Everything That Has A Beginning Has An End

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This blog entry about the events of Tuesday, November 04, 2003 was originally posted on November 05, 2003.

DAY 17:  For the past week and a half, I had fallen into a routine in which I’d wake up, shower and have breakfast with Arne and Blanca.  Things were different this morning.  It was Arne’s last day in the house, since he was planning to move to his friend’s place a couple of days before he starting work in a hospital the following week.

Since Arne didn’t have school, he was in no rush at breakfast — nor was Blanca because she wasn’t going to school either.  As a teacher, she and all of her fellow teachers across the country, were on strike.  They were sick and tired of only making ten dollars a day.

I’ve realized that although Ecuador uses the US Dollar, everything is about 20%-25% the price that it is in the States.  For example, a private room in a hostel in Quito is about eight bucks a night.  Multiply that by five and it’s forty, which sounds about right for what it is.  Cab fare from the airport into town is six bucks; multiply that by five and it’s thirty.  A 32 oz. beer at this bar we always go to is $1.12; multiply that by five and its some number that I can’t do in my head because I suck at math and went to art school.

By this rationale, Blanca made just fifty bucks a day in American standards, which is still pretty shitty when you have to deal with annoying kids all day.  Blanca almost spit out her tea when I told her minimum wage in America was over five bucks per hour.


I LEFT MY GERMAN BROTHER IN HIS BEDROOM (picture above) and walked to school without a compadre for the first time since I began living at the house.  However, it was also my last time, because it was my tenth day in my ten-day crash course. 

My tutor Rosa and I went over more verbs conjugated in the past tense and I felt pretty good having had a grasp on it.  I was feeling really confident in my Spanish — until I asked about the difference between para and por, which put my brain in a mind twister again.  (Both words mean “for,” but are used differently depending on the context.)

For my final “exam,” I simply had to — with no help from Rosa or a dictionary — write a message in the school’s guestbook.  I wrote:

Cuando estuve perdido en Quito hace dos semanas,
quise apprender Español y encontré la escuela Beraca.
Con mi profesora Rosa, aprendé muchos palabras que
voy a trater no olvidar…pero depende de las cervezas!

¡Muchos gracias Beraca y Rosa!

It was a tad more polite than what I had written in my homework the day before: ”¡Hasta la vista, puta!”


IN THE AFTERNOON I grabbed a quick shawarma for a buck — that’s five bucks if you can do that math in your head (I used a calculator) — and went back to school for a quick last game of Cuarenta.  Then I met up with Arne and his friend Jurgen and we hopped in a cab to Cinemark, a couple of miles away.  Cinemark is just like your average American big multiplex theater — video games, popcorn, soda — but with one major difference:  a ticket is just $2.60.  I couldn’t even imagine what a matinee price was.

While almost all movies that are exported from Hollywood into other countries aren’t released until months after the US release, producer Joel Silver promised a worldwide release date of the third installment of the Matrix trilogy.  Posters for “Matrix Revoluciones” were everywhere with its tagline “Todo lo que tiene un inicio tiene un fin” (“Everything that has a beginning has an end.”)  Just about every teenager that just got out of school was there.  I fit right in.

“It’s gonna be in English right?” I asked Arne as we sat in the theater as the advertising slides ran.

“Yes, it has to be.  I think of all Latin America has films in English with Spanish undertitles.  That’s how it was in Mexico when I saw Snatch.”

The previews began, the first one being for Disney’s latest soon-to-flop animated picture Brother Bear.  To my surprise, it was entirely dubbed in Spanish.

“Uh, it’s in Spanish,” I pointed out to Arne.

“Ja, that’s weird.”

I knew I took had just completed a crash course in Spanish, but I wasn’t sure I was ready to sit through an entire movie dubbed in it.  The only thing I probably would have picked on would be ”¡Señor Anderson!”

The trailer for S.W.A.T. came on, in English with Spanish subtitles, which was a pleasant surprise.  I thought perhaps they only dubbed the animated movies in Spanish, but then came the trailer for El Retorno del Rey (Return of the King, the third installment of El Señor de los Anillos).  It was entirely dubbed in Spanish with voices that closely matched those of Gandalf, Samwise and Gollum. 

The green ripple of the Warner Bros. studio lot appeared and zoomed out to the WB logo.  I had no idea what I was in store for until the main title sequence began.  Sure enough — and luckily for us — The Matrix was in English with Spanish subtitles.  However, most of the dialogue consisted of simple, deadpan one-liners using the verb “believe,” that I probably could have figured it out had it been dubbed anyway. 

Allow me to digress for a bit with my comments on Matrix Revoluciones without giving it away.  I enjoyed it.  In fact, I thought it was much better than the second one; it didn’t rely on kung-fu or that 360° Bullet-Time “Matrix Effect” as much as Reloaded.  Instead, it relied on good ol’ fashioned war action, with an amazing edge-of-your-seat sequence of machines vs. mechs.  Sure the dialogue was pretty lame, and the love story was unmistakenly written by a guy, but it in the end, it was definitely worth at least the $2.60 I spent on it. 


THE GERMAN GUYS AND I took a cab back to GringoLand for happy hour.  Well, at a buck a beer, it’s always happy hour.  Afterwards, Arne went his separate way to his new place while I went back to Blanca’s.  Arne’s room had been cleaned out already, and I was an only son.  Arne missed out though, because for dinner we had nice big juicy steaks.

Later on, I ran into Navid in an internet cafe.  He was busy involved in a cybersex four-way chat room on Yahoo! Messenger, and just for the cafe’s hourly rate of just ninety cents.  Even if that translates to $4.50 in the US, that still ain’t bad.






Next entry: Ecuadorean Jedi

Previous entry: La Gripe




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Comments for “Everything That Has A Beginning Has An End”

  • Re: Revolutions. I know a few ppl that saw it yesterday and the latest qt trailer has me hooked. Its funny that you mentioned the constant use of “believe” coz the trailer is full of “blah blah blah believe” and “blah blah I believe blah”.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/05  at  02:56 PM


  • re: revolutions. I know a few ppl that saw it yesterday and the least that they can say about it is “meh”. Theres a new qt trailer for it and it actually got me excited…once you get past the constant use of “blah blah blah believe” or “blah blah I believe blah”.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/05  at  03:00 PM


  • “Everything That Has A Beginning Has An End”

    ...this was the first thing that richard cruz said to me this morning.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/05  at  03:01 PM


  • Glad to see The Matrix is available where you are.  How do you say “Brother Bear” in Spanish? 

    We missed you at TJ’s last night.  But we (correctly) assumed you were drinking somewhere.

    Posted by matto  on  11/05  at  03:02 PM


  • Mr. Trinidad, welcome back…(and yes Matrix Revolutions was awesome!!!)

    Now that I see you can do anything around the world, even go see the Matrix on opening day, maybe I’ll split NYC and travel around the world for my 30th bday. We’ll meet up in Thailand.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/05  at  03:03 PM


  • Did I just have a deja vu?

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/05  at  03:03 PM


  • por and para es muy dificil….even mrs. chiu’s class at TJ didn’t explain it that well

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/05  at  03:07 PM


  • MATTO:  “Brother Bear” in Spanish?  “Un otro flopo con la musica de Phil Collins.”

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/05  at  03:09 PM


  • (They’ve changed something.)

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/05  at  03:12 PM


  • “Did I just have a deja vu?”

    they’re reseting the system. they’re onto you!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/05  at  03:12 PM


  • senor anderson….

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/05  at  03:43 PM


  • How many beers does it take to forget Spanish?

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/05  at  03:44 PM


  • Dtella:  Beer just makes my Spanish “more creative”...

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/05  at  03:48 PM


  • so what do you think a red devil would do? and how the hell do i order you one from all the way up here?

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/05  at  03:55 PM


  • I am sorry to learn of your status as an only host-child.  How are you to become properly socialized?

    Posted by mrMacDowell  on  11/05  at  05:05 PM


  • boo the BN union square….only had 3 copies of the book in the bookcase and it wasn’t featured on the “travel essay” table!.....will send pics of the lonely 3 copies later…wait…lonely 2 copies now….

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/05  at  05:20 PM


  • wheat = senor pescado or little nemo

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/05  at  05:22 PM


  • Se?or Anderson, so glad you could make it! Glad you’re feeling better, and hope the beer isn’t the cause of your illness. Then you may have to hit the tequila. I forwarded your BLOG site to about 20 people yesterday, that ought to increase your readership a bit. My hubbie just started substituting, and I think I’m getting him a GT2004 thing from the site to spread the word to his High School students. Keep it coming!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/05  at  06:10 PM


  • CHRISTY:  excellent news…that makes another school district that will be added to my audience…

    Mr.MACDOWELL:  una palabra:  cerveza (por supuesto)

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/05  at  10:06 PM


  • nice & cheap. can’t believe the movie was only $2.60! you can’t even get soda for that much. what a bargain!!! go south america…

    you know the soccer game (semi finals) we went to in rio?! that was only $5…and those were scalper tickets!!!

    i just spread the word of your blog to another travel addict…

    how many hits do you get on this site?? any way to tell?

    (i’m jealous)

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/05  at  10:20 PM


  • ELAINE:  as a matter of fact, I just added a counter to the front page…  its at the bottom.  today i got 40 people so far…

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/05  at  10:32 PM


  • buy a pocket dictionary!

    hey this must be the first blog in a while without any poop references!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/05  at  11:08 PM


  • Well, Scott, it looks like you just ruined that with your own poop reference.

    Posted by Matt  on  11/05  at  11:37 PM


  • that counter thingy is pretty cool - kinda confusing at first, but figured it out after staring at it for a while

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/06  at  12:41 AM


  • I saw Matrix today too! Accept I paid $11.50 for the “I-MAX” experience,  which wasn’t anymore stunning than Matrix in a regular megaplex.

    Erik, do you know when you will be in Thailand?

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/06  at  12:58 AM


  • wow, that counter is no joke. averages, totals, mins, seconds, hours, weekly, monthly, yearly.. holy smokes! i was just curious on the # of hits & i get the entire run down. pretty cool!

    (i’m jealous)

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/06  at  01:09 AM


  • SCOTT:  a pocket dictionary…to rest my beer on….

    Td0t:  well, the way this trip has gone so far, i only see has far as maybe 2 days in advance.  i know what ill do this weekend, but have no idea what after that, let alone when i’ll be in thailand…  but sometime in the later part of 2004, when the monsoon season is over…

    ROZZIE:  wow, teach me…i still don’t understand that thing…

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/06  at  02:07 AM


  • had a good trip to Ba?os?? maybe we?ll meet again further south. take care

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/06  at  08:29 PM


  • Hey Erik - you’re going to have to pay Christy and Warren advocacy commission when you get back for making sure everyone knows what you’re up to.

    I love seeing pix of how normal people live all over the place. Show us the houses and streets and businesses.

    Posted by Lorraine  on  11/06  at  11:26 PM


  • you know, $2.60 x 5 doesn’t make it look cheap anymore(at least for the Ecuadorians).

    (hello, by the way, i’m alyson. got to your page from friendster)

    Posted by Alyson  on  11/07  at  07:23 AM


  • Alyson:  2.60x4 is about what we pay in New York…

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/07  at  08:15 PM


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This blog post is one of over 500 travel dispatches from the trip blog, "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World (Or Until Money Runs Out, Whichever Comes First)," originally hosted by BootsnAll.com. It chronicled a trip around the world from October 2003 to March 2005, which encompassed travel through thirty-seven countries in North America, South America, Africa, Europe, and Asia. It was this blog that "started it all," where Erik evolved and honed his style of travel blogging — it starts to come into focus around the time he arrives in Africa.

Praised and recommended by USA Today, RickSteves.com, and readers of BootsnAll and Lonely Planet's Thorn Tree, The Global Trip blog was selected by the editors of PC Magazine for the "Top 100 Sites You Didn't Know You Couldn't Live Without" (in the travel category) in 2005.


Next entry:
Ecuadorean Jedi

Previous entry:
La Gripe




THE GLOBAL TRIP GLOSSARY

Confused at some of the jargon that's developed with this blog and its readers over the years? Here's what they mean:

BFFN: acronym for "Best Friend For Now"; a friend made on the road, who will share travel experiences for the time being, only to part ways and lose touch with

The Big Trip: the original sixteen month around-the-world trip that started it all, spanning 37 countries in 5 continents over 503 days (October 2003–March 2005)

NIZ: acronym for "No Internet Zone"; a place where there is little to no Internet access, thus preventing dispatches from being posted.

SBR: acronym for "Silent Blog Reader"; a person who has regularly followed The Global Trip blog for years without ever commenting or making his/her presence known to the rest of the reading community. (Breaking this silence by commenting is encouraged.)

Stupid o'clock: any time of the early morning that you have to wake up to catch a train, bus, plane, or tour. Usually any time before 6 a.m. is automatically “stupid o’clock.”

The Trinidad Show: a nickname of The Global Trip blog, used particularly by travelers that have been written about, who are self-aware that they have become "characters" in a long-running story — like characters in the Jim Carrey movie, The Truman Show.

WHMMR: acronym for "Western Hemisphere Monday Morning Rush"; an unofficial deadline to get new content up by a Monday morning, in time for readers in the western hemisphere (i.e. the majority North American audience) heading back to their computers.

1981ers: people born after 1981. Originally, this was to designate groups of young backpackers fresh out of school, many of which were loud, boorish and/or annoying. However, time has passed and 1981ers have matured and have been quite pleasant to travel with. The term still refers to young annoying backpackers, regardless of year — I guess you could call them "1991ers" in 2013 — young, entitled millennials on the road these days, essentially.




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