Integration course: walk like an Ecuadorian in 5 steps
Step 1: Walk like an Ecuadorian.
- Decide where you want to go and head there in one straight line, regardless the number of people that you hinder that way, how many times you (almost) get hit by a bus, the number of “no entry” or “no walking” signs that you have to neglect and the answer to the question if a straight line is actually the most practical route to take. It's the shortest one.
- Walk slowly, especially when it's crowded and when you're in the middle of a street. Stand still regularly when there's no reason at all for you to do that, preferably at moments when people expect it the least. Look around, think or act like you're thinking and look angry at anybody that (almost) bumps into you
- Use the areas meant for pedestrians to walk on or stand still, meaning; the sidewalk, the driving lane or the bus lane, parking lots, bus stops, cab stands, and on or besides the paths in the park. Look angry when other road users use these areas at the moment that you want to use them.
- Cross the road wherever and wherever you want, but if you have the choice; do it at places where there's no zebra, traffic light or refuge. If there happens to be a traffic light: don't wait until it's green. Look angry if anybody honks and act like you didn't just almost got run over.
- Don't step aside if you realize that you're going to bump into someone or someone's going to bump into you. If you do want to step aside, wait for the very last moment to do it and act like nothing happened if you happen to hit someone.
- Exceptions to these rules:
* Don't walk in a straight line if there are alternatives that could cause more hindrance
* Walk fast when it rains, when it looks like it's going to rain or when you have to catch your bus. Look angry when other people don't respect this exception.
Step 2: Jump the line like an Ecuadorian.
This step has an endless range of practical applications and is very important if you ever want to eat something, go somewhere or buy something. Jump the line at service desks, bus stops, cash registers, traffic lights, entrances and exits, restaurants and food stalls, traffic jams, touristic attractions, doctors visits and getting credit for you phone. Look angry if anybody does the same or says something about it (rare). Most common technique: put your money on the counter already when it's not your turn yet or place your order while another person is being attended to.
Step 3: Eat like an Ecuadorian.
Eat the whole mountain of rice that you find on your plate everyday (except for if you fled into a pizzeria for once), even though it's served together with potatoes, pasta and/or bread. Eat chicken at least three times a week and complete your diet with as much sugar, fat and salt possible: bread with sugar, lettuce with salt, banana with salt, rice with salt or fried dough, cheese, corn or patato things. For unexpected dips in your blood glucose level: buy cookies, candy, chocolate, chips, icecream or gelatin from one of the vendors in the bus.
Step 4: use the ecovia like an Ecuadorian
(For all not-yet-integrated non-Ecuadorians between us: the ecovia is a harmonica bus with a separate lane that goes from north to south and the other way around, practically the only efficient way to get yourself from A to B here.)
Change a dollar at the entrance desk because you don't have coins of 25 cents anymore. Look angry when the woman behind the window gives you twenty coins back: one of 25, four of 10, five of 5 and ten of 1 cent. Walk through the little swing gate and go to stand in line before the last door: that's the shortest queue because chances are bigger that you'll get mugged. Look angry to scare thieves away. (This you should continue doing during your whole trip)
Don't step aside when people have no choice but cutting your line to get to the exit of the bus stop. When the ecovia arrives and you hear the sizzle of the doors before they open, start pushing the person before you in the direction of the doors. Whatever you do, don't let people get out of the bus first and don't respect the arrows with “entrada” (entrance) and “salida” (exit) on the doors of the bus. Walk up to the middle or the front of the bus as far as you can to avoid pickpockets. Hold your bag tight to your belly and don't excuse yourself when you push someone aside to make your way. Try to find two separate rods to hold on to, but if it's so busy that you can't fall down anyway, hold your hands on your bag and/or the pockets with your money. Try to remain standing while driving, and when you arrive at your stop, start jumping the line (see step 2), and/or pushing the person in front of you at the moment that the doors start to sizzle before they open. Keep one hand on your bag and push people forward with your other hand and don't respect the arrows with “entrada” and “salida” on the doors. Look angry if people who are getting out doe the same, and exit the ecovia stop through the swing gate. Have a nice trip!
Step 5: wait like an Ecuadorian.
Let it be: there are fifty people waiting before your ticket desk. You've been caught in the ecovia station in a tropical hail storm that lasts for an hour. The only person who can help you is “not there” at this moment and no one knows if he/she is coming back. The meeting is postponed another week. The next bus will leave in two hours. Try to learn the art of waiting by looking at how the Ecuadorians do it: they are the world champions of waiting. Until the moment that it's possible to jump the line of course (see step 2)
Congratulations, you are now ready to walk freely in the Ecuadorian society!