Traveling is glamorous

I am, of course, being facetious.  Traveling is always fun but there are always those weird incidents.  The ones you are just don’t encounter as often in your normal life.

In an effort to enjoy the sudden, uncharacteristic sunny days I had last week I sunbathed a good bit and took a surf class.  Combined with the multiple dinners I had over the holiday, I managed to give myself some form of heat stroke or dehydration.  I was lightheaded for a few days and it finally culminated in me barely being able to stand.  A preventable problem that I prepared for poorly.  I was not fond of lugging 5 liter jugs of water with me through town, but it would certainly be preferable to being sick. This is one time when I wish I was staying in a village that at least had a proper market or even a restaurant.

I took the weekend to recover only to have a second problem smack right into me.  What happened to relaxing in a hammock reading all day?  I had a toilet that would have a water level that rises and falls with the level of the tide from the ocean 50 feet from the house.  I noted this to the building manager only to be told this was normal for Ecuadorian built houses so close to the ocean.  No, it turns out the septic tank had not been cleared in a while and I got to deal with the unfortunate circumstances.  The building manager had left for America a few days before and could not help.  Nothing says fun travel like mopping out a bathroom with an overflowing toilet at 3 am for the third time in a day.  I don’t think I’ve ever used so much bleach before.  The strong scent of chemical is my only defense against this scourge of sanitation in my current living situation.  I have learned many words in Spanish that I had not set out to learn.  I am also learning to deal with “Oh, the plumber might show up today, or not.  That’s just how Ecuador is”.  I have the feeling that is how many countries will be.  Luckily the guy I rented the apartment from is helpful, but I am not excited to see my phone bill this month.

I am still excited to explore the rich cultures of all the countries that I visit.  I hope that I do not have to learn about the efficiency of problem solving and the difficulties of not speaking the native language in all of them.


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