26.04.2007 19 °C
Thursday, April 26, 2007
Today we (Sarah, Martin and I) went to the Mitudad del Mundo, the equator, the center of the earth, lat 0 0 0 as denoted by a giant monument and a red line. Other than some annoying, pushy french tourists who didn't stay long, the place was deserted. So, since it was mostly sunny at the time, we decided to take a nap, lying right down along the equator. Right side northern hemisphere, left side southern hemisphere, there I slept. Though dark clouds loomed in the mountains beyond, the sun was hot and it was truly relaxing.
Breakfast at this cafeteria this morning was lots of fun. A big glass of some sort of juice (mango?), coffee, two eggs, and a toasty bun smothered with sesame seeds and filled with some sort of white, spongy, salty cheese spread inside. All for $1.50. When I left a tip of 25 c, she was so pleased. It was quite amusing.
Everyone here seems to be selling something. Little children, barely old enough to walk, hold out gum or candies and beseech you with giant, brown eyes, the mother watching nearby. Boys and men climb aboard the buses and try to sell you candy or trinkets. One lady, selling small paintings, followed us for a block, even after we said no.
Yesterday I finally found a grocery store (a surprising feat in this place) so I could find a few things to stash in my room. I bought two bottles of water, two cucumbers, toast crisps, blackberry jam, a bottle of wine, and a glass to drink it with. All for $5.35. I love this country! And things will only get cheaper the further away from Quito I get.
After the grocery store, I hopped in a cab (65 c) on my way back to the hostal. Suddenly, as we were cresting a bit of a hill and about to turn right onto another narrow one way street, a convoy of motorcycles proclaiming "el presidente", followed by a sleek black car appeared. And, waving out the rear window of the car, was the president of Ecuador! He looked like any middle-aged ecuadorian man, albeit very well dressed and waving like the Queen!
I excitedly asked the taxi driver: "¿el presidente? ¿el presidente?"
"Si, Si!", was his elated response.
I was completely thrilled.
I´ve been super busy since I got here, and in good health which I´m sure Mom will be happy to hear. Tomorrow I think I´m going to take it easy, do some writing, and just lie about. I have so much to write, swirling around my brain, but not enough time in a day to write it. This hostal is amazing. Everyone speaks English, and most of the people I meet seem to be either from Austrailia or the UK. Structurally, everything is pretty open, part of the hostal doesn´t have a roof, and rain patters down three stories. But "The Secret Garden" it is. Plants are everywhere, and the plethora of unsealed windows and an open roof gives the plants the light they need. There are tomatoes, calla lilies, and countless other plants everywhere. Stairs, each step a different height, lead between the three floors, and a curved iron staircase leads to the terrace upstairs. The bathroom nearest our dorm has green windows that open out over the plant-y, rain soaked courtyard, a nice view while you´re brushing your teeth. There´s murals and painting everywhere, and all the walls are painted crazy, lively colours. There really are no words to explain this place. Maybe some photos will do the trick. I´ll try to upload them tomorrow. Perhaps the most disconcerting thing about the whole place is the dorm room. As I was lying in bed reading last night (that headlamp is so useful!) the sexy, sexy aussie boy comes in and strips down to his boxers right there. Wipe drool, now! Yeah.. watching them wander around is pure torture. he hee
It´s only nine but I´m exhausted. Sarah and Martin want me to go out for food, but I think sleep sounds better.
Bye for now.