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Something exotic Something exotic
by Alexander Mikhaylov
2008-03-05 09:25:56
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We flew to Madrid from Stockholm in an early morning
In Stockholm, it was cold but in Madrid it got better
Wading through Spanish crowd, killing a few hours
Before our next flight to Guayaquil, Ecuador

We thrown our warm clothes – coats, sweaters and heavy shoes - in a garbage bin
Took some pictures, headed back to airport
It was 31 of December, a less that an hour before a New Year
The plane was packed with Ecuadorians returning from Spain
It did not feel very festive to be
Strapped to airplane seat
Even though a stewardess kept announcing
‘Five minutes are left till the year 2008! Vivat!
Three minutes left till the year 2008! Vivat!’
It was exactly five minutes past midnight when we
Took off. I had never watched fireworks from high above
Now I did. They reminded me of
So many red flowers
Planted into a grid of city lights
People were shaking hands with their neighbors
Saying something in Spanish
While the plane gained an altitude
Too bad, there was no Champaign
We bought the bottle of whiskey in duty free store so
Exactly at twelve, we took a good sip
Then another
Soon after that, I fell asleep. I was not
Particularly eager to get drunk but
It rather was an act of cowardice. (No matter
How often I travel by air, I am still afraid
Of planes
My wife says that I must had been
A military pilot in my previous incarnation
Who died a violent death)
Maybe she is right.
Two days later
Sitting on a terrace of a three story family house
Drinking beer, smoking
Gazing over the railing on a street below
A bit of loneliness, a bit of sadness
Like drops of the rain
(And it is rainy season here so
There is plenty of it)
I guess it is a cultural shock
Everything looks weird
On the other hand
I do not believe anymore that so called exotic countries
Truly exist
Even here, in Ecuador, everything appears
Painfully mundane
Cracks on pavement, people drive like crazy
Drinking with a guy who seem to own only two pairs of pants
And one pair of shoes
And who lives with his family, mom and dad, and younger sister
In a house without running water and with a roof, full of holes
Tiny lizards, crawling up and down the wall
‘Hey man, don’t these lizards bother you?’
‘Oh no, it is all right. They keep away mosquitoes.’
It does not strike me as anything unusual
Although as gringos, we stay in different place
Perhaps I am getting cynical but
I guess that an exotic flair is still there
Mango falls from a mango tree
And smashes on a ground with a wet ‘plop!’
Right outside of our house
‘Hey look! Look! A five euros worth of mango
Just fell on my head. How about that?’
My wife squeaks

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AP2008-03-05 13:45:51
The something people must have said in Spanish was "Feliz Año Nuevo", Happy New Year. For as exotic as we try to be, human nature is the same everywhere.

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