Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Ecuadorian triathlon

50 meter trash dash: We’re re-enacting an event we watched our friends Mike and Robin contest in Mexico 10 years ago. Trash collection is by a classic garbage truck that slowly roams the city daily, playing a song reminiscent of ice cream trucks. They alternate days to collect Organic and Inorganic waste. The organic (including leather shoes) gets composted. There’s no sidewalk space for garbage cans and dogs roaming everywhere, thus the task at hand is to hear the truck, gather one’s rubbish, and vault down a flight of stairs and out the door onto the street before the truck gets out of range. The runner is of course cheered on my family members on the stairs or at the window shouting “trash truck, trash truck…” I’m walking the knife-edge tonight. Took the trash down about 15 minutes before expected arrival and added it to a bag already on the sidewalk. Worked for Arlo Guthrie, monitoring from the window for marauding dogs…

School bus surfing: Standing on buses being an expected event here, as elsewhere in the 2/3 world, the girls and I have had a taste of trying to stay upright inside a moving school bus without grab bars. For the taller folks like me, pushing up on the ceiling seems to do the trick. The disadvantage of height is being unable to see what’s coming next through the windows. Adults and teens surf near the often-open doors, smaller kids get shoved in through the cracks to safety. When picking up a couple older boys along the Panamerican, the driver just slows enough for them to get a good grab, hobo style, and hoist themselves on.

The white folk taxi un-hail: Look down, turn halfway away, shrug, frown, lean against the nearest fence/wall…still perfecting the technique that will dissuade every taxi from honking on its way by. The ones that actually stop don’t seem bothered that we don’t want a taxi ride, but hope dies last, I guess. We’re thinking that getting the girls’ school uniform order in will help the taxi bottleneck that we run the risk of creating at the school bus stop. - KD

1 comment:

Chuck W said...

I love the door guys who do the boosting and, even before the coast is clear, start pounding on the side of the bus yelling Dale, Dale! (Still can't do the accent - should be Dah-lay!) Not a moment to be lost.

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