Alex and I arrive in Paris together. It is much smaller and less crowded than I had imagined. My first couchsurfing host is Frédéric. He is a CS ambassador and has hosted over 150 people. When Alex and I arrive at his apartment there is a reporter from Le Monde waiting for us. She is working on a piece about the couchsurfing project. A photographer takes several pictures of us with Frédéric and his couch. People often ask about the safety of couchsurfing, but Frédéric tells me there have been only a few minor incidents since it began in 2004. The biggest incident that has been recorded thus far involved an American CSer who repeatedly borrowed money from his hosts and disappeared without returning it.
Surprisingly trusting, Frédéric goes to his girlfriend's for the night and leaves me with spare keys to the apartment.
Picture: Frédéric on a Free Hugs campaign.
Picture: My first couch.