Thursday, June 17, 2010


The apartment is empty and very very clean, now that Eric and his wild packing frenzy is over. He landed safely in Baltimore, and checked on the house, which is both better and worse than expected, and probably will be inhabitable by the time I arrive. What a relief!

Meanwhile, Maya and I had a usual Quito weekday. Her school activity was a visit to the Artesanal Market, where she was expected to bargain and negotiate, as part of her 'marketing' unit of study. Maya has great skills in the marketplace, and had a very successful experience.

We saw a Chilean movie in Spanish class (it was movie day today because our usual Friday time was supplanted with a world cup futbol game). I find it confusing to try to understand all the different Spanish dialects. Chileans swallow their words and I understood little today. I prefer Argentinian Spanish, which is clearer and does not lose syllables, but the verb forms are different. Spanish from Spain always makes me laugh when I hear the lisping. We saw the film without subtitles, which forces me to pay more attention, but invariably I miss much of the film.

Quito Spanish is unique in its use of the diminutive form 'ita', added to almost any word, and more often than not in excess. Mamita, aguita, mijita, abuelita, the list goes on and on and can be amusing to listen to. Any word can be diminutized, sometimes quite incongruently.

Funeral Procession

I saw snippets of each soccer game throughout the day; the first aired at 6:30, the second midmorning, and the last in the early afternoon. Soccer will simply take precedence anytime and everywhere we will be for the next three weeks. Ecuadorians love their soccer and cheer for any and all South American teams.

A return to the Centro Historico filled up the day after Spanish class. I have missed my old haunts. There was a massive protest on the Plaza Grande with scores of participants lined up across from riot police with shields and batons. I was unable to ascertain what the protest was about. I visited the Centro Metropolitano to see what exhibits were showing. A photo essay about he Schuar in the jungle was most interesting. There was also a showing of artists work from Cadiz, Spain, which was less compelling. I continued to Plaza San Fransisco, where there were tent kiosks set up around what was to be a stage. I could not figure out what the occasion was, but I will be in the centro tomorrow while Maya does her rehearsal at the Teatro Bolivar, and on Saturday when she is there for the show six hours early. I will run off to see what is going on in front of the Church of San Fransisco. For today, I watched the pigeons being fed and families and children and clowns wandering by. There was a sedate funeral rolling by, and all sorts of students, parents, children, shoe shiners and policemen strolling about. I wanted to stay longer, but dragged myself away down toward La Marin to get home in time to meet Maya for her evening activities. It was a not an unusual situation for Maya (superchild!) to try to be two places at once (violin and dance practices), but Maya has amazing powers to manage impossible rehearsal circumstances (violin and dance performances on the same day and sometimes at the same time!).

Coming home to an empty house was disconcerting and I am feeling sad again about leaving and losing this life I have made for us so far away from what is familiar. I am missing Quito before I am gone.

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