Tuesday, August 12, 2008

hail is not a form of greeting

I spent some time in a coffee shop down in mariscal today, attempting to envelop myself in some new scenery and strange folks while getting the normal work a day stuff done. All good times, although I did end up in my usual hang out, despite my best efforts. I'm still trying to find other places, but discovered that the papaya net location is just not worth the effort (note for anyone planning on traveling down here and looking for an internet cafe).
Anyway - aimlessly wandering around look for a place, coming to the usual haunt, doing work and drinking coffee, I was just about to leave when it started raining. In these parts, rain isn't the end of the world, although it hasn't been happening with the clock-like regularity as several months before, when we first arrived. The plan is usually to just wait out the half hour or so of downpour, and then go about your business. Today, though, things haven't worked out quite the same way. First it rained. Then it rained harder. During the monsoon the cable flickered and then went out. Then it started to hail. Hail golf ball sized pellets that bounced off of awnings over outside tables, bounced through open doors and the general open front area, and rolled through the cafe. There's little chunks of ice all over the place. Not just across the floor, but on chairs, on counters -- pretty much on all the surfaces. Kind of fun, if you're aren't too worried about the health of your laptop. The power went out, of course, and now we're all sitting in the relative dark - those of us who were waiting out the rain to be on our way, those of us who came sprinting into the closest open establishment when the downpour started, and those of us who would usually be working at said establishment, if there were any power to do anything (there is one waitress lighting candles).
It stopped, eventually. Then started raining again. My battery will fail, eventually, and then I'll have nothing better to do than help drink the beer before it gets too warm.
A and I went no where this weekend. I think it's the first weekend in a long time where we've just hung out in the city with no real plans. Saturday was spent checking out all the events for the run up to the bicentennial of the declaration of independence (did you know that latin american independence from Spain started with the caudillos in Quito? Its true, look it up). No pictures of the event, but the old city was chock full of people, all the museums were open until early Sunday morning, and all the theaters offered free admission to short versions of their full priced fare. We didn't stay until 2 in the morning, although I hear that several hundred thousand other people were expected to do just that.
Oh, yeah - and we finally went to see Batman last night at an honest to god movie multiplex. Full price tickets are a whopping 3.25. Popcorn and a soda will set you back another 5.25. Not cheap, by any stretch of the imagination, for a third world company, but a hell of a lot cheaper than the same experience in a similarly equiped movie theater in the US. One must be careful not to purchase tickets for the dubbed version of movies, though, or else the whole batman experience could turn surreal. We were lucky enough to get the subtitled version. A had no inkling that what's his face who played the joker had committed suicide. Talk about being out of the loop.

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