Some linguistic and cultural observations

Chevre (in Spain, guay). This is what they use in Chile and Ecuador to say something is “cool”.

Pelucón (in Spain, pijo/pija). Used to describe rich people, or fancy upper-class places. It can be derogatory or used sarcastically with friends. The root word is peluque, referring to those big wigs that aristocrats used to wear in the 17th/18th centuries, and pelucón was introduced into contemporary Ecuadorian vocabulary by none other than the socialist president, Rafael Correa. He’s pretty populist, every Saturday he does a 4-hour speech, broadcast on radio, TV and the internet.

 

La línea ecuatorial

View from the top of the Mitad del Mundo monument. The yellow line supposedly marks the equator ... but they were a few hundred feet off.
View from the top of the Mitad del Mundo monument. The yellow line marks the equator. Supposedly.

So I was taken to visit La Mitad del Mundo, a big monument marking the equator in Ecuador. It stands just outside Quito, and an entire tourist village with shops, restaurants, a performance areas, and several different museums, has been built around it.

Apparently the French guy who made the calculations was a few hundred metres off, and the “scientific equator” was built later, not far away from La Mitad del Mundo. My Ecuadorian hosts, however, did not take me there. I asked about this, saying I’d heard they made a mistake with the numbers, to which the reply was – No, there was no mistake, it’s just that we have one to celebrate the equator, and the other to mark the actual equator.

Ha. Ha. Of course.

Any comments, thoughts? I'd love to hear from you :)

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