Project 365: Day 297 – Couchsurfing. Without a host

24th April 2015 – Riga, Latvia

I’ve been given a spot to sleep in, 
Even if the owner has gone far away.
Sometimes, all the world needs is a little trust.
Because trust has us all in its sway.
House of blackheads in Riga, Latvia

This housed unmarried German merchants in the past. Now, unmarried Indian men click it. – House of Blackheads in Riga, Latvia


Couchsurfing in Riga turned out to be interesting. I’ve couchsurfed in over 24 countries so far, and collected many friends in different countries thanks to this platform. So much that an Indian newspaper recently ran an article about couchsurfing which carried my photo on it! (Bragging rights!)

But nothing prepared me for the eye-opening experience I had today. Yeah, couchsurfing is all about trust, but some people take trust in humans way too far. To the point where you stop to wonder if there ever was any evil thought in the world.

Guntis was to host me for 3 days, but we had a small confusion about which 3 days. He thought I would join him for a weekend trip to Lepa, his hometown. But I have a bus leaving to Tallinn tomorrow. He had already promised his family and his in-laws of him arriving today evening, so he couldn’t back out either.

I offered that I can find a hostel for the night, and it was no big deal at all to me. But he was adamant that I stay in his place! And just leave the keys in the postbox when I leave the next day! The only request that he had was that I leave the toilet door open for his cat, Timys.

I didn’t show it to him, but I was touched beyond words.

After he left in the evening, I took a short stroll around Riga old town, and clicking around. Of all the buildings in old town, what really caught my attention was the House of the Blackheads. I could have sworn this was some name straight out of Game of thrones, but it wasn’t. The house was home to the brotherhood of the blackheads, a guild for unmarried German merchants in the Riga.

Ironically, it was the Germans who bombed it to oblivion during the Second World war, after which it was rebuilt in the 1990’s.

Click here for the previous day’s post. Or you can follow this project from Day 0, by clicking here

Unless mentioned otherwise, all pictures are taken by the blog admin. If you would like to use them for any commercial or non-commercial purposes, please contact for approval



About Abhi Surendran

Abhi quit his corporate job, and decided to immerse himself in travels, photography, occasional periods of bankruptcy, and copious amounts of insanity. He is currently working on a book of his experiences, and a dream road trip through South Asia. Both in a haphazard fashion. He blogs at Iamnothome and you can also catch him at times on Facebook and twitter.

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