Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Let it Rain

So mom and Al have been here in Ecuador visiting for the last week. I think they're enjoying it so far--I've done my best to give them an authentic taste of Ecuadorian culture. From stuffy, closed-window, puppy-stank bus rides on windy mountain roads, to goat stew, to HACE (high altitude cerebral edema) they've pretty much experienced it all. But now I just want to share with you a short anecdote about our time together...


A few years ago, a massive ski lift was installed up to the towering peak of Mt. Pichincha, an 8 minute ride for which they overcharge unsuspecting tourists. Of course we couldn't miss it so we hopped into a precariously swinging pod and slowly scaled the mountainside. WIth only one or two heart stopping glitches that left our pod swinging out of control thousands of meters in the air, we reached the top. It was a relatively unimpressive sight due to the afternoon's low clouds. In fact, we were so high up we were walking around in clouds, so dense that i could barely see two feet in front of my face. But this is neither here nor there....

One thing about Ecuador (and the greater part of South America) that Americans find particularly difficult to adjust to is the bathroom situation. Unfortunately we don't have high powered flushers here, and as a result you just can't flush the TP. Instead, there's a trash can in each stall where you, um, toss the used hygienic tissue. That being said, at fancy hotels like the JW Marriott you don't have to worry about being put out of your tiny little American comfort zone, which makes it even harder for JW Marriott guests to remember not to flush the TP when outside of their luxurious first-world-in-the-third-world-hotel. I assume you've guessed where this is going by now, but if not let me go on. So, after an only slightly HACE inducing ride up the teleferiQo, Mom decided to use the ladies room at the small oxygen bar/eatery located at the summit. Giggling guiltily as she leaves the bathroom, she confesses she accidentally flushed a small piece of TP. I told her not to worry, that a small piece shouldn't matter, but as the words left my mouth i was interrupted by the sound of pouring water, almost like rain. We turned around to witness a steady stream of water leaking through the bathroom ceiling, and as we watched the steady stream turned to a torrential tsunami, and after about twenty seconds, the bulging ceiling burst under the pressure and exploded to the ground, a river flooding out the door. We took one look at each other and made a break for the ski lift back down.

Not gonna lie, that turn of events made for the best entertainment of the afternoon. Thanks mom.


  1. The real question is, before the delightful poo water explosion, did it flush backwards?

  2. I forgot to throw away the toilet paper half the time. I think it's harder for guys to remember because we don't use toilet paper as often (only for number two) so we forget more often.

    Secondly, I was watching the travel channel today and they showed a bunch of places in Peru that I visited and then they showed the gondola on Pichincha and I thought of your story.

  3. I just got back from mexico and besides not being able to throw away toilet paper, in some places there was also no toilet seat or back of the toilet lol