Saturday, June 14, 2008

I Would Venture to Say that Quito Can be a Little Dangerous

Here is a picture of Ben to which whose face I had been continually alluding. The face of a cute little guy after his encounters with the harsh reality of ecuador (and after a totally awesome backflip!).

This picture is included in this entry to add a little visual spice to what had been a muy picanté evening last night. Things got a little scary in Quito, but the main thing to remember- and this is for all of those people who are related to me, who due to our familial ties, possess Andino-centric imaginations that can churn up the fear centers of their brains like an Amish PCP-addict when there is a mention of scary and dangerous things happeneing to me, is that i am totally okay! This disclaimer is here just to let you know that, if you fall into the aforementioned group or can be frightened by scary things happening to me, please do not worry! Maybe i will sandwich this entry between another fun Storytelling Studio

So, once again, please take note, family members and friends with easily startled constitutions: I, Andrew James Quitmeyer, am totally, perfectly fine, and uninjured in the slightest. I am even well rested and my belly is full!

Okay now that disclaimers are out of the way here is what happened last night!

The son of the Child Psychologist lady who is working with us at the Storytelling Studio here in Quito, brought me out on the town with him last night. Santiago, his friends, and I hung out together at a weird little bar that had cute little beer taps built right into the table where, if you pay 6 bucks or so, you get 2 full hours of all the beer you want. (like the rest of ecuador) played an endless loop of Micheal Jackson, Madonna, and, of course, Hotel California. This place was interesting also due to the fact that it had video accompainiment with all the music, so Don Henley actually gets to look you in the eye with a smug grin that says, "yeah, i control all of ecuador with this one song." After an hour, some appetizers, and 3-4 Hotel Californias later, the VJ´s decided to toss on some Hombres G. I had never heard of this band, but apparently if you were in middle school in Latin America during the end of the 90´s, it would be hard to fight the ridiculous amounts of hilarity/nostalagia that would arrive from what i would estimate to be on par with Backstreet Boys/N*Sync/Spice Girls/ and maybe like Oasis all getting mashed together in an epic farewell concert.

So whether it was the bittersweet love songs of Hombres G, or the 3 dollar an hour beer taps, the silly little birthday party occuring on the floor below us broke out into a bit a of brawl. The guys running the bar grabbed the offenders and tossed them out, but these drunken morons would have none of that. Over the next hour they kept sneaking back into the bar and fighting even more with the bar managers and each other. By this time the VJ, decided to blast a collection of ripped Guns and Roses videos, so at least the faster tempo the violence seemed a bit more in place, though still not without the sillyness of ecuador´s deeply ingrained musical nostalgia. It got to the point where they managers had to lock the doors to keep them out and call the police while the enraged gentlemen pounded on the glass windows and doors. They fled when the security showed and we had not heard from them in over an hour when we decided to leave the bar.

Around midnight, on our way back to my hostal, the leader of the disgruntled crew, Capt. Drunk, appeared from behind an alley and decided that he really wanted to walk very close and very angrily next to me. For some reason, i think that when grumpy ecuadorians see big old gringo andy they get even grumpier. And when they are intoxicated, the discrepancy between our relative sizes tends to diminish in their minds, and they start really wanting to fight.

So there was a lot of Capt. Drunk getting very angry in my face, but then i managed to pull off a bit of a menacing look myself, and the Captain decided to turn his beligerence towards mi amigo, Santiago. Suddenly i saw Drunky pull out a Snapple bottle and wind up to pitch it directly at Santiago´s head. I managed to punch his arm enough to deflect the bottle so that it only hit Santiago in the arm, and then held back the wannabe pugilist. Captain Drunk´s freinds were about 10 meters behind him and shouting what seemed like pleas for their stupid friend to come back to their group and stop being an asshole. Santiago wanted me to start running with them, but i wanted to hold this idiot under control until his friends could take him. That was until i noticed 3-4 of his friends charging towards me with daggers formed from half broken fifths of whisky, vodka, and tequila.

They chased our group into a bar, and the Captain tried to lead his men through the doors with a bit of a running lunging kick until i caught his leg and threw him back through the doors wild west style, and the bouncers chased them off the rest of the way.

The bar/haven was really nice to us and the bouncers went to pick up one of the girls´ cars so we wouldn´t have to brave the crazy ass streets for the rest of the night.

This is apparently NOT a common thing around Quito, and i think the locals i was hanging out with were even more freaked out than i was.

Interesting note: Tapeworms ARE a common thing in quito, and the locals are just supposed to take some pills every few months to flush them out. So until i take my pills at the end of the trip, i could be the father of a whole zoo of little internal worms.

What a weird place this is.

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