I have to make this a separate posting... it deserves a page all unto its own.
Henri, who I already introduced everyone to yesterday, is the 'Activities' director here at the Friends Hostel... and he was hosting an 'Activities' night at the Hostel last night...
As promised, at exactly 7pm, I came downstairs in the lobby to join in. There were 2 other guys there, plus myself... and Henri. He welcomed everyone, very enthusiastically, to Activities Night, and told us that we were just waiting for a couple more people. He kept clapping his hands and rubbing them together, almost as if the fun wasjustabout to begin... or he was planning something quite devious. One or the other.
The other couple showed up about 5 minutes later.
So... what WAS happening for activities night?
I think that I was the only one that actually had an inkling because we had discussed some of the possibilities, as I moaned & groaned my way up 864 steps of stupid steepness.
"We are going to make a very famous Ecuadorian feast"
... but first, Henri needed $2.00 from each of us in order to go shopping and buy the food.
"Back in 15..."
We all sat there in the lobby waiting... awkwardly.
Funny how Henri had to be at work for 5pm to 'prepare' for activities night... but then run off at 7pm to get the food.
He did return about 10 minutes later with a bag full of surprises, and upstairs to the kitchen we went... the whole group of us.
Me, from Canada. A couple from Buenos Aires (names forgotten), Alex from Paris, and Mert from Turquía...
Me: "Excuse me... from where?
Absolutely undisguisably bewildered look on my face, as I realize that I have NO IDEA where this country is and perhaps it's somewhere in South America and I've have never heard of it...
Suddenly the entire group is silent, shocked and staring right at me, all with equally confused looks on their faces.
Mert questioned me immediately.
"Where are you from?"
"And you don't know Turquía?"
Now I'm horrified.
Nightmare... and I honestly start contemplating whether I should just fudge my way through this,
"OOOH....Turquía... yes! Sorry... I thought you said "Tooorquía"... just to try and save face.
I'm a fool.
It's fucking TURKEY!
I honestly covered my face with embarrassment.
For the rest of my life, I will refer to Turkey as Turquía.
Anyway - on to the activities/meal... and might I add, that the entire time that Henri was preparing the meal, he kept reminding all of us that every girl in the world wants a man that is amazing in the kitchen. AND... not only is he a rock star in the kitchen, but he is also great at football, and at math, and at music... and he's amazing with children.
Seems like a self-proclaimed online dating dream.
So... back to our meal...
Henri returned to the hostel with:
A bag of 10 eggs.
A BAG of cooking oil.
An entire CROP of plantains (which are like hard bananas).
A whole round of soft, white, Ecuadorian cheese.
I think that he forgot there were only 6 of us altogether...
I was trying to figure out what kind of a dish were were having with the above ingredients, but for the life of me, I could not configure any such concoction in my head. Of course, I have had plantains before, but never mixed with eggs and cheese.
This should be interesting...
So... Henri got us to slice the cheese.
"¿Fácil o difícil?" (translation: "Easy or difficult?")
Of course... "Fácil"
He needed constant validation that Activities night was both fun AND easy...
Henri got us to slice the plantains.
"¿Fácil o difícil?"
Once again... "Fácil"
Then he fried up the plantains in a pot of boiling oil and once they were soft enough, he gave them back to us to smash with a glass. Then he threw them back in to the oil.
"¿Fácil o difícil?"
Then he fried up some eggs.
Guess what our meal was?
Smashed, deep fried plantains on one plate.
Fried eggs on another.
Sliced cheese on another.
A culinary masterpiece.
I love my vacation.