Friday, November 7, 2008

Gringo Huntin' and the Dog Ate My Boxers Excuse

Last Saturday night we met some people at the club we were at, and I went on a quasi-date with one of the girls, Jennifer, on Tuesday. While we were having a beer I was explaining to her that I know everyone just looks at me and sees a gringo, but I wish there was a way for them to know that I'm not just a tourist, and that I'm here for a while. No later than 5 minutes later, 4 girls came up to me explaining that they're students at the University of Azuay and that they wanted to interview me about being a foreigner in Ecuador.

I obliged and let them ask away, since after all I majored in journalism and know that it can be hard to find people to talk. They actually filmed the interview and did it in English, which was pretty impressive.

Then today, after my class had got out, a girl came up to me and asked if I was Jon Brandt. I said yes, and she explained that she was a reporter for El Mercurio, one of the newspapers for Cuenca. The girl was looking to interview an American and she wanted to ask me about what I thought of the election in the United States. Once again, I obliged, though I was in a rush to get home. She even took a photo of me at my desk to show what a hard working teacher I am. I thought this was some student newspaper, but when I got home my host mother told me that it's a big newspaper, so tomorrow I can expect half of the city to read about my thoughts on the election.

I wasn't really looking for the attention, but it's kind of funny I guess. I just want to get by and live a normal life, but now, at least for the day, I might be known as "that gringo" around town.

I thought that would be the weirdest part of the day, but when I got home my host mom told me that the family dog, Lili, had torn through a pair of my boxers. Lili is a wiener dog, or a salchicha, as they call them in Spanish. She's actually got an "Ecua-whine" of her own and is always crying outside the door, begging to be let in. She's awfully cute, and when she's not jumping up to try to lick my hand she's clawing at my feet, trying to steal my sandals.

I like playing with her, but I gotta say, I'm pretty upset by this latest development. Those were a new pair of boxers, Joe Boxer brand to be exact, so they were nice too. My mom had gotten them for me before I left home, if that should add any sentiment to it at all. I have a bunch of older pairs that Lili could have destroyed if she'd liked, but instead she went after the new pair. Dammit.

My host mom has offered to buy me a new pair, but I haven't even paid my rent yet since I've been here because I have yet to be paid, and she hasn't once asked me for the money, so I don't think I'll be asking her for any money. Lili was already in the doghouse tonight, literally, for her actions.

But there is one good bit of news from all of this. If I can be getting upset from something as stupid as a wasted pair of boxers, than that means things can't be too bad. Things have to be looking up if little things like that get on your nerves. So at the end of it all, it's kind of a nice wake up call.

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