Saturday, 25 April 2009

Quito To The Border

Quito as a ghost capital city on the Sunday morning I arrive. Everyone partying in Puerto Lopez perhaps.

Making enough bolognese to last me four days in an expansive kitchen listening to Françoise Hardy.

Going to the cinema to see Benjamin Button with a girl called Emily Button - poetic, even if the film was utter shlock. (Enjoyed Cate Blanchett though, I have no critical faculties when it come to this woman). We had to sweet-talk our way in past no less than 3 armed guards to do it- because we are 10 minutes late.

Playing songs quietly on the terrace in the occasionally library like tranquility of Casa Bambu with the nice Chilean couple I forget the names amazing view of the mountain flanked city.

Waking up with a feeling I was leaving too soon but going anyway.

The horror of finding my empty satchel still wrapped around my legs on the bus out of Quito....relieved of a laptop with all my own recordings from November, music and photos from my trip.

Arriving in Tulcan border town to file a report at a police station Samuel Beckett would have been pround of. Emily kindly buying some rum which the Ecuadorian police gladly consume whilst typing up my report. (This is the first of two times that someone has entered ´British Citizen´ as my first and second name). One un-connected officer gives me a torrent of questions about English whiskey and also if Scotland is in fact England.

Watching The Squid and The Whale on a double bed in the utterly seedy Hotel San Franscico before the power goes out. Feeling indescribably downcast and philosphical alternately....

A brain like a fly around shit for weeks after. Únable to leave the incident ever accumulating list of losses, involutary acts of (imagined) violence and voodoo directed at the faceless perpetrator.

A long ride to Cali through some beautiful countryside. Emily leaving for the coast on her birthday. Me being ill, again.

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Characters - Puerto Lopez

John and Dennis from Minnosota. Musician and eco warrior respectively. Poker. The dog that follows them everywhere. They´re being quietly smart (Americans) and, I can´t think of a better way of saying it, kind of short and cute.....long chats into the evening with John. Later his lost camera grief.

Fabian and ?. Fabian´s inherently hilarious body language, especially whilst playing pool. Isla Del Planta, playing that weird fill in the gaps game about a guy in a car listening to a record skipping who then kills himself...seeing some blue footed boobies and...thats all. Arriving to a hill top vista and sitting next to two guys holding rifles. Me asking them where they´re from and realising I have never actually heard a broad Alabama accent before, at least not in real life....Fabian asking what they are killing...the slow drawled response. ´Aymm jurst killin cayts´ (I´m just killing cats). The highlight of an off day.

Playing cards with the very loud guy from Alaska who was absolutely fascinated with himself.

Micheal, late 40´s from Sheffield. Works as a driver for an incredibly rich sheik in London - I forget how this came about. Takes lovely pictures which he frequently ruins with unnecessary Photoshop post production (in my opinion). Endears himself to my two german friends by asking them exactly what town the Nazi rallies took place in Germany, by way of introduction...They perhaps understandably don´t reply....the look of genuine curiousity and mischief on his face, which despite myself I found contagiously humourous. ´Travels´ with a stunning 22 year old actress from Cali who cooks amazing vegatarian food, practises transcendental meditation´and poses but naked on the beach for his impromtu photoshoots. My redeeming memory of Michael is of his swaying gently on a hammock in the humid equadorian afternoon reading Edgar Allen Poe and listening to Skinny Puppy. A true one off.