Our couch is not in an excellent shape, however all the conventional facilities are there. I also expect decent standards of hygiene from you (i.e. no peeing on the floors).Shashank, New Delhi, Indiawww.couchsurfing.com What sort of person offers up their couch to complete strangers? Andhow can said strangers be sure that the owner of that couch is not an axe-wielding psychopath? Intrigued by this fast-growing phenomenon Brian Thacker set out on a couch surfing tour of the globe to discover how and why dossing on someone's lounge room floor has become the latest, hippest way to travel.It's time to grab your passport, strap yourself in and join Brian as he travels through the Americas, Africa, India, Iceland and places in between, sleeping on floors and couches, under drum kits and in wardrobes; hanging out with some of the strangest, most charming, entertaining or just plain crazy people you could hope --- or perhaps hope not --- to meet. There's Mariana of Rio de Janeiro, who is, in her own words, the coolest and happiest Carioca in Rio; Sm ri from Reykjav k who fed Brian rancid shark; and not forgetting the very hospitable Bob from Chicago (who even threw in a riot just to make him feel at home) to name but a few. Then again, after a night fighting off malaria-carrying mosquitos in a sweat pit in Nairobi you may never feel like leaving home again.Brian has no idea just where he's going to end up or what he's getting himself into, but you can bet your bottom dollar (and his) that this will be one strange, weird, wonderful, mildly terrifying and very funny adventure. BRIAN THACKER is the author of five previous travel books and has slept on beds, couches and floors in 77 countries. Brian lives in Melbourne with his wife Natalie and daughter Jasmine where he only very rarely gets sent to sleep on the couch.