A little while ago I joined the Couch Surfing site. I think it's a brilliant idea and since we're planning to go to China at the end of July I thought it could possibly come in handy (even if we don't stay with anyone maybe some locals would give us some tips) and I love meeting new, interesting people. With anything like this there is a certain amount of apprehension (Will the couch surfer be an eyeball licking freak that steals my panties and puts their socks in my toaster oven?) but the site is really based on people's reviews and has a number of safeguards in place.
We had a nice time with our first couch surfers, Chris and Amelie from Germany. They were polite, funny and lovely people and we showed them around a bit during the three nights they crashed at our place. They didn't even complain about our tight quarters or our ghetto-slow leaking-found on the side of the street air mattress. They just spent 9 months in New Zealand working and traveling (they also made it to Australia and Fiji) and had an extended layover in Seoul on their way back to Frankfurt. It was neat having them with us and I kept having a bit of deja vu since half of Matt's family is German. Hehe.
They seemed to have a good time and probably the highlight was when we took them out for a drink at the local watering hole. We knew the place had a decent beer selection and they were excited to find some German beer they liked (even though it was horrifically overpriced). We had fantastic conversation and got a ton of 'service' (this is what they call free things in Korea). We had service corn, service nacho chips with cheese and salsa and due to an error in the bill, we even got service hand lotion (for the girls) and Heineken ball caps (for the boys) as apology service. A truly memorable experience! I recommend that everyone join couch surfing even if you're not able to host someone since there is an option where you can be contacted for advice/to meet for coffee. It's really cool and who couldn't use a little extra good karma?