Today is my last day at work before a few weeks off. Before possibly the longest time I've planned to spent 100% off work since first having enough freelance business that it could matter. Except for 2 quick, simple bug fixes, I've spent the whole work day writing up documentation and tidying up code repositories. That's not only very satisfying, but also leaves me thinking I might actually succeed in not touching work until I get back home.
Alright, work is as done as it's going to be, and my stuff including a rather silly number of camera accessories is all packed. All that's left is a pile of dishes and some leftovers to freeze and I'll be ready to go.
This trip starts with a night in Houston. Originally just because of awkward flight timing, but we’ve turned it into something nice because we’ll get to meet someone in meatspace who so far both of us only know from Online. I am wearing my pineapple socks in honor of the mastodon memes of oh so long ago when we first started chatting.
#florespondence special edition, plus the owner of this resort, and a big beautiful spider.
The flotilla of ships waiting to enter the Panama Canal is a ghostly vision at night.
I’d like to actually visit this country some time, but today we’re just changing planes and being grateful that PTY has the decency to let international transfer passengers stay airside and not make us clear passport control in order to leave like certain other places I won’t name.
Limited activity today because I’m unwell. But we are staying just off the 30km route that Quito closes to cars every Sunday so cyclists and flâneurs can take over. If I’d felt better I’d have preferred to rent a bike and join in, but spending a couple of hours at a sidewalk cafe taking in the scene was also good.
One thing I feel like I’m missing so far is the gloriously syncretic style of religious art we saw so much of in Bolivia. We’ve been into two churches so far and both had very European art collections, incongruously white jesi and all.
Feeling called out by Mr. Shrigley on instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/p/B7aj1JYhjBS/
Today was the beginning of the cruise company itinerary, with a full day bus tour of Quito. I knew it wasn't going to be particularly exciting after spending a week here getting ourselves around, but it was actually _terrible_ in ways I hadn't expected (but should have done).
There were the obvious things like being rushed from one place to another, and having a totally overpackaged "Quito experience" for people who are afraid of travel. But...
...what really got to me was the incredibly shitty way the whole thing engaged with indigenous Ecuadorian culture. The main guide kept talking about "our indigenous" like they were a natural resource of the country, there for our pleasure. During the day I was thinking of it as that they weren't really _people_ in the way she talked about them, but now that I think about... I show a pile of rocks more goddamn respect than that. (...)
...but where it really took a nosedive was at the tacky museum on the equator. There are some interesting physics demos, a lovely hummingbird-attractant garden, and some interesting info about long-ago (as in way pre-Inca) indigenous customs. But then there was this super gross exhibit about the Shuar (look them up, they're interesting), which not only talked about them entirely in the past tense, but was solely about their headshrinking custom. (...)
...for fuck's sake, these are living people with an interesting culture, making an impressive attempt at negotiating their place in the modern state, and under serious threat from oil development. They're not your fucking Barnum sideshow. But that really does seem to be how Euro-Ecuador sees them, or at least how they're presented to us tourists, with no Shuar input whatsoever. Hours later I'm still steaming about this.
I suppose I should stop ranting here and write to Celebrity about this. Once I've calmed down I think I could also make a case that they're missing a chance to give their guests a much more meaningful experience. But what I really want is for them to just treat people like people.
And then selfishly, I hope this isn't setting the tone for how the experience in the Galapagos will be. I think that should be much better, but today worried me.
@eldang those are the best things though!
well, except for humans. but it's problematic to take their pictures w/o permission.
@eldang I love the pictures! And I love your way of seeing them. Not predictable at all!
I'm sorry the GI stuff is ongoing - and antibiotics are a lifesaver but also miserable, like yay, would you like some gastric distress with your gastric distress? It seems you are not having enough gastric distress. Ugh.
I'm really hoping this is going to resolve quickly and with minimal discomfort.
@compostablespork thank you. One thing that will probably help is that probiotics are very much part of medical orthodoxy here, so I have two different prescription ones: one just for while symptoms last and one to take daily for twice as long as the course of antibiotics.
That second mountain vista should be in a gallery, its amazing.
@Melisandre thank you! That was a spot where the photos practically took themselves, but I am excited about seeing that particular one on a big monitor and doing a proper edit when I get home.
@eldang Very nice!
@eldang I love the way you're watching the world - what a great picture!
@eldang e-spam my fucking life
@eldang it's lovely 😍
@eldang That stained glass is gorgeous
@alx I am an absolute sucker for modern styles of both stained glass and religious art in general.
@eldang The secular world really needs to up its stained glass game.
@eldang so beautiful!
@eldang no, ignore that, this message is not for you! 🙉
@twistylittlepassages I am choosing to parse it as “nice man drew lots of cameras, better take lots of photos”
@eldang I think you'd be doing a real service to share your complaints with the Cruise service and the Museum itself if you can. Tourist dollars (and thus opinions) are almighty, they might actually listen if you explained your disappointment and anger to them.
They screwed this one up, to be sure.
@eldang what a great portrait!
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