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July 28th, 2008

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08:01 am - I just noticed......
I bought a motorcycle Monday, and I was going to write about how this machine has become my nemesis, but then I noticed that I never talked about my trip to Ecuador.... so.

I was in Ecuador for two weeks

I am terrified of flying. My first flight was from Birmingham to Atlanta. Even though I didn't say anything during the flight, when we touched down in Atlanta, the girl sitting next to me said, "You did good." All of my subsequent flights were much better because in Atlanta I learned my personal pre-flight cocktail.... Two beers, a pomegranate martini, dramamine, and a klonopin.

I had a two day lay over in Miami. If you have never been to Miami, don't go. I like to describe it thusly: Even though I didn't see any dogs, I fully expected to be attacked by one.

When I finally arrived in Ecuador, I immediately discovered that I had made an enormous mistake. As it turns out, I don't speak any Spanish, and they sure as hell didn't speak any English. I didn't eat for two days. I would go into places, try to speak a little Spanish and point to things on the menu. They would insist on saying gibberish back to me, and eventually I would just leave. On the second day, I wrote an email to Allison telling her to call the airline and get me out of Ecuador. It would have cost me $800.00 so I stayed. That night, I went to a restaurant, pointed to something and refused to leave until food of some sort was brought to me.

After about the third day, when I calmed down and resigned to the idea that I was going to die in this place, my Spanish started coming back to me. At least well enough to get food, and to get my general point across. I decided to start off my sight seeing slowly, so I went to the equator. It is a funny place because about a hundred years ago they placed a huge, elaborate monument on what they thought was the equator. Then GPSs came out...... As it turns out, there were about 500 yards off. So, the people who own the land 500 yards away, built their own monument. It is a car tire with a sign post sticking out of it. If you go there, they do all of these bizarre experiments to prove to you that you are on the real equator. In one of these, they demonstrate how you are not as strong when you stand directly on the line. To prove this, they asked for the strongest person in the crowd..... And everyone pointed to me! I was, of course, very surprised. Then it dawned on me that at 6'4, I was probably the biggest person in the whole country. I'm pretty sure that the tour guide called me "White Giant."

After that, I became much more adventurous in my explorations. I climbed a volcano.... half way. Rode through the Andes on the Pan-American Highway where I was nearly killed by a land slide, and got lost for several hours by myself in the rain forest.

Maybe I'll post pictures with captions later. Because I went alone, I'm only in a few of them.

(6 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:July 28th, 2008 06:53 pm (UTC)
i loved those experiments on the equator. you're lucky you got to be the strong guy. when we went, there was some dude in my class who pissed us off all the time, and he did the strength test. hilarious! did you try to walk the line without falling off? that was tough.
[User Picture]
Date:July 28th, 2008 08:32 pm (UTC)
Its always hard to walk the line.
[User Picture]
Date:July 28th, 2008 08:13 pm (UTC)
i'm so glad that you posted this account of your trip because, after reading it, my workday didn't seem nearly as bad by comparison!

being overloaded with tedious bank-related tasks is in no way worse than not eating for two days due to inability to communicate with locals and getting lost in the rainforest alone.

good job making it back. i would have lied down in the rainforest and waited to die.
[User Picture]
Date:July 28th, 2008 08:34 pm (UTC)
Normally, I like you, would have laid down to die... but there were giant bugs everywhere.... And I have no doubt that they were all poisonous and deadly.
[User Picture]
Date:July 29th, 2008 02:07 am (UTC)
awesome story. now i can't wait to hear about the motorcycle. please hurry.
[User Picture]
Date:July 29th, 2008 02:29 am (UTC)
So it is written: Your 900th band will be called White Giant. Or, I'll just call you that until it annoys us both.

I'm with Sarah, make with the motorcycle story!

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