28.10.2012 - 31.03.2013 20 °C
Tranquilo? Tranquilo. This is a password you shold keep in mind when coming here and not being from tropics. Rule number 1.
Even now when I am sitting in an internet cafe in Baeza waiting for a not coming email from an Ecuadorian, I am thinking about it. It actually began at the very first moment I entered Ecuador. I was expecting my supervisor to wait me at the airport. There was no supervisor, no phone call from him.
Rule number 2: Keep your Lonely Planet always close to you. This saved my first two nights in Quito .
After my arrival to Quito I fell like hangovered for two days. Quito is with its 2.800 m the highest capital in the world. The combination of jet-lag and theelevation caused my "hangover". This city seemed to me as one of the most colourful but also dirty places I have ever been to (sorry, I have not been in India yet . Ecuador has many tribes and etnic groups and all this mix is possible to see right in Quito. Moreover, there are many beautiful parks with epifyts (!) and colibris (!).
The rule number 1 is my favorite one, applied daily. Everything seems to be adventurous when you arrive here. Even going by bus! A crazy driver goes about 100 km/h through narrow roads and steep slopes. The bus is full of people, children, talking. Traditionally, we all can watch a movie full of aggression or sex. I think that this is the only movie that can keep one´s concentration, because the outside sceneries are awesome. Cloud forests and grassy paramos look even better than on internet pics. Suddenly, we are at 4.200 m a.s.l. This is the highest point on Earth I have ever been to! It came very suddenly.
All other possible actions on an Ecuadorian bus are also very adventurous! Such as standing, or paying, or getting out. The bus employs two persons; one driver and one...codriver..? What the driver does is already known. The codriver takes care of the door and making sure that everybody who enters the door also pays. To pay is not easy when you are standing. Not at all. While looking for your wallet in your backpack, all your other stuff just roll all over the bus. If you want to get out of the bus, you need to be on time. The bus does not really stop at the smaller busstops so you have to literally jump out of the bus.
Rule number 3: Do not trust all what they say.
Ecuadorian people are very humble and nice people. But taking with a bit of irony everything what they say may help you not having trouble. I found out that my intuition really counts here. I find that it is possible to see into people here a bit and recognize when they are saying something and meaning something else. However, after being almost four years in the "straight" Netherlands, this was quite a shock. Sentences such as: "No, five dollars per day is ok", or "Yes, I am really a forest manager", or "Do you love me?", tought me to trust here more what I feel than what I think. I am still learning, I must say.
The email from the Ecuadorian did not come. I will try to have the work done at home, in Baeza de las Palmas. Tranquilo.