Couchsurfing in Stroud, U.K.

Cotswold, U.K. | Bel Around The World

It’s my first couchsurfing experience and they provided me with the best hospitality. Not only did they pick me up, they drove me to the places I wanted to see around Cotswold, namely Cirencester and Bourton-on-the-Water, and let me try traditional Cornish pasty. We spent most of our day on this road trip, with Andy kindly stopping to check out certain viewpoints and also a Roman Amphitheatre. He was very knowledgeable and explained how each stone that’s built in each town is exclusive to their towns. When I reached their home, it was nothing I expected. Nestled in the birdhouse so they can watch birds.

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It was Pancake Tuesday in 2 days so they decided to celebrate it in advance with me just so I can experience what it’s like celebrating such a day, by cooking pancakes from scratch.

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Pancake Tuesday happens 40 days before Easter. Traditionally, butter, eggs and milk are not eaten in that 40 days leading to Easter, hence they use it up on Pancake Tuesday. Up until today, they are unforgettable. How something so simple can taste so heavenly is baffling to me. We had mushrooms, grated cheese and peas on the pancake for the main (savoury), lemon zest with sugar on the pancake for dessert (sweet).

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Andy spoke in length about the benefits of learning Java, showed me his travel photos (esp of Greenland & Iceland), chatted more about his hobbies in air pistol, archery, how he retired before 50. I also learned from him about how petrol costs 1.12 pounds/ litre and there’s a 70% tax on fuel here.

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If there’s two things I noticed, it’s that all English houses are carpeted. It’s said to keep the heat in. And that Asians (or rather, I) lack in the department of speaking with eye contact. I could really see how ernest Andy & Rachel were as they regale their stories to me.

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I astound myself by pushing my boundaries time and again. First it was Couchsurfing on my own.

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Then it was Couchsurfing right in the middle of a countryside (who knows how I’m going to escape if something untoward happens to me?), then hiking on my own in the middle of a forest I know nothing of, and doing that just after a downpour. Standing at crossroads in the middle of the lush green and muddy ground, trusting my gut and sense of directions to bring me to the right direction. Feeling the fear but doing it anyway. I’m beginning to be comfortable in my own skin.

 

15 Feb, Sun – 16 Feb, Mon

4 Comment

  1. […] had encounters with very kind hosts. The moment my hosts in Stroud, U.K. picked me up, they dove right into a road trip, to places that I said I wanted to go. My […]

  2. […] way Andy and Rachel, my couchsurfers, navigate around Cotswold – using physical maps, showed the stark contrast between living in […]

  3. […] is considered expensive even by locals, you can still explore the UK on a budget, like how I couchsurfed in The Cotswolds, and got 5£ musical tickets to watch Matilda. Don’t avoid London though – […]

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