A Report from My Pal in Ecuador

I’ve written recently that I think Ecuadorian president Lucio Gutierrez will soon be ousted from office. His approval ratings are south of 10%, and most crucially, he’s alienated the country’s sizeable indigenous population. And as we saw in Bolivia last year, well-organized Indian groups in the Andes have the power to force unpopular presidents to […]

Things I’ve Seen People Do While Driving a Scooter Here

1. Talk on a mobile phone.2. Smoke a cigarette.3. Enjoy a beverage.4. Chew betelnut.5. Pet their dog, which is riding on the floorboards.6. Simultaneously talk on a mobile phone, smoke a cigarette, and enjoy a beverage. UPDATE: Jill reminds me of another ridiculous scooter multitasking phenomenon we’ve witnessed: people tending to their infants, who they’ve […]

More on Ecuador

I’ve written a little more about Ecuador in a new post over at Southern Exposure. The long and the short of it: 1) Presidente Lucio’s hanging in there; and 2) here’s a lengthy, detailed, and quite moving expose of the Ecuadorian human trafficking industry; the New York Times published it today, and it’s a must-read. […]

“Honk Fiercely as You Ride”: Test Your Chinglish!

I’m in the process of obtaining my motorcycle license. I’ve done the vision test at a local hospital, and the next step is to take the written and driving tests. In studying the test booklet, I’ve encountered some amusing questions. Here’re a couple; this is exactly how they appear in the book: When riding through […]