Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Good Bye, Ecuador! Two Weeks of Things I'll Miss: Day 8 - The House Gecko

It stalks its prey in the darkness of night.  Its beady eyes shining across the room.  "Cheep, cheep, cheep," it peeps, scurrying from beneath the frame of calla lilies on the wall.  It's on the prowl for any trespassers, and I welcome it's appetite.  ........He's the house gecko!

No, as my dad lamely joked, he does not offer any other types of insurance, but it serves its pest-patrol purpose well and is usually quite tidy about it.  Plus they are tiny and adorable and sort of pink-colored.

Unfortunately, being that they are nocturnal, I don't have any photos.  In lieu of the house gecko, please accept this photo of it's Amazonian brethren, a bigger, well-fed fellow that was visible by candlelight.  

As you can see, they prefer corners and stay close to the ceilings.  This is fun when you have to clean their poops.

A version of these friendly reptiles has been introduced to my home state.  The reason?  To keep grillos and cucarachas at bay in my college town.  Maybe I won't have to miss the house gecko after all.  That is, if they ever migrate past the campus.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Good Bye, Ecuador! Two Weeks of Things I'll Miss: Day 7 - Deliveries

Stateside there has been a lot of press recently surrounding Burger King's roll out of delivery service in select cities.  I don't want to encourage the "fat American" stereotype, but um....exciiiiting! 

When I first vacationed in Mexico several years ago, many cities were amazingly walkable thanks to Spanish colonial design.  Delivery service played an important role in this.  As I cruised the plazas and peatonals, dirt bikes and scooters whizzed pass, touting delivery service for every food and convenience imaginable.  It was not that these companies encouraged lazy living.  On the contrary, many people walked everywhere and many did not own cars.  The deliveries had developed as a way to bring food and services to these people. 

Fast forward a few years, and I'm living in Ecuador.  Delivery services are not only by car or motorbike.  They are also by bike, cart, and foot.  Some companies specialize only in delivery.  You tell the service what you want picked up, and they arrange to deliver it to you for a fee.

America Norte has yet to understand the awesome abilities of delivery services and the important role they can play in cities which want to encourage more pedestrian activity, fewer carbon emissions, or just greater help to the elderly and disabled.  Hail to the delivery service!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Good Bye, Ecuador! Two Weeks of Things I'll Miss: Day 6 - Surfing

His arms waved in big circles as he walked around the house.  "What are you doing?" I asked.  "I'm just mind surfing," he responded.  I laughed.
That was months ago.  Now, back in the wind and cold of the United States, I'm laying belly down on the cold garage floor after a run, practicing cobra pose and yes, wheeling my arms through the air.  I give one more paddle to catch up with the wave, then pop up and check my stance.  I don't have a board underfoot, but I'm pretty sure it's a good pop-up.  I imagine I ride my wave in close to the shore, now almost in warrior pose, keeping my arms out for balance.  When I think I've stood there long enough, I stand up again (mountain pose), take a deep breath (or maybe it's a sigh), and go indoors. 

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Good Bye, Ecuador! Two Weeks of Things I'll Miss: Day 5 - Glass Bottle Cokes

I once had friends, logical and rational friends, who would swear to me that glass bottle Coke was the best type of Coke, and that, in fact, glass bottle beverages of all types were inherently more delicious. Their reasoning was inexplicable and seemed to toe the line of delusions such as "the yellow m&ms taste more lemony and the brown ones taste more chocolatey."   My response was always bemused.

Now in Ecuador, glass bottles are the preference, and something about these mystical bottles has pulled me in.  Is it the instant relief they provide from the equatorial sun?  The novelty of drinking out of a glass bottle?  The convenience store community of glass bottle drinkers?

After hours of taste tests and contemplation, I've come no closer to understanding the mysteries.  I have instead hatched numerous plans for bringing glass bottles back to America Norte  - my most elaborate being a "Coke for America" campaign that knows no bounds.  For those with a belief in the power of social networking and common sense approach to change - or just a belief in glass bottle Cokes - you can sign the petition to get Coca-Cola back in glass bottles.