Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Hola, Quito!

Hello, Quito, Ecuador, my home for the next year! I got so excited to be landing in Bogota to catch the final leg that I had completely forgotten to take the rolled posters and a painting inside the rolled posters. I may or may not get those back, but at least I had some sense to buy some liqueur for friends here. The moment the plane started its descent, I saw the outskirts of the two-million populous city located among the high Andes ridges, with beautiful ravines and valleys, winding roads and vistas of breathtaking beauty. The lower the plane came down, the better I could the city, and it was the city from my dream of last summer. It was the city. It's overwhelming to think how non-linear reality is, how even before events take place, they have already taken place, albeit in the future. As I went through the immigration -- with the concept of the universal citizenship, you don't need a visa for Ecuador, nor are you going to be questioned extensively like pretty much anywhere else in the world, including Mongolia -- got outside to grab my first cigarette in ten hours since Miami, I felt like I was home, it felt totally like home, the smell, the air, the beautiful mestizo people. As I stood outside relishing my cigarette (and yes, I am quitting smoking this year, all in its good time), I was facing the Pichincha mountains that reminded me of the Bogd Khaan mountains on the south of Ulaanbaatar, except of course, the Pichincha are a lot higher. The whole city is a lot higher than Ulaanbaatar at 2800 metres above the sea level, that beats Ulaanbaatar twice and some -- well of course, Quito (San Francisco de Quito formerly) is the highest capital in the world. No wonder I'm getting a little lightheaded from time to time, it's not an instant love affair, as I thought, just altitude. No, seriously, it is a love affair from the first instance. This dynamo of passion that is Eli, Eli's partner Ana, a talented photographer, a new friend Gustavo then took me to my very first meal in Quito at a restaurant called El Pobre Diablo with  -- wait for it, wait for it...... -- the pictures of all the presidents of Ecuador in the toilet, referred to by locals lovingly as the yellow lounge! Formerly a small factory, the El Pobre Diablo was a feast to the eyes and the senses, food included. Afterwards, we couldn't resist but commit a delinquency by drinking to my arrival in a religious residence -- what is life if not the little risks, adventures and harmless forbidden fun! This morning got my Nebido (which is 3 and a half  times cheaper here than in Mongolia so for that alone I should move here as the HRT is life-long and ultimately quite expensive in the long run!), did my shot, and I'm now happily working on the report. Signing off with an extremely stupid goofy grin that is my face since yesterday :D

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