May 29, 2009
From Living Poor, written by a Peace Corps Volunteer who came to Ecuador in the 1960s. He lived in a village on the coast long enough to start a cooperative, avoid a few drunken machete fights, and discover the impossibility of an 8-hour workday on a diet of bananas. I put down One Hundred Years of Solitude and finished it in two days, it was so good. Not everyone can breathe through months of true cultural difference and not everyone can write well. Great literary non-fiction is special.
As for the quotation, I had to read it twice, because it smacked of ¨In country X, the people are Y.¨ Then I counted my conversations with Ecuadorian women. Beyond superficial chats at the beach and the bar, and the bilingual comedies with my language partner, none.
May 25, 2009
Sunday we walked the Old City, a place as colonial and thief-ridden as the books say. By luck, it was Independence Day, so streets were blocked to traffic and cyclists emerged in packs to enjoy their annual day of relative safety.
We wandered into a square full of people.
Correa y Chavez vienen!
More luck by the minute. Ecuador's president and the crazy Venezuelan himself were on their way. We waited. Heladitos were sold. We waited some more. And then, with helicopter racket overhead...
May 23, 2009
We all wished we were in arrivals. Then our friends would be on the other side of the wall, sweating, smiling, instead of taxiing back to town for a dollar.
May 21, 2009
1. He had the guts to wear a blow-up sumo suit to the Parade of Lost Souls, bus ride included.
May 19, 2009
May 18, 2009
May 15, 2009
Went to the health clinic at the naval base today.
May 11, 2009
Grey's Anatomy with Spanish subtitles all afternoon and a bowl of sesame-covered peanuts.