We finally landed in Ecuador at 9 pm. Felicidad! The line in Immigration was masive but our crazy travel status of me being a pregnant woman with two little kids helped us to cut the lines and get to the window faster. I was in cloud 9 with the whole special treatment and people being so kind to my girls. Ah! my fellow Ecuadorians are known to be so warm and welcoming!
But the love in the air will not last long…
“You can´t enter the country without an Ecuadorian Passport“ said the young officer in the other side of the window without even looking at me.
“Qué estás diciendo?“ (What are you talking about?)
If you do not speak Spanish, you should know that if you address someone with the informal pronoun tú, and its corresponding possessives and verb conjugations only means that you are giving this person informal treatment. That is called tutear. According to my early Spanish lessons by my very respectful mother, I should only supposed to tutear to people who I know well. So, of course, this girl got mad at me after I did that horrible thing of tutearla because that meant that maybe I was disrespecting her glorious power and was telling her that she was wrong…Ooops!
I tried to think fast in my mind the worst scenarios but I felt that sending me back in a plane was not even a possibility. Ha! I had a valid passport with me. It was not an Ecuadorian passport but it was still my document. I had not done anything to break the law in the 10 minutes that I had in the country so yeah, she was wrong. Soon, I realized that my HUGE mistake to her was that I wrote USA-Ecuador in the nationality question of the immigration form…REALLY WOMAN? I´d feel silly saying that I am only American when I am in my home country for crying out loud…. and I´d be a liar if I´d say that I am only Ecuadorian when I am using an American Passport.
I tried to explain to this new friend of mine in a very patient and nice way that maybe maybe there was the slight possibility that she was confused with the “you can’t enter the country“ part. Sadly, logic and courtesy do not work with stubbornnerss and cough, cough idiots cough, cough. It only made her get more mad at me. But, I relaxed myself and decided to just forget the whole thing when I noticed that she was still working on my entrance to the country. Go figure! Maybe she was just having a hard day? My thoughts were interrupted when she asked me very annoyed why I have changed my name.
In Latin America, we are given two names and two last names at birth. Married women do not legally change their last name. Maybe they would add their husband´s last name at the end of their two last names but that is it. I did legally changed my last names and took my husband´s. I guess my new friend considered it as a rebellious act to the Ecuadorian traditions because she made it sound like I was in trouble. I did asked her what was the matter with that and she said that now she had to create a new entry for me! (Oh you few people who read my blog and know nothing about our Ecuadorian doings, please be aware that this girl was being just crazy. Not everyone here is that crazy like her!)
After getting my passport back, she warned me that I had 90 days to leave the country or otherwise I´d considered illegal. I had this urge to roll my eyes at her so I did it. Phew! It made me feel better.
Let the good times roll!