Shanghaiist recently caught up with Philippe Tzou, the Shanghai Couch Surfing volunteer. Couch Surfing is a great non-profit organization that helps people travel around the world staying in the homes of like minded people and sharing their knowledge and experiences. Shanghai has developed a unique CS community. As Shanghai-resident Philippe Tzou’s current guest Sascha Wenzlick put it: In Germany loads of people have CS accounts so you don’t get requests to surf so often. But in Shanghai you get weekly requests and CSers even confer to share the guests around.
Philippe calls several places home including Ivory Coast, France, Taiwan and Belgium. He worked for NGOs at the European Union in Brussels. Through working with disability groups he even found himself joining a wheelchair basketball league for a season and, as he put it, “getting owned”. Philippe has now settled on Shanghai and uses his skills and experiences to build the CS community here.
Philippe embraces the philosophy of Couch Surfing and has initiated one of its many collaborative projects. Through fundraising among his old Belgian CS network, he has started The Water Buffalo Project. The project will buy a water buffalo for a poor family in Hubei. It’s no pipe dream either. He has been to the selected village and settled on a family too. Shanghaiist has also had many guests over these past months and if you want to see one of those ‘nice ideas’ working in practice, you need look no further.
Pictured: Philippe Tzou and Sascha Wenzlick.
Watch out for a future post tipping the next CS party/event if you want to get involved.