April 7, 2009

CouchSurfing Passover Pace
Giv'atayim, Israel and the Palestinian Territories

I've relocated to my second CouchSurfing host for Tel Aviv after just two nights on Rita and Lev's IKEA-brand futon. Dima, a jovial Russian-roots bachelor living in the Giv'atayim district of Tel Aviv, has been kind enough to share his living space with me.

Over the past month I've searched through hundreds and hundreds of Israeli profiles, ultimately approaching around 30 people/couples/families that I think would be appropriate for either myself as a single traveler, or for my little family when we're reunited (on the 10th of April, after spending these past three months apart).

But this has been a difficult time of year to secure CouchSurfing hosts. Passover traditions (officially starting up today), family obligations, and vacations are plentiful during this part of the spring, and as such, I've found that folks have been less likely to host—and those that do are opening their homes/sharing their lives for shorter, more restrictive periods of time.

Since leaving Lebanon, my CS hosts have kept me shuffling around at a rather exhausting tempo. The overnight pace has/will look something like this: 2-3-2-2-2…

  • Mar 31 & Apr 1 | Kemal - Damascus, Syria
  • Apr 2, 3 & 4| KK - Amman, Jordan
  • Apr 5 & 6 | Rita & Lev - Tel Aviv, Israel
  • Apr 7 & 8| Dima - Giv'atayim, Israel
  • Apr 9 & 10 | Meytal & Yoav - Giv'atayim, Israel
  • Apr 11-16?| Ofer & Inbal - Na'ale, Israel/Palestine (in the West Bank)

But relocating frequently within Tel Aviv isn't that big of a deal—it's disruptive, but it's not like I'm actually spending hours changing cities. More than anything, it's simply draining to always be conversationally 'turned on', in mode where you keep reintroducing/explaining yourself every 48 hours.

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