible and after looking for two days and spending tons of money on subways and taxis you will be able to drink water with your handy dandy backpacker bottle made of reinforced plastic. I would carry a bottle of water and not worry, they sell them on every corner of the world.


I received a perfect question in my email box, this question is so important that I want to make sure anyone could read or help me or Susan the writer.


Hi Andy!

We've spoken before about Egypt - I hope you still get there one day

:o)I wanted to ask you about travel guides. I'm sure you have mentioned

having electronic copies of travel guides on your laptop, and I was

wondering where you found them? I'm doing a trip in 5 months from

Beijing, on the Trans-Mongolian Express, joining the Trans-Siberian Express

through to St Petersburg, then through the Baltic States to Vienna, and

finally a stopover in Copenhagen. As you can imagine, I certainly don't

want to lug books for each country or region I'm going through,

because I wouldn't be able to lift my backpack. I was thinking of getting a

handheld computer, which could be my phone, my trip diary, my email

connection, plus my travel guides. I started researching with lonely

planet and rough guide, and can only find a handful of guides available in

electronic format. Do you know somewhere else I can look for this info?

I'm surprised, I would have thought it would have been an easy !

money spinner for lonely planet to have all their guides available by

download, and cheaper too. No printing costs and all that stuff. Anyway,

if you wouldn't mind letting me know, I would be really grateful!




I want to go across central Africa, and when I was in Marrakesh, Morocco I was trying to figure out the guidebook and book problem. I read books for entertainment and to keep from going crazy in some places, so to me book are my lifeline when very bored.

But a Guidebook no matter how bad is still better than no guidebook, in Iraq I used a terrible, but the best guidebook available. It was the only guidebook available, so the best and the worst.

It would be great if I could put a guidebook on my computer.

It would be great if I could put a guidebook on a small palm computer or handheld.

I could have one place for all my guidebooks.

Why is this not available? I think the guidebooks like Lonely Planet are afraid they will destroy their business if they make digital copies. Because as always travelers would find a way to copy and share like they do with music.

My guess is that in the future when maybe internet sites are actually competing with paper books the paper guidebooks will make them available. I have not found any web site that covers any country the same as a guidebook.


Google.com is paying to scan and copy libraries of books. I am not sure how they get around the copyright problems, but maybe all the books in the next few years will be in digital libraries.

I can pay to have guidebooks scanned, but I have no idea how to share these books with anyone without big legal problems. It would cost me about 20 cents USA per page to have a book made into a digital file. I have thought about doing this for my own benefit, but how to share is another problem.

Virtualtourist.com is the closest I know of to having online guidebooks, but they are mainly for 5 star hotels.


I get on the internet and Save As page in folders of information, I have save thousands of internet pages and file them for when I want to refer to them.

Go to the library, check out all the guidebooks and scan the essential pages, you need to convert with OCR or Optical character Recognition. This is not an easy task.

Go to the library copy the pages and carry with you only the essential pages.

I am presently in Taiwan, I would have paid full price for a Lonely Planet Taiwan if it exist, I have not seen one yet, but I suppose it does. However when I went looking in Bangkok I did not find a book. I suppose if I was in a real panic I could have taken a Taxi all over Bangkok to find a guidebook.

But what was my real reason for guidebook?

I wanted to know a cheap room, so the easy solution and it worked was I got on:


I found a room, my guess is I am paying double what I need to pay if I wanted to live real cheap. I am paying 13 U.S. Dollars per night for a nice Hostel, it has TV so I am happy, and a kitchen.

I am only in Taiwan for one week so why worry, I cannot get bent out of shape for 25 dollars extra cost, it would be silly, the guidebook would have cost 25 dollars so I would have not saved any money.

HOWEVER Hostelworld.com only works in 50 percent of the countries, in most the price is way over my desire to visit the country.

HoboTraveler.com solutions... hehehe

I really am looking to make my life easier and then hopefully yours.

I am now in the process of paying some boys from India to enter all the Hotels in India and Thailand under 10 dollars into a computer, they are collecting as I speak.... I hope.

I will put all of them on the internet in the next few months, so I am in the pre-meditated process of trying to get the CHEAP hotels on the internet. If this works I will proceed to go with all the 300 plus countries, places, territories, island, enclave and other on the planet.

But if you or anyone on the planet has better solutions please write a comment below this blog post.

Hobo Members save 1000's of dollars by joining HoboTraveler and asking pro travelers questions on the Hobo Talk Wall.