house guest.11

Our latest guest was of a new variety. Rather than family members or friends we'd known since elementary school, this guest was one we had never met before. For the first time in our lives, we hosted a couchsurfer! NS has been wild about this online community recently, and he listed our Grand Cayman residence as an available "couch". It didn't take long before we had a confirmed surfer. 

SM hails from Australia by way of Seattle (and more recently, Mexico and South America in a VW bus), visiting Cayman for a friend's wedding. He met up with a handful of Seattle cronies here in Cayman, and NS enjoyed showing the boys around the island, including a boat day to Stingray City. Since NS was the main entertainer, I don't have lots of photos, but I do have the following series of the two guys filleting and cooking a red snapper that walked out of the sea and into their laps. (Really. Some snorkeler snagged this fish that had met with a tangle of fishing line and asked if we would take it.)

So the boys tried their hand at fish preparation (after an appropriate amount of youtube educational videos.)  I couldn't be bothered, other than to photograph the process and find them a recipe online. Oh, and to eat the results.

Warning: Semi-gruesome fish-dismemberment photos ahead!

Captured the expressions mid-stream. Gritty work, filleting.

I'm not about to promote NS as the world's new leading surgeon, but I think he did pretty well.

Soon the snapper was half dissembled (if that's the appropriate word.)

Once the messy work was complete (and adequately documented), I retired to the living room (probably to blog) while the boys prepared the meal.

Admitted failure: I don't have the recipe to share with you. At the time, I googled snapper recipes and used one of the top results. Obviously, it involved scallions and honey, but I think the boys changed one or two ingredients. Anyway, the point is they took care of all the preparation, and even took the photos.

So, while the recipe above is cooking, I'll let NS give you his take on the couchsurfing community:

Admittedly, when I first came across the Couchsurfing concept, I was excited for all of the dollars I would save on lodging during our travels around Europe. As I researched the community, I began to get more excited about the opportunity to meet people with ideas and cultures that are different from my own. Too often we take the easy way out by only socializing with people who fit into our comfort zone. CS forcefully pushes us out of that comfort zone and deepens our ability to connect with people from all walks of life. It's a great way to share with others what we have been blessed with.    -- NS

The fish is ready! Fish never really takes long to cook. That's one of the things I like so much about it. However, living in Grand Cayman has made me trend more towards ordering fish (almost exclusively) when I am out at a restaurant, so I end up not cooking it as often at home.

Final presentation
They served me a plate as I sat on the couch, mid-blog. Unceremonious, I'll admit, but still quite tasty.

I think the point of couchsurfing, really, is to meet a variety of people, compare notes on adventures you've had, and learn to be hospitable to the community at large. I'll admit: It's a stretching experience for me, but a healthy one, I'm sure.

SM, picking away: Our evening entertainment. Happy travels, buddy!