La Gripe


This blog entry about the events of Monday, November 03, 2003 was originally posted on November 04, 2003.

DAY 16: I woke up at about 3 a.m. feeling a little feverish.  I popped a couple of ibuprofen and went back to sleep.  I woke up around 7 with the sun feeling better, but still a little feverish, but managed to finish my homework.  I had to write a story in Spanish using as many of the new verbs that I had learned.  I wrote one about the final battle between a secret agent and an evil scientist — in the end, the secret agent defeats the him, but not after saying “Hasta la vista, PUTA!”

My tutor Rosa saw that I wasn’t my usual energetic self and said that I probably had La Gripe because I’m not use to the rapid change in temperature.

On a normal November day in Quito, the weather is like this:  you wake up and the sky is blue, the sun is shining and you look out the window and say like Ferris Bueller, “How can I possibly be expected to go to school on a day like this?”  But you go to school anyway since you already paid for it in advance in cash, and sit with a tutor for four hours and conjugate verbs.  After class, you walk around to soak in the sun and its 80 degrees F temperature and maybe grab something to eat.  As you eat, you notice the clouds come in and the temperature drops from the mid 80s to the mid 50s.  A sprinkle turns into a drizzle, and a drizzle turns into a rain, and the only thing to do is to veg out in an internet cafe and write a blog entry whose third paragraph is about how fast the weather changes on a normal November day in Quito.

I TOOK IT EASY the rest of the day.  I hung out in my bedroom and just rested for a bit (picture above) after lunch.  Then I went out to wander in the area and ran into the two Danish blondes.  I tagged along with them as they went back to the Biking Dutchman office to complain about last Saturday’s trip to Cotopaxi, how it wasn’t fair that we couldn’t do everything that had been promised because we always had to wait up for the 24 other Brits of varied ages and previous biking experience.  We thought we’d have to make a strong case to get any compensation, but our guide had already explained to the owner the situation, and the woman gave us each ten bucks back and a free T-shirt.  This works out great because ten bucks can get you about nine 30 oz. bottle of beer here and the t-shirt could be used as a change of clothes when you vomit all over the shirt you’re were wearing.

I went back to school to pay off my housing.  Carmen the director of the school had nothing to do so we played a round of Cuarenta until Mike, My Spouse In Air Quotes, dropped by to pay off some of his debts.

“What are you eating over there, at your family?” Mike asked me.  “For breakfast for example.”

“Fresh juice, a big plate of fresh fruit, eggs and croissants.”

“Wow, you get eggs?  I only get a roll with some cream cheese and some pineapple marmalade.” 

I told him Arne and I would be out next week and that he should try to switch to Blanca’s house.

“Eggs.  Man, I love me some eggs,” he said.

THE RAIN LET UP late afternoon and I walked back to the Mall El Jardin and practiced my Spanish by asking around for an adapter for my camera, so that I could simply use my Sony MemorySticks in a 3.5” floppy drive.  I looked all over but couldn’t find one.  I even went into Radio Shack since they say “You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers.”  But their answer was “No tenemos.”

At least I managed to leave the store without being asked for my zip code.

AT DINNER, Gabi saw that I looked a little tired and I told her that I felt a little sick.  “Oh, la gripe,” she said very nonchalantly before asking me to pass the juice.  “Es comon.”  (“It’s common.”)

Gabi had grown up in a house where, for the past ten years travelers had been coming and going, and she probably had seen hundreds of them suffering from La Gripe.  I was just another number and was glad it wasn’t just me.

After dinner, I still felt a little grippy but still had some energy to go out partying with Arne, since he invited me to hang out with his friend from Texas who lived in Quito and apparently knew all the cool spots and lots of chicas.  However, we I asked him what the plan was, he said he wasn’t going anymore because he too was feeling a bit sick.  Apparently, La Gripe had gotten him too.

So I popped an ibuprofen and went to bed at nine and slept for ten hours. 

I woke up the next day, a refreshed new man.  La Gripe had come and gone.

Next entry: Everything That Has A Beginning Has An End

Previous entry: Mallrats

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.

Comments for “La Gripe”

  • Erik:

    I posted some of my photographs from Greece at:

    Click on the photographs link.

    Your steady bloggery has induced me to return to my own blogging regimen.

    Have a look.

    Posted by MrMacDowell  on  11/04  at  07:18 PM

  • Okay, La Gripe is effecting your writing skills… Rest young Skywalker. By the way, have you named your backpack yet? As it will be your constant companion, I feel it needs a name.  Any notice of the “thong cheek” phenom?

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/04  at  07:53 PM

  • bye bye la gripe…they sending me to vietnam…

    dood…time for a haircut….that should make a good bedtime story…

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/04  at  08:54 PM

  • I hope La gripe will leave you alone for the rest of your trip. Wouldn’t want anything to prevent you from rollin’ with the chicas again!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/04  at  10:17 PM

  • hey eric, so la gripe got to you….....just dont let no one give you a shot, and no i dont mean hard liquor, by the way had u had some trago…......its some hard ass liquor that they have…...i mean going to the doctor a getting a needle shot for the cold…...well hope u are fealing better now

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/04  at  11:55 PM

  • hello everybody- thanks for the kind words re my “cyber adventures” unfortunately erik has been down with grippe &has;‘nt been showing up in the internet cafe in the critical moment! Erik what the hell is up with you? still gripado?- thoughtyou’d be back in la escula when I get back. So what are your plans? still heading to Ba?os on sabado? I’m still debating wether I should go to oriente & hang out in the jungle for a ehile, or should I tag along with you down to Ba?os.
    blog fan club: what should I do?

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/05  at  12:18 AM

  • Thanks all!  I AM feeling better.  At the time of me writing this, I have no more fever, but a slight sore throat that should pass.

    CHRISTY:  hmmm… name for a backpack?  never thought of that…  any suggestions out there people?  (for a visual, go to “Sinking In Like the Titanic”)

    and yes, La Gripe did affect my writing on this one… or perhaps I’ve just run out of things to do in Quito…  you know what that means…

    NAVID:  i’ll stop by papaya tonight (wednesday)

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/05  at  12:57 AM

  • Dude, don’t blame The Shack.  You had a question, they had an answer.  “No tenemos” is an answer.  I hope you feel better, and I hope you get back to writing about poop soon.

    Posted by Matt  on  11/05  at  03:02 AM

  • E.

    Glad you’ve shaken off La Gripe. Also glad you’ve lucked out on your accomodations. Seems you’ve gotten first class compared to your friend (breakfast). A little update: I was able to print 4 of my photos for the company lobby photo exhibit. Never seen the prints that large.. really nice. Maybe this can blossom into something new? I also composited 3 shots of machu picchu into one. Pretty amazing view. Will post for you soon. In the meantime, it’s 11:30pm in JC, im stuck taking work home for 8:00am meeting tomorrow! ARgh! Well, keep up the great journey and preserving that hope that there’s always something better on the horizon!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/05  at  03:10 AM

  • glad you’re feeling better:)

    what was that website w/cheap airline tickets?? i thought i saved it, but i can’t find it!

    (i’m jealous)

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/05  at  11:14 AM

  • OOGY:  that’s GREAT news!  are you having an opening party with wine and cheese and that sort of thing?  post me some photos of the lobby

    ELAINE: for cheap tickets

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/05  at  01:59 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 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.

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