not chestnuts unless you are mexican/honduran (thedevilsheart) wrote,
not chestnuts unless you are mexican/honduran
thedevilsheart

PARTY IN THE USA

because before everything, i have to share this video. it is absolute gold

    

well technically, i'm not in the US, but that's what this post is about--uswnt shenanigans aside (seriously, these women are ridic--in the best of ways of course. ...also i made myself sad imagining what ali krieger would be doing in this video so that's a cautionary tale to all right there)


IN ANY CASE. not in the US, in ecuador. cuenca, as of now--which, god, i love. i'm a cuenca girl (sorry mom!), because...it's this town, you know? it's big but small at the same time, and it's more of the artsy stuff i'm into. maybe it's the bar thing (which: most bars close at 2 on the weekends, except for when they close earlier because the time places close is ridiculous) not to say cuenca doesn't have its...issues--thievery being, of course, the main one, but. you know. no place is perfect and i can honestly say i would live here. 

whatever, have some pictures. 

cuenca 2
so technically this isn't cuenca--it's outside guayaquil, on the way to cuenca. fun thing, cuenca's airport? not international. that means i (we) flew in from jfk to guayaquil, and were treated to a 3/4 hour van ride to cuenca. ...that's not even sarcastic! i mean, it's terrifying, but by god the sight. the thing about ecuador is it's...a mix. there's the coast, where guayaquil is, and the mountainous area (sierra?) which is where cuenca is. there's also a part of the amzaon...which is just cool and incidentally where a family friend is studying a tribe (he's an anthropologist and, for a white guy, dances way better than i do. 

the trip from guayaquil to cuenca? involves going up and around the andes mountains. like i said, terrifying as fuck, but gorgeous.

cuenca 3
it's hard to see, but the bluish mountains (a trick of light, or so i'm told) are actually way way ahead of the picture...which means that there is actually a huge drop you can't see (thank your stars for that)

now this...
cuenca 5
this...is cuenca. it's not a grey and steel city--most of the houses are made of old brink and concrete and wood, and have those really spanish red-orange tiles. the newer buildings are, of course, new brick and whatever, and cuenca lies in the lovely shadow(s) of the mountains. it's...well, it's cuenca.

fun note--where the trees are? there's a soccer stadium behind there. this picture was taken at turi, a small town higher up the mountains than cuenca, so the view is phenomenal, but my aunt lives just below turi (in the outskirts and also, oddly, in a richer part of town? i mean ecuador is poor in general, but its a comparison thing) and she gets more or less the same view. one of the days we slept over my aunt's, there was cuenca's clasico (think real madrid and barcelona), deportivo cuenca vs...barcelona, but the guayaquileñan version. lord, it was loud and it was amusing seeing all the guayaquileños trudging back to their buses after the match (we won, 1-0) (the joke was, of course, that barça had amassed enough points in the season to advance in the league anyway, but still. we won)
cuenca 4
while my aunt's house has a view comparable to turi, my grandma's house isn't so high up (we're in the north part of town, and not up a mountain) BUT we don't have to spend 15-20 minutes getting to el centro (the...center of town). it's a five minute ride at most, and costs about $2...which, yeah. is another thing. stuff in ecuador? not as expensive (which, duh franchesca come on). computers of course, are outrageous, but a lot of other prices are...unheard of in the US (NJ). 
cuenca 1
speaking of el centro--there's a lot of graffiti. la universidad de cuenca is...one of the best in country (thus, one of the most difficult to get into), which lends itself to the overall scene of town--a bit academic but mostly a lot of university students being stupid. it's fun (except for when i see nazi symbols, then i'm just confused). oh ecuador.
cuenca 6
cuenca 7
cuenca 10
okay, so up top is el vado. it's...the oldest outskirt, just overlooking el rio tomebamba, where (centuries ago), cuenca ended. the second picture is basically what grew after cuenca crossed el rio tomebamba. fun note, cuenca is known for it's four rivers, (the biggest) tomebamba, tarqui, yanuncauy, and machangara. wikipedia tells me they were named for cañari culture, but any idiot can tell you these names are older than the spanish colonists.

third is el catedral (the newer one). this picture (taken from the back of my aunt's car because we are so spanish oh my god, we fit 11 people in a car meant for 5) is so NOT the whole of the cathedral which is gorgeous with blue domes and romanesque architecture (i paid attention in class! i can tell the difference between the two!) but the only other picture i have is of me drinking canelazo on the steps, so.  

(side note, canelazo is this drink made from boiling cinnamon, pineapple...and various other fruits, and served with about half a cup of (zhumir, in ecuador) aguadiente. it is basically the best drink to warm you up (hence being served mostly in the mountains where it gets freaking cold at night) and also totally masks the sheer burn of zhumir. it is also delicious and can totally knock you out on your ass because goddammit zhumir is strong) it's generally served during parties but also mostly fiestas (a distinction that quite important because one determines when it will be free and when it will cost you). while we were here la fiesta de la virgen de camen was...starting, or going on, and we definitely got our party on. hence, drinking canelazo in front of the cathedral at 1 in the morning)
cuenca 8
cuenca 9
cuenca 11
as said, the fiestas were going on. they involve dancing and fireworks (and a lot of drinking). a lot of traditional dance troupes perform at night, generally in front of a church because goddammit that's where the party's at. first pic i took mostly video (these people are...wow. phenomenal) because i only had my phone and i can't focus...at all. i managed to procure a camera later (read: steal from my cousin) but she forgot the connection cord back home (in nj), so no high quality pictures. you do, however, get to see un castillo (second pic) before it gets lit. a castillo is this...thing, lined with fireworks that is lit and just...blows up. it's crazy and fun and great and i wish like hell i could upload the video but again, on the camera. there's also these things called vaca locas which (i did manage to take video with my phone but i uploaded that on facebook and...don't really want to upload here because this post is probably too long already) is basically a guy holding up a wooden cow...lined in fireworks. are you sensing a theme? ecuadorians know how to party yo. dude chases you around and you run like hell because this guy is throwing fireworks all over the place and he is coming right at you and it's...crazy fun. 

lastly is this charming little lady. i can't remember where they came from, but her (family?) dance mates did this crazy old dance involving two sheep and a chicken (...god that sounds downright crazy when i write it out). she is probably all of three but there was a monetary prize involved so, you know. gotta pull out all the stops right? so she's dancing, except she's really just being dragged by the hand, holding an ice cream and a barbie. it was the most adorable thing ever. 


i...have no more pictures (fit for human consumption), but the trips only about halfway done. next week we're going on a roadtrip that involves us kids sleeping in the back of a pickup truck for the duration so i'll try to take pics and upload them when i get wifi again. 

(why do i refer to myself as a kid i am a goddamn adult dammit, i can drink here)

(also i had a party yesterday so i am exhausted and there are probably a million things i meant to say...and forgot. god i even have bags under my eyes. i wasn't even drunk! watered down drinks suck. ...my feet hurt)


other things! warehouse 13 comes back in something hours which i cannot wait for and also am going to have hope the internet stays up long enough to download. wish me luck! and if hg comes back in the first ep i don't care find a way to spoil me. 

...also i'm going to miss the uswnt at the olympics due to the aforementioned roadtrip. shit. 
Tags: ecuador, personal things get their own tag
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