[original spanish available here]
“How do you say…” that is the phrase I’ve asked a record number of times, and when they tell me how to say it, I still can’t pronounce it. Hehehe. HOW have you been, my small, medium, and large colorados [sunburned friends] of Ecuador, Peru, Cambodia, Thailand and the rest of the world? (I’m exaggerating already. hehe.) I have been away from technology for many days, but it has been good because it has given me time for other things.
Chuta [Shoot], I tell you that this week, thiiiiiings have happened to me! I learned, for example, what knowing English is worth. On Sunday, I went in search of a soccer game at a park or field, and there I found two gringuitas [white girls]. I, being so brave, told them what I was looking for (since they asked me). They looked at me like I was a gringo in gringolandia [a lost person in a foreign country] hehehe, and I told them that I was looking for a place to play soccer (in my special English, because here they speak a different English). Then, the gringas gave me a ball as a present. hehehe. All I could say was, “thank so much.” I could only think about how much effort it would take to explain that I actually wanted something else. uhhhhhhhhh.
Speaking about effort, did you know that here all the gringuitos want to avoid it? Seriously, they have inventions for everything, brothers: 1000 inventions for a thousand needs. For example, the other day I went to a mall and in the bathroom I found three types of paper, one for the hands, another for the face, and another for our beloved and famous buttocks. In addition, there were towels; I am not sure for what for since there was no shower. And I thought, we [Ecuadorians] have like 10 things for a thousand needs. For example, the newspaper is for reading, killing bugs, cutting out images, and for the bathroom. I am not sure if they are smart or we are dumb, but we are all happy in our own way. hehe.
The other thing that happened was this: I saw one of the primartes [etymology explained later] getting ready to go out, and I asked him where he was going bla bla bla. Well, I asked him to come with me to visit a nearby city named Grand Junction (since this primarte has a car) and he agreed to go. He told me that he was going to go running first and later we could go to the town. I wanted to be courteous so offered to accompany him to do his stuff first. (TAKE IN CONSIDERATION THAT ALL THIS CONVERSATION WAS IN ENGLISH). First, the primarte grabs the car keys and I don’t understand why, since we were going to go running. Well, we get into the car, and chuta we drive pretty far to a nature reserve in the area. A beautiful place certainly. Well, we get there and chuta it was cold, and I was in shorts. Now the cold starts to get me, and I’m freezing, and then I saw that the route was dedicated to bicycles [not a common thing in Ecuador]. Perhaps it was also for running.
This guy says “are you ready?” and me, as you know, I am an Andean man “de pura sepa”[of pure knowledge] that has climbed mountains, so I was not going to be afraid of running. So I told him, of course! And we started.
At the beginning, everything was fine, but later chuta madre [mother…]. First off, I have never run so much in my life, 6 miles!!!!!! (9km). Secondly, I haven’t run since school, like about 6 or 7 years ago!!! Chuta, I thought about my mother, father, grandparents and even you guys. Seriously! hehehe. I saw lights! But I had to keep going, I couldn’t make my country look bad. And chuta I got to the end five minutes after the guy. But I got there and the primarte ask me “again?”
I told him, “no thanks.”
I couldn’t imagine that this primarte was such an athlete. Only later did I understand why he took so long to respond when I asked to go running with him. Either way it was funny and I learned a lot. I overcame physical limitations. I pushed until my body felt like pudding. Seriously! I couldn’t feel anything. Hehehe. It was fun. Hopefully you won’t pass through the same experience, but if you do, enjoy!
Hey, do you know what I mean by primarte? (PRIMARTE – according to the Vulgar Language Academy YAKU (VALY), primarte etymologically comes from two yakuniano words PRIM: Native and MARTE: the planet Mars. These are people who show social resentment or consciousness about political, economic, environmental, cultural or sentimental topics, and have decided to live differently from all common people hehehe. Chuta, I think these guys have so much freedom, they don’t know what to do with it.
But I tell you now shorties that until a few days ago, we didn’t eat together. I didn’t know why everybody made their food separately. Wow, what a waste of energy! Imagine it, wasting three times as much gas. Obviously, I was thinking about changing this because it wasn’t environmentally sustainable, I felt like a environmental NGO, hahaha. But as it turned out, the situation changed itself. I don’t know what happened but at least now we all eat together at lunch. Little by little I am also changing myself. Seriously, I stopped peeling my potatoes, carrots, turnips, etc. These people here do make some sense after all. The flavor of unpeeled vegetables is practically the same (I tested it). I have always heard that the nutrients are in the skin, so today I am experimenting, I even tried my first weed (don’t think badly of me, it’s not marijuana) and it wasn’t that bad, you just have to add onion, cheese, orange, lemon, lettuce and - if the salad still tastes strange - some chili. Nothing can survive that, even weeds die with chili.
Hey, did you know that these guys are also gossipers? Hehehe. Seriously, the philosophy of gossip is universal. I think it’s the only universal one. Though western philosophy wants to be, it can’t be because there’s still the Chinese, Indian, Andean, African and so on. But continuing with the gossip, the other night, I heard them talking in the kitchen. The kitchen is certainly the meeting place in the independent lives of the primartes, and since they know now that I understand a little, they lower their voices. It’s funny how some things are so alike.
Switching from cabbages to turnips, did you know that there are three words in English for the one and only PEDO [fart]. According to VALY, pedo is a deadly gas that the body ejects behind (and sometimes ahead). The most common English word for pedo is “fart”, but college students say “flatulence”, and kids say “toots”. What a thing to have three words for one relieving action, but ah well. And I tell you that now the word “flatulence” is famous here, because I confused “flatulation” with congratulation. If you repeat it like two thousand times, like I did that day, it’s going to sound the same. Hehehe. It was the joke of the week for the primartes.
So that you can imagine the life with the primartes and how everything here is permitted; eating raw food, smoking, drinking, dancing, shouting and all without either technology or fast food. It makes me embarrassed to say that I like mayonnaise. I eat it a little, just don’t tell them because they will expel me from the primarte community. And like I was saying, nothing surprises them. When I say nothing, I mean nothing. These primartes break the mold. There is one more Rastafarian lady primarte that has joined the community with ears like the Huaoranis [an Eastern Ecuadorian culture] with tattoos all over her body - well I don’t know if it’s all over her body, but it’s all over what I have seen. She is studying something like herbal medicine or something like that, and only comes on Fridays. But still this girl is definitely part of the community.
A few days ago, I decided to not take a shower to draw attention and to see what they said, and I only showered one time. Truthfully, I tell you that for a week I didn’t smell, but after that I did smell a strange odor. Not even that bothered the primartes, they didn’t care! So I showered because I was getting dandruff. I could not stand it. Hehehe. But I believe that showering once a week is recommended for an ecologically sustainable environment. Less water colorados, think about it! But going more than one week, no way! Hehehe.
Before coming here, I heard so many things about gringos, but I hadn’t heard about the primartes. How they are lovers of the kitchen! They make some kinds of dishes ¡chuta! better yet, I should say, they experiment on some kinds of dishes! Some do come out good though. Hehe. (Listen, if by any chance you have over there a little guinea pig, send it by mail! I miss my guinea pig with boiled potatoes, how deeeeeelicious.) One day, it was my turn to cook, and I made potato soup. And the primartes thanked me for two days. In Ecuador, they would have forced me to cook for at least a week because I made it so badly. What things life brings, riiiiiiiiiight?
These primartes are saving money to go visit the Andes and the Amazon, and then there’s that other guy wanting to go the other direction. Hehehe. Pinche cabron as the Mexicans say.
Certainly I am confused with these Mexican brothers. To me they are Chilean because, ¡pinches ways! [a Mexican exhortation] they eat a lot of chile. Pos ta suave no, no manches way, [mex slang: all right... are you messing with me?] Have I already become Mexican? No, but it’s all right. Andale way si que la agarraste. [can you follow any of this?] nooooooo.
Did you know that California, Arizona, Texas, Colorado and New Mexico used to be part of Mexico? Seriously, that’s what the surfing primarte told me (although, in reality, they all dress like surfers. Not even the poncho protects me from this cold). So, to do agriculture the guy goes out like a surfer or skier [stylishly with a lot of special gear]. If I could send photos, I would, but sadly I don’t have a camera. Seriously, all the primartes go to work like this. If my mother saw this, and if she was still alive, would she eventually come to understand it? It’s funny here, the workers of the neighboring farms and mine, they all come in their cars to work. And some of these cars not even the mayor of my city would have. How different things are, right? In this little town where I live, which every day I like more and more, there is a brutal contrast. Sometimes I feel the peace and nature of the country, and other times I feel the comfort and the luxury of the city. They tell me that most little towns in the US are like this. But I am still doing my socio-political-economic-environmental - and above all - sentimental - study.
Between you and me, I missed my chance with a girl by not speaking English. I only answered her with “yes, nice, really, or good” and when she made a strange face I said “repeat again.” How funny. But she spoke too fast and with the noise of the bar... ahhhhh.
Hey guys, I’m thinking a lot about how plants and animals adapt to new environments. How intelligent are these fellow beings! Its admirable. “Intelligent” beings like us, it takes us time to adapt. What do we keep? What do we leave? Or perhaps we leave everything or keep everything? All of this is crazy, but oh well.
Well, now I will let you go, but i want to first say hello to my colorada Silvana, who definitely will be the first person to learn English, because in her situation she has no other choice.
To my coloradas in California, Belen and Fer, stop going out, as you have definitely being partying. Now, dedicate yourselves to work hehehe. A big hello.
To my friend Claudia: invite me to the helicopter trips, and next time help me translating so I don’t lose another gringa.
To my older colorada Eugenia, metele neque colorada con mas fuerza mi chola [stand strong and work it my chola [woman from a particular Andean region], if not, come over to Colorado for a few days, because I have a gringo version of your Alberto. Hehehe.
To my other colorada Johanna, hehehe, take care of yourself and do not abandon your children.
To the Manabi colorado, who may be running into cows... I have already started my religion like I said I would. I had a little ceremony with the primartes because they wanted to start planting without saying anything to Pachita. I know they are liberals, but even they have to ask for permission to allpamamita [the mother earth] hehehe. They took it well; they even liked it. We are going to see what comes out of this: a gringo-ized Indian, an Indian-ized gringo, maybe everything, maybe nothing, or maybe a contradiction. Noooooooooo!
But this is how my life is, colorados. I don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow. There is a lot of planning going on on this farm, but since I don’t understand the meetings, I don’t know what will happen. I’m just going with the idea of living in the present, and it’s really cool guys. Hehehe. Greetings to everyone else, who I don’t know much about because they haven’t sent emails. We’ll have to see if they get animated and tell us how they are doing. Don’t exaggerate like me! Hehehehe.
Minchakama mashis [Quichua: Until next time, friends]
nos vemos colorados [See you later, colorados.]