Even though I haven’t left Ecuador yet, it feels like I have…that is because I am in Cuenca…the third largest Ecuadorian city with many rich retired english speaking gringos calling it home. The Ecuadorians here automatically speak english to me..but mostly to say “hey baby what’s your name how are you where are you from.” like a statement they say again and again to the point where these aren’t even questions they want to know. The first person I met in Cuenca was bold enough to ask if he could marry me so I could “help him out” to get a US visa (i admire the upfrontness, because usually the dudes are a little more sly and the conversation goes like this: dude: where u from? me: usa. dude: o. wanna get a drink l8r?) …to which I said no…to which he asked why…to which i found myself profoundly confused because could this person be serious??? Then once this portion of our conversation was dropped (twas a conversation because he was my bus driver…and since there were no empty seats on this bus i sat next to the driver) he asked me where I was staying when I arrived in Cuenca…to which I said “I don’t know yet”…to which he said he could help me find a place near the bus terminal…to which I said “sure, thanks”…to which he said something along the lines of “can i stay the night with you”…to which i said … “no”…to which he said “why, we are friends”…to which i just said “…haha”. Oh and the events of my arrival to Cuenca should have been obvious foreshadowing to the strangeness of my final, precious stretch of time in this beautiful country. Long story short, I had to exchange my cheap ass sunglasses to change my bus ticket…then I got on the bus to take another bus, and long story short, this bus (with my friggin backpack!) ditched me at a gas station at 10pm…which is how i ended up on a different bus with the bus driver who wanted american citizenship..and when I got to the bus station and found the bus driver who ditched me and asked him for my backpack..HE WAS MAD AT ME FOR BEING DITCHED BY HIM!!!!!! WHAT A DICK!
And let me just say that I am very exhausted right now because, as a person, I need sleep. Currently, the hostel I am staying in in Cuenca is a flippin joke because the people who work here are STILL UP TALKING and i’m too much of a bitch to tell them to stfu. but honestly they should be respectful anyways, and i shouldn’t have to worry about telling them to stuff it. And the Israeli dude who owns this hostel (which hasn’t even been open 2 months) says he “can’t take it anymore” and is running away to Peru with his “American Girlfriend” and that he’s “never going to work another day in his life” and is leaving the hostel to this young dude with dreads, which he feels good about because he has a “good vibe”. This poor overworked man proceeded to guess (creepily correctly) things about me like my age and what I studied in college…either he’s good at seeing thru people or I am a big fat stereotype (a 24 y/o who studied something along the lines of biology/ecology)..then he looked at my tattoos…read the one that says “so much beauty in dirt” then made the statement “there isn’t much beauty in the world anymore” and in my mind i was like “bruh you’re like what…in your 30s? what is ‘anymore’ to you?” but out loud i just said “yeah dude your ugliness is sucking up all the beauty i’ve seen in ecuador” to which he bitch slapped me so hard his diamond ring drew blood from my cheek…and in that moment i knew he was lying about his “girlfriend” in peru because this guy was flamboyant af. Ok so that last part where I made that sick burn and was subsequently slapped was made up.
So I am not an expert in anything at all, especially a country that is not my own – one which I have no affiliation or true sense of belonging – but Cuenca is not Ecuador. First impressions matter, and every impression I’ve had of Cuenca over the past 24 hours looks like a dirty old street dog that just had her 7th litter of puppies. It’s catered to gringos in such an extreme way that I was surprised to even see murals of indigenous people. Everyone I’ve spoken to speaks english to me, even when I speak to them in spanish. Another white dude on the street handed me a flyer to have a free drink at a hostel to meet other backpackers. An old white man was walking the most manicured poodle I had ever seen. Sure Cuenca has gorgeous architecture and a river that flows through town. It’s a lovely spot, but you wouldn’t know where in the world you were.
I am here for 2 more days. I will leave the confines of the town and find some of that good ol ecuadorian beauty. And I will write a proper entry on ecuador because I liked this country a lot more than I imagined and it deserves praise. Except Cuenca.
The hostel is quiet now! I can go to bed!