Manage episode 299923727 series 181562
I was never going to go if I waited for someone to come with me.
It had been so cold and rainy since I arrived in Austria, which didn’t always make travelling and trips outside comfortable. When I stayed with people, I really liked to cook a traditional dumpling dish from my culture and this seemed like suitable food for the gloomy weather. That night in Salzburg, I really wanted to cook something different for my host and so decided to prepare chicken soup for me and my host. This soup recipe had accompanied me throughout my happy and sometimes lonely days living in Spain. The ingredients are packed as bundles to sell in every supermarket in Spain. They usually included celery, carrots, potatoes, leeks and a strange potato-like root that I had just found out was called celeriac (the root of the celery). Since I was on a Eurail journey around Europe, I was glad this bundle could be found in almost every supermarket in Europe, with some minor differences in ingredients from time to time.
After I arrived at Salzburg, I immediately went to the supermarket to pick up some chicken legs and the soup bundle and texted my host Christian that I would make soup for him that night. When he picked me up at the station, he particularly complimented my gesture of making food for him. He said he had been trying to help as many travelers as he could coming to Salzburg with low budgets by offering his place for people to stay in Salzburg, which has been listed the most beautiful city on Lonely Planet and had hotel prices reflecting this status.
Christian was very well-traveled and enjoyed helping travelers through couchsurfing, unlike some male hosts that I saw on couchsurfing who only wished to host female travelers. Christian would receive male or female couchsurfers, and sometimes even more than one traveler in his house. He said most of the time they would just eat separately. Some even would empty his food cabinet. So he was very touched that I offered to cook. Truth to be told, I was simply happy to be able to cook and share my comfort food with someone in a strange city. Not to mention that he was also kind enough to offer me a comfy futon in his cozy living room to sleep on.
After dinner, Christian went out to buy a bottle of red wine instead of us going out in the rain even though the weather outside was still quite miserable. We chatted and shared travel stories together over a few glasses. Though it was a cold and rainy night in Salzburg, the stories, food, wine and good company really warmed me. I stayed two nights at Christian’s place and cooked dumplings again on the second night. I think it was so important for me to be able to reciprocate back to the people who hosted me. Even if I didn’t get the chance to offer something back, I would also pass down the goodwill to the next hosts or guests I receive.
Stay tuned...there’s much more to come!
In the next episode I’ll be sharing a story of finally meeting up with someone who I only chatted once online in person in Salzburg.