After everything that has happened, I´m beginning to wonder if we took this idea a little far. It´s becoming difficult to chew the fat. The fear is beginning to set in because I think that we are finally realizing that we bought a bus in South America.
We parked on some beach near some shithole little town off of some shithole road our second night back on the road. Alaena and I cooked a delicous stew with tomatoes, yucca, beef, beer, cilantro, carrots, etc. It was a wide beach, and we were parked near the mouth of some river that emptied into the Pacific. The night was no different than any other gypsy night: a fresh meal, three bottles of rum and a furious fire, simmering under the cloudy Ecuadorian night.
When Andrew and Matthias went to buy beer, they were warned by the shop owner. She said to move the bus, but the details were misunderstood due to a lack of knowledge on the Spanish language.
After we all downed a good amount of jingus and I chased after Aleana because she wanted to put cream cheese on a piece of white bread, (There was no reason for her to eat. We had just finished a big meal and I really didn´t want her to dirty the dishes again. Plus I had Jingus in my body.) I fell asleep in my hammock that was tied to some bamboo structure close to where the bus was parked.
When I awoke, red eyed and shit mouthed, I desperately needed to brush my teeth. I went to the front seat of the bus, where I always keep my backpack, and looked for my brush for teeth.
My backpack was gone. Some bandido must have reached through the open window and grabbed the bag.
"Fuck! Have you guys seen my backpack?" I asked the group. I didn´t expect an answer; I just didn´t know what else to do.
Of course no one had seen it, but everyone went and looked for their backpacks. Tom said, "Didn´t you hear the god damned dog barking at 4:30 in the morning? There must have been someone out there."
I didn´t panic. I went into South America disaster mode. Fuck. What do I do? I Gotta get to Quito, gotta call my bank, gotta call the embassy, gotta call my mom, gotta get a copy of my passport sent to me. At this point, it was just another speed bump and Alex and Alaena had shit thrown on them so this wasn´t that bad.
We walked to the store where they bought the beer the night before. We were looking for answers.
Alex walked right in, looking behind counters, under tables, under chairs. Andrew asked the woman where the backpack was; her little girl said she knew where it was. We followed the girl down the beach a little ways. And leaning against a fence post was the green Berentzen backpack that I stole from Pizza Carlo just a few months ago.
I was relieved. I opened the bag; my passport and my wallet were still there.
The bandido stole Alaena´s phone, my camera charger and three open paint cans, red, yellow, and blue, that were in the boot of the bus. We had only gotten one coat of paint on the interior trim of the bus. So the bandido not only took Alaena´s phone, but he stole our pride. We will never finish painting the bus now because we may never be able to match the color of the paints.
Some bandido is sitting in some hammock somewhere painting the Ecuadorian flag on the back of Alaena´s phone.