• Joanna

Rants & Babble

Ok... this dog has got to go.

All day all night barking, aggression, growling, snarling... your basic, average psychopathic beast.  I admit, I have had my moments of fun... deliberately aggravating him, but now I just think that he should be put to sleep to spare the world his foul character. No word of a lie, if he were to get free, he would kill.  Me, to start with... and then loose in the neighbourhood, who knows who his victims would be?  Babies?  Toddlers?

Where is the dog whisperer when you need him?  Off the air?

Call him... this is a severe case. To tell the truth, I tried to be a bit of a dog whisperer around him for the past few days.  

Why not?

I thought, "I like dogs... dogs like me." Hell, I even HAVE one.  So I tried to talk in a smooth, calming & complaisant tone... to no avail.   Now... I have posted this video you see here, but it hardly does justice to the situation.  It appears that the dog is just merely excitable as he heads out for a walk, but let me assure you, it veers far, far, far from excitement alone... Enough about the stupid dog.  That was Rant #1, by the way.


The other day I took a selfie, standing beside a brick wall.  To me, it was very reminiscent of one that might be taken of Rick Mercer... 

So I have decided to rant for a minute. I think that most of this blog has been exclusively dedicated to ranting & babbling, but I want everyone to know how much I actually want to say and don't...  Perhaps it is to protect the innocent or to protect the guilty... but mostly, I think that it's just to protect me from being alienated or assassinated, should this blog get in to the hands of the wrong person.  There you have it...  Rant #2... Being in a foreign country and staying with friends & family is fantastic... until one thing happens.  Then everything falls to shit.  This one thing is the 'car ride' to the unknown.  A place that either;

  1. No one has told you about.

  2. Told you, but made it seem very nonchalant.

  3. Told you, but you weren't listening or didn't quite understand, but nodded your head anyway, out of pure politeness.

Either way... the location is a mystery and the time spent there is also a mystery, because, as a guest, you can't really pipe up and announce that you've had enough of your time wasted in that place and you'd really appreciate the 'moving on' part of the journey to commence immediately.


Nope... you sit there... and you smile. You sit there with no wifi and you play Tetris on your phone until it's dead.  You curse yourself for not charging your phone more or bringing a book or a journal... The next subject is the absolute WORST... there are no holds barred about speaking about someones flaws and faults... when that person (me) is right there. They look at you with true empathetic concern, just wanting a shred of justification as to 'why' we ended up like this? This can be anything!  And I mean anything from;

  • How much you eat or you don't eat.

  • How big or fat (or both) you are.

  • How tall you are.

  • How big or small your boobs are... gut, double chin, bum, cheeks... etc...

The list goes on... I challenge anyone... no matter how much you do or don't know in regards to the language, you sure as hell know the exact words that tip off your insecurities! You're ALL over that shit. 

Usually I try to brush it off... it hasn't happened a LOT this time, but enough to definitely make me remember the blatant conversations from the last go-round! I have not had an English conversation since I left Quito. OMG... I just realized that you could almost replace 'English conversation' with 'wine'... One glass since Wednesday.  It's Wednesday.

Someone needs to buy me a week cake. Ok... back to communication... my Spanish words are coming along slowly, but my understanding of what everyone is saying is improving daily...

Pat on back for Jo.  

Pat now before it's way too red & sunburnt to touch.

I know what comes next... dreams!

Other things make me laugh.... AFTER the confusion is over, of course. Actually everything always makes me laugh... it's just stifled sometimes. Rant #3...

There are some words that are just not known to me (or seemingly untranslatable to the English language) ... no matter how much you try.  I've got all the bells and whistles too.  I try not to go anywhere without Google Translate on my computer or my Speak & Translate app on my phone.

Take, for example, Pan de Yuca. (translation- Yucca Bread)

Delicious.  I really like it.  I can imagine eating the entire bag of them, should the challenge ever present itself.

But... the big question of the day is... what is yuca? This was the conversation that followed;


"Que es yuca?" (translation - "What is yuca?") "Yuca." "Si... pero... que es" (translation- "Yes... but... what is it?) "Yuca...  Yuca." This being said slightly slower, yet louder. "No entiendo 'yuca.'" (translation - "I don't understand 'yuca.') "Es como las papas." (translation - it's like potatoes.)

Hmmmm.... pullin' blanks here.

So I did what any sane and resourceful person in my position would do, I pulled out my computer and inserted 'yuca' in to Google Translate.

This is what I got.  The best part of it all was that everyone was happy, and pointing at the translated word, like suddenly, if you added one 'c,' I would have complete comprehension, and we could all rejoice and go on with our lives.

Nope... I still don't get it.


Maybe I'm the dumbest person in Canada.  No idea where Turquía is and I've never heard of Yucca...  But it's out there... a very popular root vegetable (carbohydrate) in South American cuisine.

Another one was 'cuy.'

This one is particularly entertaining for me, because it's what Mari suggested we eat when we got to Cuenca for our first night there.

I just gave her a blank stare... and the usual conversation ensued...

"Cuy." "Que es cuy" (translation - "What is cuy?") "Si... cuy!" "No entiendo 'cuy.'" "Cuy, cuy, cuy..."

I don't just suddenly understand a word that I've never heard before by having it repeated over and over again.  Then it all came out... Mari, in her best English, chose her words 'poorly,'

"It is like... little rat."

Conversation over, regardless of whether or not she got the word wrong.  You can't tempt me with that description.  I'm out... 

Later on, I hit Google Translate... 'cuy'...


It comes up in English as the exact same word.  At a big time loss here.  But I persisted through modern technology and didn't stop until I discovered it was basically Guinea Pig... but I still decided that maybe I wasn't in the mood to try it quite yet... Rant #4... Toilet paper.

  • If you have it when you need it, be overjoyed.

  • If you don't have it when you need it... well, life sucks, because no one is bringing it to you.

  • If you desperately need it and they sell it in a nearby dispenser, hopefully you have exact change to buy 1 metre of it.  If not... that sucks too.

  • If you have the change to buy it, but the machine has run out, that also sucks big time.

Or... my personal favourite, is when a certain location has complimentary toilet paper, but the dispenser is located outside of the bathrooms and you forgot to grab some before you went in to do your business. This happens to me more often than not, because I have not yet customized myself to actively seek out TP before I enter the stall. Regardless of any of those scenarios, if you end up with toilet paper and all is well, your next challenge is remembering NOT to flush it, but to put it in the bin next to the toilet. This takes real concentration, skill and precision... and you can have the best intentions the entire time you are in the stall, but fuck right up at the final crucial moment, because, let's face it... it's just not something that you're used to doing. I haven't even mentioned the smell of the stall garbage bin... have I?  I'll leave that up to your imagination. Last rant of the evening... #5-

Margarine Now... they say 'mantequilla,' which properly translates to 'butter,' but 'butter' it is not... Margarine, excuse me for saying this, is pure, disgusting absolute shit. And it goes in everything! Mami was making Plantain & Cheese balls this morning- and in theory... they should have been absolutely delicious.  Plantains boiled up and mashed, salt, cheese... and a LOT of margarine.  Then they are supposed to be fried up in oil until crispy on the outside, but I have to say, the margarine completely  destroyed the entire experience for me.  I could not kill the taste of margarine in my mouth and floating around in my stomach... all day long.  I intend to make them when I get home, with real butter, and I fear that I may become addicted to them, because they have the potential to be heavenly! But man, it was awful how it lingered.  The smell, the taste, the thought...  If you ask me, margarine is only good for perhaps curing constipation and I already took care of that all on my own, last night.  Oh- and it's probably very instrumental in assisting with self-induced vomiting as well... Just sayin' For the entire week, I have been repeating myself whenever the family asks me what I like and don't like to eat.

My lists consists of 'mushrooms' and 'cilantro.' I will now be adding Margarine to that list. Rant & babble over... for now, anyway... Have a good night everyone!

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