I was alone in the car, driving back from Canoa when I noticed a group of eight or ten transvestites gathered in the middle of the road directly ahead of me. They were all dressed in sexy women’s dresses, short skirts, high heels, stockings with wigs and heavy makeup, some in lingerie. They had stretched a length of rope or something across the road and were blocking my path. They were loud and quite animated jumping around and gesturing to my approaching car. I quickly dialed Diane on my cell.
Me: Hey Babe, I don’t have much time. I’m on the road to Canoa and there is a group of transvestites blocking the road. They are screaming and crying or something. Crap…they are running up to my car now. I’m scared!
Diane: Yeah, right!
Okay…so I may have made a few prank calls to the Pocket Babe over the years.
Me: Seriously…stay on the phone. I’m not kidding!
We have just enjoyed our second holiday season here on Ecuador’s coast. Christmas Eve was great as a good friend and restaurateur prepared a wonderful turkey breast for us complete with thick, rich gravy. All I had to do was pick it up. Our guests brought great side dishes and added to ours, a belly-busting feast was enjoyed by all.
We celebrated the passing of the old year and the arrival of the new as we did last year; joining a writhing throng of thousands dancing to the pounding rhythms of a live Latin show band on the streets of San Vicente. The temperature was about 75 degrees F.
There are a couple of really cool customs celebrating the New Year here in Ecuador. The first is to burn an effigy at midnight representing the passing of the old year. One attaches all the problems of the past year to the effigy and the belief is that they disappear in the rising column of smoke.
The next really cool custom is that groups of young men dressed in drag, roam the streets as the “widows” of the dead year, mourning their loss and asking for support money. Passing cars are stopped and the occupants gladly contribute a few coins to the open purses of the “widows.” My first year’s encounter on the road to Canoa came before I knew about this custom or the reasoning behind it.
Me: Are you still there?
Diane: Yes. What’s going on?
Me: I have absolutely no idea but they were holding out their purses so I threw a few coins inside and they let me pass. I’ll be home in ten minutes.
I love this place!!