Unica Chica!

August 31, 2006

Well this Unica Chica! (as called by Silvano, my smartypants Spanish teacher) has been getting to grips with living locally.

Starting with getting a lift up to the farm at the weekend with Alvoro (an ex of Sally’s who has a hacienda near the farm in Pintag – and yes, before you ask, he is 35 and rather nice – newish twin cab Chevy pickup, 4.5l diesel engine, sounds like a tank).

We called at his parents apartment (and umm yes, they own the building) to deliver the world’s largest gas bbq to his father so that he can take it to the beach (that’s the other hacienda at the beach by the way), anyway, after the detour, we had a beer (no-one ever goes straight to anywhere over here) in Mariscal. Alvoro’s not looking too comfy sitting under the gas burner on his metal chair – he explains, it’s because he’s trying to conceal a handgun down the back of his jeans. OMG.

This is normal apparently. He has a licence for it. And cos he’s rich, it’s usual for him to protect himself at his hacienda against nasty people and the like. Ick. Ho hum, he gives the pistole to me to look at when we’re safely back in the truck. (He had it with him in the bar, because he didn’t want to leave it in the truck). It’s black, really heavy and has one of those gun makers names (but not Smith and Wesson) that you read about in American thrillers. Interesting and just a little bit scarey. I didn’t think to ask if it was loaded. I don’t think I wanted to know.

Came back into Quito today… waiting at the bus stop in Pintag as usual. No-one else there, figured I’d just missed a bus. Anyway, this big MACK truck full of volcanic rock… there’s tonnes of these trucks going up and down all day and night with rock in them, presumably to make all the breeze blocks that everything is built of out here. They drive past the field when I’m riding (shattering that rural idyl you’d got in your mind eh?) and sometimes they wave, say buenas or honk. (Pintag is the only ONLY place I know in the world where you can get wolf whistled for riding a horse by the way)… anyway this truck stops and honks, I understand he’s offering me a lift, so I climb on up into the cab.

Previously I’ve stood at the bus stop and watched while the whole bus queue leaps into the back of a passing pick-up, whilst I stand there like an idiot foreigner. In the country public transport is a tad infrequent and if you can save 20 centavos, why on earth not.  Anyway, so got a lift with Charlie into Pintag, managed some very ropey conversation on the way down the road. (NB Charlie is the first divorced person I’ve met or even heard over here in Ecuador – Muchas Catolicas over here). He’s also about 60, has been to England about 20 years ago and owns his own truck. Did well heh?)

Bought a glut of avocados (ten for $2) in Pintag and came into town.

There’s no water at the house in Quito. Am going out with friends to see a band and can’t get washed. Ick. Urgh. Shower or no, gotta go, am going to be late.  

Baaa x


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