02 April 2006
q: how's ecuador?
a: how's the united states? i don't know how to answer that question.
q: ok. um...let's start with basics. give me some cold hard facts about quito.
a: quito is a city of 1-2 million people, and can be found at an elevation of 2850 meters, or 1.7 miles.
q: how's the currency exchange?
a: the exchange rate continues to be 1:1, because the official currency of ecuador is the US dollar.
q: what time is it there? are you on pacific time?
a: actually, until today i was on eastern standard time, but due to your daylight savings time i'm central now, because ecuadoreans don't want to get up earlier, so they neither spring forward nor fall back.
q: eastern?!? aren't you west of us?
a: actually, no--if you look at a map you'll notice how far south america creeps out east. weird, huh?
q: boy, i'll say! i'm really learning a lot from you, jeremy! what a wise and interesting person you are! anyway, what do you do all day?
a: what a nice compliment! i appreciate being esteemed by you, mystery interviewer! i work in the OR at hospital vozandes quito in quito ecuador. i work from 7-3:30, and generally speaking i come home and lie around a little, read, write in my super awesome travel journal (if you're going to leave the country soon, become friends with millhouse first because he gives excellent journals as parting gifts), or do things like that. then i go for some kind of walk to some part of the city i haven't been to, or to some sight to see or something.
q: 7am?!? that sucks!
a: while technically not a question, i'm going to let it slide because it is so unquestionably and irrefutably true.
q: hey, missionaries can't say suck! so are you tired?
a: i didn't say it, you did! i'm pretty much tired all the time, yeah. except for when i go to bed for some reason. culture shock has failed to cure my mini-insomnia, it seems. this week i started running in the mornings (BEFORE work. which begins at 7am.) to tire myself out. pollution + elevation + asthma + i'm not in shape at all = i'm really glad no one's out at 5am, or my cross-country shame instincts would probably run me to my death.
q: hm. that's...fascinating. you overdramatic weirdo. so what are you reading lately?
a: what a good question!!! i'm actually in the middle of three books right now, but i just finished wuthering heights by emily brontë, and the one i am about to put most of my efforts into next is cien años de soledad, by my good friend gabriel garcía márquez. this will be a re-read, but this time i'm doing it in spanish. in some ways it's as much a vocab-building exercise as it is a celebration or savoring of probably one of the best books ever written.
q: so why haven't you responded to my email yet?
a: hey, that wasn't an approved question! stick to the script! weren't you going to ask me something about how awesome the people of ecuador think i am? something about all the female nurses in the OR?
q: no, i want to know why you haven't responded to my email, and by the looks of your inbox, i'm not the only one who's wondering.
a: sigh. ok. i'm sorry to you and everyone who has written me and not received anything back from me. i keep myself pretty busy here, and have just not had the time to sit down and write the emails i want to write. but i'd like you all to know i very much appreciate hearing from you, and it's a special treat to hear from my friends while i'm over here.
q: see, that wasn't so hard, was it? anyway, this has been fun. we should do it again sometime--maybe some other readers could submit some questions?
a: sure, that'd be great--they could put them in the comments section if there's something of general interest they've been wondering about.
q: sounds great. talk to you later!