¿Le Molesta Que Dé De Pecho Aquí?

So it sort of looks like we might be going to Ecuador in September. Did we book a flight? No. But I did accidentally buy the Lonely Planet book on Amazon yesterday and now it's here and I hate having to trek to the post office to mail things back, so I think we're sort of stuck with it now, which I guess means we're going to Ecuador.

(Yes, you did read that right: I did order the book yesterday and have it arrive today, and no, I didn't pay for extra shipping or anything, I just signed up for a free month's trial of Amazon Prime, which is amazing, like speed-of-light-for-free amazing. Although I've had to put a Post-It note on July 12 in my day planner that says AMAZON PRIME TRIAL RUNS OUT TOMORROW, CANCEL NOW OR BE STUCK WITH A BILL FOR $79!)

So, Ecuador. That's sort of random, isn't it? I'm not really sure why we chose it actually, since the last you heard we were set on Puerto Rico for our little vacation in September. But I'm fickle and Ecuador has volcanoes and I've always wanted to see a volcano, haven't you? I've also never been to South America and now seemed as good a time as any to go, you know, while flights are extortionate and ponchos are out of fashion.

A woman at work whose husband is from Ecuador has made me a spreadsheet of all the things I have to see and foods I have to try, and Sean has been quizzing me on the Spanish vocab at the back of the Lonely Planet in preparation. So far I can say "bananas," "shrimp," "butter," and "do you mind if I breastfeed here?" Goddamnit, my brain won't cooperate when I'm trying to remember who sang "Hold On" at pub trivia, but it'll retain a phrase I have no use for in a language I don't speak? I knew my parents had dropped me on my head in my infancy.


Anyway, speaking of pub trivia, Sean and I have finally found an extracurricular activity that melds a) social interaction, b) general knowledge, c) the chance to air our competitive streaks, and d) beer, so that's working out very nicely for everyone, the bartender at the Edinburgh Castle especially. The first time we went, we went with Jemima and Simons, and we didn't do too badly for neophytes. Apart from the screaming match Jemima and I had about whether Jackie O's famous headwear was called a pillbox hat or a pillarbox hat---yes, yes, I know I was wrong now, but at the time, pillarbox hat just sounded SO RIGHT---things went pretty smoothly. Sean even answered a question about 50 Cent, impressing everyone, himself included.

But when we went again the day before yesterday with one of my co-workers and her fiance---plus Simons, who needed some company, since Jemima is in South Carolina looking after babies---we sort of bombed. To be fair, one entire round was about the Sopranos, which none of us watch---although, Nathan and Alison did still manage to get two questions right, THEY'RE JUST THAT SMART---but still, we were all pretty bummed that none of us knew that the world leader assassinated in 1981 was Anwar Sadat, or that it was Yuri Gagarin who was the first man in space, not Yuri Something Russian. On the plus side, however, I did recognize John Mayer in the picture round.

I swear, next time we're going to the pub trivia in North Beach, where we've heard the questions are much easier, the patrons drunker, and the prize money the same. Oh come on, like you'd expect any less from a girl who prefers Teen Tournament Jeopardy to the grown-up one. And those eleven-year-olds on the kids version? Dumb as a box of rocks, I tell you. I mean, I always get every question every time.

Jun 15, 2007

(First! Hee.) As for the Spanish language, all you need to know is "sin quesa" (without cheese) and "tu madre es una puta" (your mother is a whore). Pretty much all the Spanish we had to use last time we were in Tijuana.

Jun 15, 2007

Hey there!!

Sought of stumbled across your blog yesterday while searching for info on travel to vietnam.. and wanted to thank you for the time that it is helping me kill while I sit on my desk at work ;-)

ecuador ha?? well atleast the government is not in the mood to throw ppl under house arrest like in mayanmar.. as since u survived that.. how exciting can this be!! besides is S. America .. it begs to be checked out

Jun 15, 2007

My boyfriend went to Ecuador to study chocolate making and he just loved it. Any chance of wandering into Peru to see the ruins of Machu Picchu?

Jun 15, 2007

The love I felt for my free trial of Amazon Prime knows no bounds. And, I cancelled mine about a week early, so as not to have to worry, and it didn't cancel it immediately - it just changed it to "do not upgrade when trial expires", so I still got the entire month of free shipping without the worry. Yes, amazon rocks that much. Have fun in Ecuador.

Daily Tragedies
Jun 15, 2007

I hate you. No, no, not because of your upcoming travels to Ecuador, though that certainly is a good reason, but because Wilson Phillips will now be singing "Hold On" in my head FOR THE ENTIRE WEEKEND!

Jun 15, 2007

My 74 year old father LOVES the kids' version of Jeopardy. It makes him feel smart, because he can answer every question ahead of everyone else.

Jun 15, 2007

Roger and I just started looking at South America for a trip in November, but hadn't looked at Ecuador, specifically.

I've been to volcanos, actually it was a lake inside the crater of a volcano, which had formed inside the lake of another volcano, so I suppose technically I've not only been to a volcano, I've been to two, and I floated through the crater of one. So. There's that.

Sarah Marie
Jun 15, 2007

Growing up in upstate New York, I had the good fortune of having a couple Canadian channels in our basic cable line-up. What is the benefit of having CKWS based out of Kingston, Ontario? Being able to watch Jeopardy! at 6:30 upstairs in my parents' room, and then coming down to the living room and wowing everybody with ALL of the right answers when it came on CBS at 7. I still remember the stares of shocked admiration...One of my finest childhood moments, for sure.

On a completely different note, I ended up watching parts of Pirate Master last night, and the ousted captain looks a little bit like Sean! Did anyone else have entirely too much time on their hands and also notice this?

Jun 15, 2007

Which reminds me: Did you see this article?

Jun 15, 2007

It's true, we didn't do too well in trivia, but on the plus side, we'll always have Vladimir.

Jun 15, 2007

You never cease to crack me up. Thanks for the daily funny!

I've seen one volcano, from a very short distance: Mount Saint Helens in Washington after it blew in the '80's. It was devastating. For miles around the land was burnt and charred and the trees looked like match sticks. The ground was blackened. The lake around the volcano was choked with dead trees and mud. There was volcanic ash everywhere. Quite the eerie/creepy spectacle.

Jun 15, 2007

Um, I suck at the triva. If it is about a president my answer is usually Martin Van Buren (which so does not work when you are playing the 80's or 90's version of Trivial Pursuit) and Geography tends to be New Zealand. Even when the question is about a South American nation. New Zealand is not in South America, just so you know.

Jun 15, 2007

Oh, when I went to Portugal, I knew 1 word. Bacon. I left Portugal knowing 10 words, including the all important rat bastard (sacana! It's very fun to say). So, you know, breast feeding? I get that.

Nothing But Bonfires
Jun 15, 2007

Thank you for reminding me. I ABSOLUTELY have to know "bacon." I'm looking it up right now.

Jun 15, 2007

Don't forget that "hamberguesa" is different than Hamburger - I generally stick with local food, but my husband was feeling grouchy and in the mood for a burger. Made the small mistake of ordering a HAMburger - which is precisely what we got. Ugh.

Also on the volcanic note: *If* you get a chance - Arenal Volcano (most continously active volcano in Central America) in Costa Rica = Excellent - hiking, forests around, a beautiful lake surrounding it, plus excellent places to stay.

PS. Aren't you a tiny bit worried about it pouring rain 23/7? Aug-Nov = Rain. (Crossing fingers against)

Jun 15, 2007

Sweet! You're coming to Ecuador! I kind of live here...I mean *there*...considering you live up there in the States.

I'm Ecuadorean and have been following your blog for quite some time now. Please, don't rely only on the Lonely Planet guide for visiting my country, I've read it and it mostly leaves one of the most beautiful parts out, which is the coast.

Please, do not hesitate to email me if you need any info or help.


Jun 15, 2007

BTW Bacon = Tocino (toh-see-noh)

Unstrung Harpy
Jun 15, 2007

Ok, I'm going to be the obnoxious pedant who points out the spelling mistake in the title of a blog post. Unless there's some variation in Ecuador that I don't know about, it's spelled "aquí." Sorry, but it's really killing me. (Blame it on the fact that I'm a Spanish teacher.)

Jun 15, 2007

I live near a volcano. I can see it from my lounge window. It is currently covered in snow as it is winter here.

If I send you a copy of Lonely Planet New Zealand by superfast carrier pigeon will you change your plans?

It last erupted about 20 (?) years ago and the danger-loving Kiwis were trying to continue to ski down it while smoke and fire poured out of it.

When it first erupted the explosion was so huge it created Lake Taupo....and the smoke form the blast could be seen as far away as China.

Now if that ever helps you win a pub quiz, you definitely owe me a beer.


Jun 16, 2007

I need to find pub trivia near me, because that sounds like all kinds of awesome. We did venture out for our first every karaoke night (we watched, okay, we did NOT sing) and that was hilarious, especially as people (not me, really) got drunker. I can't imagine a drunk person who would warble a "hot wet pussycat" song at karaoke trying to answer trivia, but man I'd like to see it with my own eyes.

Nothing But Bonfires
Jun 16, 2007

Sharp eyes, Unstrung Harpy -- and thank you. The horror! I'm changing it right now. In my defense, I took French and German, so I didn't know any better!

Unstrung Harpy
Jun 16, 2007

No problem, I figured you wouldn't mind since you yourself are such a stickler for spelling and grammar. By the way, just came across this link: http://sfbay.craigslist.org/sfc/fur/350797424.html. Might have been kind of awesome for your place what with the Asian vibe...

Jun 18, 2007

I, too, did the Amazon Prime trial offer, and, believe it or not- you can cancel it now (before your trial period is over) and they still let you use the benefits for the remainder of the trial period. Just in case you wanted to know. :)