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Whoever I told about this, would not believe me. They would be totally astonished. To be honest, this was my first reaction, too. This reaction lasted for some 20 minutes, and then I decided to put my energy elsewhere. For example, write a good feedback on this one. Unfortunately, Couchsurfing only allows up to 1,000 characters on references. My comeback hat 2,255. After some thinking, I decided to put a short version on Couchsurfing and the “director’s cut” on here. To make sure everybody had the possibility of reading both, there’s links going to and fro.
Long story even longer – here’s my full reference for Hope.
Thanks for the feedback and sorry for not providing you with the services you were expecting. Speaking up during your stay would have avoided it being not as nice as it could have been.
My side of the story:
Georg and I took Hope on a city walk on Sunday night, showed her most of the Inner City and gave her some background information on less famous sights. Monday morning, though my profile states that I leave the flat by 7.30 am, Georg stayed home longer as Hope slept in. We indeed provided Hope with a map, and I’m pretty sure Georg also told her a thing or two about Vienna. During Monday, I found some people who could spend some time with Hope, by posting the fact that I did not have time on the Vienna Group. I indeed forwarded Hope’s number to one person, and I know I should have asked before. Of all the other people who sent me messages saying they would like to meet her, I sent the numbers to her Austrian prepaid number. I never said they all were friends. In fact, two of them are, and they spent nearly the whole of Monday together. In the evening, we met Hope and the others at a nice restaurant tourists would not find too easy – kind of an insider tipp. Both evenings, it was nearly impossible to start a conversation that would take longer than 5 minutes. Georg and I had the feeling that we did not really connect – but that’s one risk in Couchsurfing. This is why after trying some times we gave up trying to start a conversation. Also, there did not seem to be any effort coming from Hope.
Still, this is NOT a negative reference – because Hope was a nice, clean, quiet couchsurfer and did not cause any problems (apart from this reference which caused quiet a fuzz).
**Dear Hope, just let me tell you: I’m sorry that things did not work out the way you expected it. Still, it would be great if you could change the “overall experience” from negative to at least neutral. Only because you did not get a connection to somebody, is not a reason to give them a negative reference. Negative references should be a WARNING of strange, creepy, even dangerous people – and I honestly do not know of anyone who would consider me being even one of those things.
Thanks a lot and take care on your future travels.**
The part which is not displayed on Couchsurfing starts and ends at the **-markings. You can find the short version on Hope’s profile.