This blog entry about the events of Sunday, November 02, 2003 was originally posted on November 03, 2003.

DAY 15:  My morning started as always: getting out of bed to take a piss.  However, this day it was different.  In the center of the bathroom, atop a small drain gate, were three turds.

“Uh, pienso Cometa hace una cosa en el ba?o”, I said to Blanca making breakfast in the kitchen.

“Ay!  Es Tina, el gato!”

While she went to get a broom and a dustpan, Arne woke up for his morning piss.  I banged on the door to warn him.


I pointed at the turds.


IT WAS MONDAY, the third day of a three-day weekend in honor of La Dia de los Muertes, or The Day of the Dead.  Unlike the big street parades of Mexico, La Dia de los Muertes in Ecuador is a quieter affair, an opportunity for people to go to the cemetaries to visit their loved ones and have picnics on their grave plots, so they can share a meal in spirit.  Should I ever be buried in Ecuador, I’d like a surf and turf platter, please.  Oh, and an order of that Bloomin’ Onion thing from Outback steakhouse.

To some people La Dia de los Muertes was a sacred day, but I discovered that to most people, La Dia de los Muertes simply translated to “The Day I Don’t Have to Go to Work.”  And what else is there to do on such a day?  Go away to the beach for three days, or go shopping.

QUITO IS A GREAT PLACE.  I mean, where else can you go riding down the side of the tallest active volcano in the world one day, and the next day hang out in a modern mall amongst alienated youth?  Not even in New Jersey I can tell you.

I walked down to the Mall El Jardin, just a ten minute walk from mi casa.  With the city practically empty, there was little air pollution and a nice change for my lungs. 

Mall El Jardin (picture above) is more or less your basic modern American mall, complete with the stores no mall can do with out:  Cinnabon, GNC and Radio Shack.  Well, we could do without GNC but definitely not Radio Shack.  Anyway, I went to a small bookstore to buy an Ingles/Espa?ol dictionary and found one for just $3.70.  Of course I only had a new twenty dollar bill on me and the woman just stared at me with this disappointed look in her face, like I had thrown a bright red sock in her laundry’s white load.  She picked up the phone and made a call like I was a wanted criminal — “It’s another one of those punks with a twenty dollar bill” — and had to leave the store to get my change.

I WANDERED AROUND THE MALL’S THREE LEVELS, and discovered that there was a supermarket called SuperMaxi.  It was just like any old supermarket in the States, only with a much bigger Spanish section.  I blended right in with my Latino fa?ade — no one gave me the kind of stares that someone like Arne would get — and I simply bought some supplies with no problem.  I was even able recognize when the cashier asked me if I had a frequent shopper card. 

NO MALL IS COMPLETE WITHOUT A FOOD COURT, and no food court is complete without a Taco Bell.  There was also a Pizza Hut and the obligatory salad/sandwich places run by people who most likely hated their jobs. 

The smell from KFC beaconed me the way an animated odor does in a cartoon, and I couldn’t resist but go there.  I managed to order — in Spanish — two pieces of chicken, fries, a Pepsi and a cookie.  This was extremely easy to do as it only required me to say, “Uh…combo dos, por favor.”

As I ate, the original recipe was a bit bland, and I figured Colonel Sanders probably had some customs problems exported all eleven of his secret herbs and spices.

IT WAS A BEAUTIFUL DAY OUTSIDE and I intentionally got lost in unfamiliar neighborhoods.  No one was around and I almost felt like the guy in that Twilight Zone episode.  Unlike that guy, my glasses didn’t break — but my bowels did.  I walked like a robot trying to get my ass to “reverse swallow” it all, but luckily I was in the vicinity of the South American Explorers clubhouse and dropped my load off there. 

Membership definitely has its privileges. 

THE REST OF THE DAY was pretty boring.  I just wandered around like a sophomore with nothing to do on a college campus.  I ran into the two Danish blondes from the volcano trip, and Navid as always.  For dinner, Blanca made a mashed potato loaf thing — it looks exactly as you picture it — stuffed with chicken and vegetables.

I was pretty exhausted after dinner and just passed out on my bed while doing my homework.

Next entry: La Gripe

Previous entry: Pee On The Trees

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.

Comments for “Mallrats”

  • OK, I have to object to the recent scatological theme in these blogs.  Give me Blanca’s address and I will FedEx you some Immodium.

    Posted by Matt  on  11/03  at  08:08 PM

  • MATT:  hey, I blame the colonel this time…

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/03  at  08:16 PM

  • Then stick with the McGriddles, they won’t hurt anybody.

    Posted by Matt  on  11/03  at  08:18 PM

  • The Bloomin Onion IS tasty.

    So, are you skipping school tomorrow for the big day?

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/03  at  08:35 PM

  • By the “big day” do you mean the release of Matrix Revolution? Because I’m skipping work for it!

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

  • Oh, getting Fake Married to your Life Partner in Quotes was worth membership. Getting to shit in a real bowl—priceless. So do they call mall rats “mall guinea pigs” in Quito? Silent Bob may need some new material… By the way, I’m watching the premiere of 24 tonight before the second hour. Is anyone taping this for you, or should we just preorder you the DVD set now?

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/03  at  09:20 PM

  • Now I want to see Erik actually producing a turd.  that is sure to be a crowd pleaser.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/03  at  10:16 PM

  • hey eric
    am allan’s friend. ............el jardin, is a very nice mall, check the other ones that are near by if you havent so…...........tell, me have there been any riots….........they call it Paros or buyas or something, it occurs if the price of something goes up…......anyways if all of a sudden u begin to smell a sort of gas smell which gradually increases as your eyes begin to tear, run…..........your near a paro…........just college students throwning rocks and stuff a t cops….... smoke a cigarete, it will neutralize the smell…...............

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/03  at  10:37 PM

  • hmmm… if you actually poo’d in your pants would you tell us?!?

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

  • mmmm. mallrats, kfc and spanish shepherd’s pie.  Now if only you could find you some hair pie, we could get a few more movie references thrown in.  Vaya con dios, my friend.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/04  at  12:27 AM

  • hold up…it’s not a mall food court without: a chinese food place, and cajun/bourbon food place that is run by chinese people, and those stupid “philly” cheesesteaks stands….ummmm…

    Scatman: erik has already produced with photos some of his nasty poo…but umm….no pics of any logs yet…

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/04  at  01:15 AM

  • you should have pooped on a tree! if they pee on them, might as well start a new trend and poop on them too:) ha!

    (i’m jealous)

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/04  at  02:54 AM

  • Hey erik, sounds just like life in colorado! hike in the moutains in one minute, eating KFC the next… those pictures looked amazing…  btw, did anyone tell you about 24 2nite? pretty good 2 episodes so far!

    enjoy smile

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/04  at  04:26 AM

  • This is NikkiJ’s sister… Erik - great pics!  nice pooh… next time give us a corn dump!!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/04  at  03:30 PM

  • AM always loves a good corn dump story! ps. and take a picture of THAT one!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/04  at  03:56 PM

  • If I had to choose between the HOTNESS of your “life partner”  and Arne—I would choose Arne smile

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/04  at  05:14 PM

  • I feel sorry for your bowels!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/04  at  05:43 PM

  • I ahve tried to describe the Colonel’s addictive recipie but I will leave that to mike meyers in axe murderer.

    “oooh that Colonel Sanders, with his wee beedy eyes and secret recipie, puts an addictive chemical in his chicken, makes you crave it fortnightly—smart ass!!!”

    Posted by GILL  on  11/05  at  02:25 PM

  • GILL!  what’s up man… you still at PH?  what’s this wedding biz thing?

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/05  at  02:39 PM

  • Okay, so I’m totally catching up. And, I’m wondering now if you’re really in West LA at Westside Pavilion - that’s what that tri-level mall looked like. EXACTLY. Who modeled after whom? The only saving grace is that you have other pics of Ecuador in there!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  11/09  at  08:30 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.

Praised and recommended by USA Today,, 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:
La Gripe

Previous entry:
Pee On The Trees


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)

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