Saturday, March 7, 2009

Some Vignettes from Quito

So, I had a few short stories that I found of interest here in Quito. I thought I might share. These are from my journal.

"There's a guy here in the Ministerio de Gobierno with a rattail down to the middle of his back. In the crowd, there's an 8 year old with one that barely reaches his collar. Heroes.

I went to the Museo Nacional del Banco Central de Ecuador. Basically, the equivalent of any national museum, which houses artifacts important to the history of the corresponding country. I made some drawings cause they wouldn't let me take photos. Good stuff...really good stuff. Artifacts from 3 and 4 thousand years ago. All different cultures with descriptions of each one's contribution and how these are reflected in their artistry. Most everything was made of clay.

On speakers plays what I assume are various traditional songs, chants, etc...

Then comes the colonial's called Genesis. Oh boy. Compared to the darkness of the room which housed the pre-colonial business, this area seems to be lit by the light of JC himself. The music makes me think he's gonna appear at any moment. That'd be embarrassing, eh?

From the vista de la terraza, I see two borrachos peleando en la calle. La policia llegaron y les pegaron a los dos crudos. Se reinieron despues. In the morning, from the same view, I see a drunk guy puking in the street. He's having a bad one...a walk of shame, if you will.

While sitting on the Plaza de San Francisco, I witness an argument between two women. One woman is working at the bathroom stand, where the public pays a certain tariff to go wee-wee. I don't know what the argument is about, but one woman called the other 'cochina, mocosa,' and more unspeakables. It was really good stuff.

Today sitting on the plaza I witnessed an older gentleman, with a glorious bronze, digging in the garbage. In the middle of his searching, which didn't seem to be going well, the poor gentleman's trousers fell beneath his knees, exposing his underbreetches. Did the gentleman cease his search, you ask? That'd be a hell no, friend. Hell no.

I walked over to Plaza Santo Domingo to check it out. It's a couple of blocks down the road. As I approached, I heard singing and music coming from the direction of the Plaza. As I got closer, I noticed that a group of uniformed performers were singing, accompanied by instruments of various types. In the moment of climax of the song came the words, 'somos policia.' Turns out, the National Police of Ecuador have a soft side for music.

I'm sitting in the Hostel reading Pedagogia del Oprimido, and I just realized that the hostel also serves as a whorehouse. Of course, this is a guess, though it's based on the following evidence, which is incontrovertible. It's three in the afternoon. Three couples have entered, used the back corner room, and each has subsequently left. Furthermore, the last lady has just come out of the room after a minute, purchased a condom from Don Jose, and returned with a smile on her face.

Saw a guy steal a carton of cigarettes, grab a 2 by 4, and run away. He was being chased by a sanitary worker with a rag covering his neck. I wonder if he knows it's already brown as hell. The owner of the little stand from whom the cigarettes and the lumber were robbed is also chasing the ladron, although she's a bit on the hefty side, and her speed is therefore compromised. The ladron seems to prefer to deal with her rather than the ragged sanitary worker, whose shirt is orange and who wears blue jeans and honcho boots. He also has a mustache. The duena, or owner, finally gets to the ladron, or thief, and grabs the block of wood. He acquiesces, and as soon as he does, he is chased down the street and cursed by Raggedy Sanitandy. Up the street the ladron proceeds, the box of glory in his hands. He has a mustache as well. He looks very much like a 'some day you're gonna die laughing characters from Roger Rabbit.

Last night, one of the guys who runs the Hostel Residencial Sucre, Don Jose Miguel Abad Carrion, got really drunk. He drinks every night with his buddy of many years, the former Sargeant in the National Army, Rodrigo Lanas. DJMAC is very proud to be of European roots in Southern Ecuador. SNARL is very proud to have indigenous blood, Yupanqui, amongst others. They argue about this all the time. Anyway DJMAC was really drunk last night. Somehow, he found his way downstairs into the middle of the street, and was hollering about this and that. It seems he recently lost a girlfriend, and is quite broken up about it. Fabian, a fella from Argentina, today poked fun at DJMAC's drunken blunderous rampage, and it was clear DJMAC was somewhat embarrassed. He calls me his 'pan.'

Sitting on the balcony of my new room today, I witnessed a new one for me. A woman was walking with her daughter. All of a sudden, Ma (presumably) pulls Daughter's (presumably) pants down, places one hand behind her knees and another in the middle of Daughter's back. Ma sweeps daughter off of her feet, with the plane of her back perpindicular to the ground. Daughter starts pissing onto the sidewalk. Daughter finishes pissing onto the sidewalk. The piss hurries to get to the drain in the street, hoping to someday make it to the middle of the Earth, I assume. Pants up, piss evacuated, and Ma (presumably) and Daughter (presumably) head off into the hills of Quito Viejo. That little girl clearly had no respect for public property.

Okay, ladies. We have a tie. It seems that the boys team couldn't hold it, either. Today, I saw a similar situation, albeit this time with a collaborator. Grandma (presumably) shielded Son (presumably) along with Ma (presumably) while Son leaked his lizard onto the sidewalk. Piss didn't change it's role. That little boy clearly had no respect for public property.

Boys, 1, Girls, 1."

More to come.

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