And There Goes A Week Abroad

Life abroad is full of inconsistencies. One moment you can dance Salsa like a pro and the next you can barely move.  The same goes for language, meeting people, and so on.

One hobby I really wanted to begin in Ecuador was Salsa dancing. I figured I would find myself private lessons but only when I got here did I realize that deciding anything in advance will create a routine. I can’t have that when I don’t even know what time I will wake up each day. Salsa lessons are put on hold for time being until I feel like I need more consistency during my day.

I’ll keep with the random tangent and mention what an older man from Switzerland told me. In his country, famous American actors like George Clooney make commercials. For instance, Clooney advertises a high end brand of coffee. Can you imagine that?

Saturday night turned into a disappointment because of the strongly opinioned Angela, the old Canadian woman. While having a few drinks at a bar with some other from the night before she asked me what I am doing in Ecuador. I explained that I am traveling while I do my work each day on the internet. When I explained my career consulting business she could not believe it was possible. She called me a liar and told me I have no idea what I am doing. She accused me of plagiarism and called anyone who would purchase something from me an idiot. She asked me what college I graduated from and what grades I earned only to insult me for not going to a better school or earning better grades. All of this from a 75 year old woman.

Of course I was upset at everything she insinuated about me but the worst is to know that someone could develop such a negative personality. I always thought that as someone ages they would appreciate things more and become “wiser”.  This is the type of encounter that makes me better understand what I do not want to become. I wish it did not happen but as I continue traveling its Angela who I will remember when I have the opportunity to be negative like her. I will see her image and remember that’s not who I want to become.

After the drinks we went inside a club and I could stop thinking of what Angela had said. I tried to have fun. I danced with a few people and met a cool Costa Rican guy who came with us to the next place. But for the entire night I could not stop thinking about her nasty attitude.

On Sunday morning I tried a new café to do work though after some time I realized there is no better place than Coffee Toffee. My “office” (couch) at Coffee Toffee is technically outside with a great view. But I did a successful mock interview over Skype with a client and remembered how much I do enjoy them. I surprise myself by how well I interview. I can answer interview questions as an engineer better than a many engineers can haha.

My friend Thierry from the hostel saw me at the café and so for the next half hour I was answering all of his questions about what I do. Preparing for the mock interview and Thierry’s questions meant I got very little work done that day.

What I really enjoy about the area where I live is the amount of restaurants selling international food. For dinner I stopped at an Indian restaurant and got Masala, samosas, and naan for $5.50. The servings were huge and clearly meant for two people. As I walked out with my food I jumped when some small guy tapped me on my shoulder. He worked at the restaurant and forgot to pack the little sauces in my takeout food bag.

I ate my Indian food while watching this really great movie, Five Minutes of Heaven. Afterward I wrote 3,000 words of travel blog material which I wish I could have done as easily as when I had to write essays at university.

And so goes my first week abroad.

Jason Bartoli

"Jason is the best person you'll ever meet here. He's just a ray of sunshine. An adventurer, businessman, and has a 4.9 Uber rating. Lovely person inside and out. I say, go message him" - My Mom

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