i hate dogs…
ow. yuck. loud. smell.
This wasn’t always true…and when the ridiculous late-night dog-cat-rooster-brawls kept me up half the night in Otavalo, I didn’t complain even a little. Its just part of the new atmosphere I am getting used to and I’m okay with that. Just a different kind of T rolling by, right?
OKay sooo STORY! Now I’m in Quito, and in the process of room/apartment/homestay/some-form-of-comfy-living search, I came across a beautiful and cute area of the city called Guapulo… a steep hill (love hills… thanks SF!) with cobblestone streets and white stucco houses and just totally adorable and only a few little restaurants and stores to buy milk, juice, candy, etc. Perfect?? yes! AND I came across a house that rents rooms by the month… so I rang the doorbell, met the owner Nina and her husband (who also runs a travel agency out of the house). The house is absolutely gorgeous!! Its on the edge of a hill and looking out on mountains and the bottom of the little town. Really amazing views, and especially from the available room that has a private balcony!
So, yeah this seemed perfect. But I definitely didn’t want to just snag the first thing I came across… so I said I would call in a few days and kept on with a bit more “room shopping.” The other options I had in mind were either full or nothing came of them (suggestions from people at work, etc etc… and maybe I also didn’t try so hard since I was still secretly in love with the Guapulo heaven).
Still, with my ever-popular, perpetually-indecisiveness still in full force, I of course had to visit the area a few more times justttt to make sure it was actually PERFECT. So somehow didn’t get around to doing this until late Sunday afternoon. Little did I realize that on Sunday afternoons/early evenings – things are almost all closed and people are not really out and about much. But this wasn’t really a problem because the area is really safe and peaceful so I just walked all the way there, and down and around the windy, pretty cobblestone street. Passed by the casa where my room was hopefully still waiting, and decided, “Yup, I want to live here!”
Hooray, a decision at last! When I got to the bottom of the street, there is a bus station at one end and, so I thought, a famous church at the other end. So I decided to venture a little bit the other way to see how far the church was. After a few minutes of not seeing much but windy road ahead and only being accompanied by a few cars passing by and animal noises, I turned back. At this point, I thought it would be smart to call my dad quick quick and tell him HOW EXCITED I was to finally have made a decision and to have a home.
So I am on the phone with him for a minute walking on the tiny sidewalk and as soon as I get to a driveway 4 dogs start barking and running towards me. (they had barked when I walked by the first time, too but not quite as much). Now, the sidewalk wasn’t very big but I was definitely on it. Because I grew up with dogs I am never intimidated by them. And I suppose I could have habitually assumed that I was not in danger, because of course there was an invisible fence blocking the large German Shepard mut from bounding towards me. Ohh wait, no, I’m in South America. No fence, no protection, no precaution taken on my part…. and BAM he goes in for my leg!!!! All I can say is THANK GOODNESS there was no car coming because as soon as I got my leg free of his gnarly teeth I flew across the street to the other side to recuperate and to try not to sound like my life was ending as my dad listened from thousands of miles away. How’d I do Dad? haha lets just say I don’t really enjoy the thought of animals of any kind right now, and would wish death-by-dog upon no one!!
Ha okay a bit dramatic, but, agh the irony???
So I finished off the evening in Guapulo extremely angered, finally got a cab back to my hostel – thinking only that this was a very sharp sign that I should NOT move to the neighborhood of the killer dog.
I told the story to my new German professor friend Paul and the hostel dude who gave me some alcohol stuff to clean the wound.. oh yeah no worries though he didn’t rip my jeans and I am pretty sure it was just a house dog defending his property… I was obviously encroaching on his beloved driveway?
Another thank goodness goes out to Paul, who was really great to talk to in my moody-miserable-disappointed state. “Why don’t you think about it a different way?” he asked…flip the SIGN? Okay, I’ll try… Maybe the dog incident just means yes you are going to have an amazing time here and love your new place BUT there will be many challenges you need to overcome.
Cheesy, yessss… but hey desperate times require cheese in all forms, and here cheese is hard to come by (literally, the cheese is awful) so I take what I can get and am using this rationalization… YUP I am here in Guapulo, where I’ve been told there are more dogs than people, perfect! I love dogs! And love being settled at last, loving the gorgeous views, the place and the people, but for now avoiding the downward path towards the merciless beast 😉