in ecuador, there are a lot of people who try to sell you things on the bus. they jump on and walk up and down the aisle, yelling out the names of things they have for sale. you can buy newspapers or candy or gum or oranges or watches or toys or cookes or cake or water or soda or anything you want, really. today, while trying to explain to wiston, in spanish, that in the US it¥s illegal to sell things in a public place without a permit, i accidentally said “nobody sells themselves on the bus.” this may or may not be true.
there¥s a certain type of belt (cinturon) that people here sell a lot, usually on the street. they¥re made of some kind of thick fabric like a seat belt, the buckles are flat pieces of silver-colored metal, and they come in about a billion colors. they only cost fifty cents apiece, so everyone has one, including wiston and megan and me and todo el mundo. mine is, of course, orange. today as megan and wiston and i walked down the street we played punch cinturon, which of course involved punching the person nearest you whenever you saw someone wearing the belt. i think wiston won.
this afternoon a little girl followed me down the street for several blocks, sobbing, begging me to buy some of the candy she was selling. my pity and my suspiciousness fought each other to the death. the little girl was missing her two front teeth.