Friday, August 04, 2006

In which I heroicly chase down a pickpocketer...

OK, by "heroicly" i may mean "selfishly" and by "chase" i may mean "follow slowly because he was an old man", but stay with me people!

So I started my week off properly with getting my wallet stolen on the ecovia on sunday. This was particularly disturbing becuase for once i had a significant amount of cash with me as i was on my way to quicentro to do some shopping. But, never fear, i got it back! Here's the story... so I get and the ecovia is crowded, which is always dangerous. After a while a little old man got on, and proceded to lean on me. Which was slightly suspicious, but not very much so becuase it's pretty common for little old people to lean on you in a crowded trole/ecovia,and because if anyone is ever so blatantly in position to rob you i'm more suspicious that they are the distraction and really someone else is behind you rifling through your bag. But he also had a sweatshirt covering his arm, and was leaning on me right where i had my wallet. So as soon as he started to get off I checked my pocket, and sure enough, my wallet was gone!! Fortunately i was able to push my way off out of the closing door and fortunately his "i'm a little old man with a limp" thing wasn't an act, so I easily caught up to him in the station. Where my survival insticts had totally kicked in and i just started screaming at him because how dare he just rob me right to my face?? In the middle of which he basically just dropped the wallet and took off. He didn't even have time to take anything out. Dispite sort of coming to my own rescue and whatnot, I was still really really upset, i think mostly because it was so blatant and there's nothing you can do in this country, except shout "fuera!!" and watch him limp down the street. And sort of feel bad for him since clearly his family isn't providing for him, and he's really not a very good pickpocket. It certainly never occurred to me waste my time calling the police. Anyway, I hope that's the one brush i get with crime in ecuador (my camera notwithstanding...).

This week has continued to be action packed, mostly in the fun way and not the "i hate ecuador" kind of way. Still working nonstop all week, though thankfully my early morning student has left for the US, so i don't start work until 9:30 amd all my classes are at the experiment. This hasn't resulted in more sleep as much as it has resulted in me going out every night after work. Monday was Crepes y Waffles (where we did eat both crepes Y waffles, thank you very much.) Tuesday was a trip to Western Bar in honor of Rebecca and her friend's one day in quito during their travels. Actually, for me and john and jorge it was more like three vistits to western bar. First we drove to the one nearby that we always go to. After parking and finding so gringas inside, we realized rebecca had in fact specified the wetsern bar on eloy alfaro. After driving down there and parking, again, we again discovered no gringas. To which the helpful waiter supplied the information that there are in fact FOUR locations and we were at Eloy alfaro y Shyris, and probably wanted Eloy Alfaro y Portugal. OK, so back into the car to portugal, where we find no sign of the bar. Several calls to rebecca later, and we finally made it. Someday I'll have to visit the 4th location to complete the western bar erpic. Wednesday night Berry and I met up with her ecuadorian friend at ocho y medio, which is a really hip cafe/theater that has a variety of movie series. (currently including "classics of latin american cinema" and "spike lee".) That was another adventure in which despite our having an address and a map, our taxi driver informed us that he couldn't take us to the location, only to a nearby street. Once we approached howvere, he got more ambitious and we drove around for a while alternately consulting the map and unsuspecting passerbys. When we arrived we found the only two movies playing were "el coronel que no tiene quien le escribe" (the description: a colonel waits for his pension but the townspeople know it will never come.) or "lesbianas de buenos aires". After much discussion, we settled on el colonel, which turned out to be an adaptation of a gabriel garcia marquez story, and was beautifully shot. (Probably the only movie i've ever seen where EVERY SINGLE scene was a oner, that is a shot without any cuts. See, i did learn something from that debacle of a film class! My parents didn't completely waste their money on my expensive university education...)

Last night i finally stayed in, which was key becuase i had a chance to clean up and wash dishes before the arrival of our latest roommate. Don't know how long this one's staying, but she's another FARO intern.

Today's highlights included a class, a yummy vegetarian almuerzo at justin's fav restaurant, and paying the rent and phone bill. And will soon include my last spanish class for the forseeable future. My homework was about spanish probverbs, so i will leave you with this piece of wisdom:

"De tal palo, tal astilla" (As the stick is, so is the splinter. aka "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree")


  1. My daughter defeats a pickpocket! And has the heart to empathize with his impoverished situation. This might be my favorite Ecuador story so far. (Well, maybe not quite as entertaining as the post office stories...) Soon you will have enough material for a book or screenplay. Seriously.

  2. Just another day on the trole. (too bad the day of the hatpin is gone). Just one more room-mate, this one without a name. Just one more night of adventure with some good friends. Just one more wonderful tale to tell.

  3. yes, my parents are weird. dan, you can give me scriptwriting lessons!!

  4. R, you are a hero. Awesome story. :)

  5. I thought I was following the blog pretty well but now I find out that I couldn't have possibly been. WhO's bERRy?