Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Fact Uno: Apparently somewhat recently in ecaudor they had a name crisis (crises apparently being very common in ecuador, for example today the president of the congress decided, "Screw it" and just resigned via email sending the whole political part of the country into confusion and astonishment).
Anyway i was being introduced to this former child naming crisis that occured, when Alvaro's daughter was telling me about a delivery man they saw named something like "Poplutoark," which, I will admit sounds odd, but i am surrounded by either people who are either named "Maria" or some sort of crazy thing i had never heard of before like Alvaro's girls' names, Lia and Anahi (or Bubi), so I was not that impressed. But then they started talking about their friend, "Lucy Lane" who apparently is named something else but people call her that.
Andy- "Why"
L- Well her dad wanted to name her Lucy Lane, so everyone just calls her that. Isn't that crazy that a guy is allowed to get named, "Poplutoark," but they wouldn't accept "Lucy Lane."
A- What there are rules about what you can name your kids!
L- well yeah otherwise people name their kids all kinds of crazy stuff
a- Is that really a problem in ecuador?
The answer is a resounding yes! I guess it got too chic to name your kid crazy or commercial stuff that they had to start passing laws and having birth certificate officers who approved names.
Still in disbelief, they gave me examples of names:
Zenith, Coca-cola, Scotch Tape, Chair, Ecuador 3- Argentina 0, and Semen of the Gods!
See Kitty, Turbo Never Quitmeyer isn't that bad of a name!
Fact 2:
Ecuador festivals are AWESOME!
Carneval- The whole country turns into a warzone! People hide on buildings and in the back of cars armed with water guns, water balloons, and (in the rich areas) flour and eggs. The goal is to make it through the week without getting wet or attacked. Alvaro was telling me this story of when he was in junior high- He had made it the entire week, dodging enemies on roofs, and being paranoid as hell! Then on the last day he missed his bus or something and had to walk home taking strategic routes and cover behind trees and street signs. He made it all the way to the sidewalk leading up to his house where he encountered an 80 year old lady begging for his help. He went up to her and she began talking to him and going through her purse, when she pulls out a little watergun and just blasts him, point blank!
Neuvo Ano (may be actually called something else)- This is the best tradition ever (minus the incidental murders), and we really need to instate it in the states. First in the morning everyone constructs some sort of old man effigy known as a Anos veijos (i think it is plural for some reason), that is real ugly and made out of sawdust and sacks and whatever is lying around. Then all of the men in the city get dressed up like sexy ladies in mourning and take to the streets. Here they all take tons of lengths of rope and chain and toss them in a pile across the road to form a road block. Then they flock to the obstructed vehicles screaming and wailing, "OH MY HUSBAND JUST DIED! MY Beautiful HUSBAND! CAN I HAVE SOME MONEY FOR HIS BURIAL!" And it used to be kind of optional whether you gave them money, but i guess now-a-days you better give them something or they won't let you by. All the drag queens pool their money to purchase the perfect combination for any holiday, Alcohol and Gasoline. Then at midnight everyone tosses the Anos Veijos into the street and they pour gas all over and burn all the Anos Veijos. This was the second holiday where alvaro described the city as turning into a warzone, with people screaming and running and fires everywhere.
There is a bad part to the new years celebration in that every so often some poor old drunk passes out in the street and is mistaken for an Anos Viejos, and is accidently burned alive.

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