Pet Monkey of the sponsored boy I visited in Ecuador
5 years since I left that moldy office.
Here’s an excerpt of a 100 page book I have not touched for a year, that still needs some writing..
May 15, 2012- On my adventures in Ecuador.
I ́ve finally got the time to blog about my first 2 days
in Ecuador. The manager of the internet place just
asked me if I ́m married, it ́s not likely that random
strangers will make conversation with you by asking
about your boyfriend or spouse. He said, “your
boyfriend is in Ecuador?”. To which I said “America”.
I ́m in a random hole in the wall internet cafe, except
there is no coffee. It ́s called a “cabina”. I rode in a 5
hour bus to Tena from Quito today.
What I ́ve fortunately realized is that Ecuador is
probably the most beautiful place on earth, and
also the people are one of the kindest people on
earth as well. Unlike the pre- warnings that “omg”,
you are going to get robbed and beware of men
there, men in fact, especially the older ones have
been like papas to me. Today on the bus, I met a bus
driver who helped me find a hostel and find my way
around Tena. Then previously, a medicine salesman
helped me get to the terminal and take the right bus
He was very kind, though I don ́t understand why he
said he wanted to see a movie with me when I
already told him I had a boyfriend.
I paid 10 bucks to stay at a hostel. The hostel has a
little gap above the door so you can hear what drama
the owners are watching. The amazonias get really
cold at night, though during the day, it ́s like living
24-7 in a hot steam bath. I feel yucky. It feels like
living in Taiwan. The night, the markets do resemble
Taiwan markets from 15 years ago. Though Taiwan is
now much cleaner and more modernized.
I was thinking about how I ́m the only asian woman
walking on the street.
Sometimes you start to feel like an exotic animal
that everyone stares at. Now I know how white
people feel in Asia, except in this case, it ́s an Asian
in Ecuador. Staring is very normal, it seems.
The concept of private space does not exist here.
Personal space? What? When people point to tell you
something, they definitely cross your American
space, bypassing the normal boundaries of your
boobs. Of course, I ́m crossed and pissed. Though I
have realized, hey, they are not the only ones.
Sometimes they don ́t stop talking until you tell
them, ”I ́m going to take a nap”.
This morning, I was freaking out about how I would
get to Tena, I prayed. Then, when I was buying a 30
cent comb the medicine salesman happened to be
going there. Thank god! I would say, Ecuadorians are
WAY more hospitable than people in LA. I mean no
one in LA would take the time to help you.
Plus, if you think about it, no one goes walking in
Skidrow at night anyways. All the things you do at
home, is what you would do in a foreign country.
Speaking of foreign, I hope that I never act foreign,
besides the language barrier. I hope I ́m never
someone that treats locals with disrespect. I was
analyzing and observing today, and thinking about
what it means to be foreign.
And of course, how everything my American friends
warned me of, happens to be 99 percent not true. Of
course, we have to be careful wherever we go, but my
time in Ecuador, for the two days, have proven to be
positive…besides feeling like an exotic animal and
the sometimes ̈freaking annoying remarks
“cheennnnaaa” as in Chinese. Because the very idea
that a Chinese would come from Los Angeles seems
so foreign, I have to try really hard to be patient.
At a salon in Tena where Asians are rarely sighted.
The nice man who helped me find a hostel