January 09, 2005

A Maverick Communist

Who doesn't like to receive free "stuff"? Free consultations, free samples, free tickets...Sadly I am thinking of free strolls in the woods with No signs of mad dogs unleashed upon private property trespassing, and picking of free berries, as I did as a kid in the public properties of Socialist Poland. Soon, thanks to American Capitalism extreme, a free ride on a public freeway will be a distant nostalgic memory as well. The Lexus Lanes or the toll lanes for the affluent, are gaining massive support. Instead of focusing on global solutions to highway congestion problems which would benefit everyone, users are simply happy to pay their individualist way to "get ahead" in traffic. The oxymoron of toll Free-ways aside, this post is about Hospitality Club...of which I am a member since September 2004. I stumbled upon the club while reading Kuro5hin. In todays news, the Hospitality Club states:
    We are 36032 members in 167 countries all over the world! Welcome our first members in Ethiopia and on Burundi!
The premise, you guessed it, is generosity of spirit and old fashioned hospitality. Sure, I could rent my spare guest room for 30$ a night and stuff my closet with designer shoes or Louis Vuitton collection of travel accessories, handbags and wallets, to announce to the world: I can afford it - I matter. Instead I had my first hosting experience in December. Two young women from Germany on their Around the World Trip, or what I like to refer to as: A Personal Discovery or Life Experience Excursion, stayed with me. Initial week turned into 3 weeks, we agreed they would dog-sit my puppy as I enjoyed my holiday in London. The arrangement was beneficial to all: my visitors, myself and my dog, the currency was: exchange of favors. A WTO of Free Market of Mutual Help, no caveats, no profit, yet everyone wins - what a concept. Having accomplished my second feat of generosity, first being openly sharing my wireless connection with my neighbors or anyone within 300 feet radius of my router (inspired by Juan, who else..) I therefore knight myself - a Maverick Communist. I will gladly share the title with anyone who matches me with 2 acts of generosity of heart and a desire to keep it up. To those still shy of the "communist" label stigma, here is some fascinating reading from my favorite site Etymonline.