Thursday, June 5, 2008

Ecuador May 14, 2008

Ecuador May 14, 2008

A rainy morning in Paradise.

Yesterday it rained on my way home from school but it was more of a mist than rain. I was reminded of the truly mystical folks who are able to walk between the drops and never get wet. People were ducking into doorways to keep from getting wet while I walked next to the curb and seemed to not get wet. Mystical? I doubt it. Maybe I am so hot that the water vaporized before it hit me? Naw.

My conflict with my school schedule was resolved when yesterday afternoon they hired a new teacher just for me so I can continue to take classes in the morning. His name is Miguel and I am sure that I will be writing about him in the future.

I had Edwin the law student yesterday afternoon. He is a Nazi but that is ok because I call him that to his face. He will be a great attorney as he is a pain in the ass. He is probably the smartest person I have met in a long time so maybe that is part of his problem. When he is not cracking the whip he is actually a very nice guy. He can’t speak English and that is a plus. Those who do speak English are happier to learn English from me rather than teach me Spanish.

I think that I mentioned this before but I will repeat it for those of you who fell asleep. Ecuador uses the United States Dollar as their currency. That makes it very nice when it comes to buying things. Easy to see what it would cost in Denver for example.

One thing that is strange is that they write the amount like this. $10,14 instead of $10.14. Anything under $1 is shown as 00,27. Must be a hold over from before.

Another strange thing is that they use both the new American dollars and coins along with the old Ecuadorian dollars and coins. The value is the same but when you look at your change you question the veracity of the vendor. I have had a couple of arguments with people over this and of course I was wrong.

In all of the time I have lived in Mexico, Guatemala and now Ecuador I have never been cheated. I have been cheated in Summit County, Denver and New York but never in Latin America.

A couple of weeks before I came down here the clerk at Farmer’s Korner Market gave me change for a five when I gave him a twenty. He even put my twenty in the change drawer with the fives. When I called him on it he acted surprised until I pointed to the twenty in the wrong place in the drawer. It is a dangerous place out there in Farmer’s Korner in Summit County. You do not need to worry in Latin America though.

One of the grandchildren at my house told me a story yesterday about how the mouse in his house had eaten some flowers. Then he cracked up knowing the family joke about me and the Cuy. This comedian is all of four years old. It is not nice to make fun of old people. Really though I thought it was cute. Before he told me the story in Spanish he had asked his mother Monica to tell me the story in English to get my reaction. You are never too young to pick on people.

Now for the very bad news. I found a store that sells Snicker’s bars. Snicker’s bars are my weakness. My drug. My heroin. If I could figure out how to put a Snicker’s bar into a needle then I would be set for life.

As I was waiting to buy my drug there was a woman in line in front of me who was very confused and obviously an American. Always easy to spot the Americans. Always loud and overdressed. Anyway I asked her where she was from in English. She responded in Spanish that she was from Florida. I asked her where in Florida in Spanish and she responded in English. Ah the world of the experienced traveler.

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