Living In Ecuador Week #22: Back In Quito

Monday, August 20:

My coworker who picks me up on the way to work almost forgot me at the bus stop. Thankfully, she saw me at the last second before blazing by.

The first day back at work after vacation felt a little long. It’ll take a little bit to get back in the routine.

During my lunch break, I wrote a story about a guy whose resume simply reads “removes protein daily.”

Tuesday, August 21:

On my walk from the bus stop to my house I encountered a man with a large garden hoe.

He told me his name was Jerry.

He said “God bless you” several times.

He said that his mother was Ecuadorian and his father Puerto Rican.

He said that he lived in Queens, New York for a year. He made it known that he thought there were too many gays in New York (and in Quito as well for that matter), but that he didn’t hate them.

I told him I worked at a travel agency. He said I should teach English classes and that he’d like to improve his own English.

He asked me if I understood Spanish. I told him that I understood some.

I was a little wary during the conversation. Talking to a wide-eyed dude carrying a large garden hoe when it’s dark outside puts you on a bit of alert.

But besides the homophobia, I kinda liked Jerry. He stopped maybe half a block before my house (maybe he’s my neighbor?) and we parted ways.

I thought to myself, “maybe I can be friends with this guy.”

When you’re short on friends in a foreign country, the most unlikely candidates seem appealing.

I told Kali the story. She doesn’t think I should be friends with him.

Wednesday, Thursday, Friday:

Work. And a Spanish lesson that surprisingly went well. I asked for some review, so that helped.

Saturday, August 25:

Kali and I went to Parque La Corolina in the city. We stumbled upon a compelling piece of art. To me, it looks like the characters are playing tug of war without a rope. Is it an unnecessary struggle or a perfect balance? Whatever the significance, I enjoyed the intensity of it.

Walking back to our house after the trip into the city, we encountered Jerry. He talked to us for longer than we probably wanted. After the second meeting, I’m more convinced of his weirdness. Probably not going to be friends with Jerry.

After supper, we hung out with some of the volunteers from Manna Project International, a non-profit that serves the local community with health and English classes. Kali volunteers there on Wednesday evenings and teaches a cooking class. We chatted for a while and then watched Ace Ventura: Pet Detective.

Sunday, August 26:

Kali found a board game event on MeetUp that meets every other Sunday. It was hosted at a board game cafe, El Baul del Enano. We got to meet the owner and Pedro, the guy who organized the meetup. They both spoke English and we played two games of Dungeon Raiders and one game of Ticket To Ride. I was thankful we didn’t have to join in on D&D or anything too extreme. I left feeling really encouraged that we made a connection with some new people.

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