15 Apr

She came in through the bathroom window

This last weekend I stayed in Quito to plan for classes while Will, Angie, and Tim took a bus to Banos. I actually had a pretty nice weekend (although I was sad to be missing the fun they were sure to have traveling). Saturday I went to the gym, planned, and listened to some friends play bluegrass music at Kallari (a local café). Sunday, though, I had an interesting adventure. I was on a bus coming home from the Plaza de las Americas, where I had worked out, and the bus driver stopped two long blocks after our street. I had to print out and make some copies of a worksheet for Tim, so, since I was pretty close to the only copy place open on Sunday I decided to try and see if I could get everything taken care of there. Meanwhile, I had a pretty heavy backpack with my gym things, my books, and the computer. I finally got to the store and my flash drive didn’t work on the computer. The cashier assured me though that there was another place open just around the corner. “Solo por aca?” “Si, cerquita,” Ok. I still didn’t quite believe him, but I left the store and wandered around a little more. NOTHING was open. So I started walking towards the bottom of our hill. After a minute more of walking, and a few catcalls (stupid machismo), I started to get worried. My stomach began to cramp. I could tell I didn’t have very long before I was gonna need a bathroom. Bad. Anyway, I made it on a bus up the hill. I talked myself all the way to our door, “ok, not too much further, just DON’T poop your pants, there’s the house, etc.” I managed to unlock the door and run upstairs to the bathroom, just making it! (Woohoo, no poopy pants after 7 months here)! I didn’t feel too feel bad, considering. I went downstairs and made a to-do list. I took down the laundry, made a grocery list, and decided to try again to print out and copy Tim’s worksheet. I got everything together- flash drive, list, backpack for groceries, and my wallet – and left the apartment. As I pad-locked our door I realized with horror that I had carried my keys upstairs in my sprint to the bathroom. Thus they were not in my jacket pocket where I always keep them.

Tim and company were not due back for another 4 hours and I couldn’t even get outside the gate because our landlords weren’t home and I needed my key to get out. So I checked the easily accessibly windows: all locked. My only option was the bathroom window which we always keep open. The bathroom window is NOT easily accessible. I took off my backpack and jacket, setting them on our terraced roof and assessed the possibilities. There is another big window next to the bathroom window that has a fairly large sill. I was also grateful for the purple awning that our landlords had installed over our front door which would break my fall if I were to go crashing toward our cement stairs. So I lifted myself up onto the sill and shimmied towards the open window. First I stuck my torso through the window. I could see the keys lying on the floor. I shimmied back to the roof where our mop was drying out. I grabbed that, thinking maybe I could hook the keys – no luck, too short. Then I saw the overhang above the window. I ditched the mop and held onto the overhang with my hands. Now I had leverage I needed to get a leg though the window. One leg in, one leg out, I assessed my second problem: a glass corner shelf partially obstructing my path to the floor. Somehow I maneuvered around it as I lowered myself into our shower stall. Success!!!!

Patting myself on the back, I grabbed the keys and pushed on the bathroom door. I said out loud, “Are you kidding me????” See, our bathroom door shuts by a latch on the inside or the outside. Earlier, I had closed it from the outside. So now I was locked in the bathroom. Awesome. I sat on the closed toilet seat not knowing what emotion to feel. Well, I was either going to be stuck in the bathroom for four hours, or I could leave the way I came. I made it in, maybe I could make it out. I looked around the bathroom for something to help me boost myself up, but there was, of course, nothing. I hoisted my leg up, grabbed the sides and then the top of the windowsill while I put my other foot on the wall to help push myself up. With my left leg out the window I got my torso and then head out the window. With my foot I felt for the windowsill and then extracted my other leg from the window, sliding towards the terrace. I must say I am pretty proud of the fact that in the whole episode the only injury I sustained was a little stress on my knees which I can handle. With keys in hand I grabbed my jacket, put on my backpack and thought, “That was actually kinda fun.” I walked to the internet place at the bottom of our hill, got everything printed, then walked to the copy place and finally treated myself to a cold Gatorade at the Supermaxi (a grocery store, not a feminine hygiene product).

2 thoughts on “She came in through the bathroom window

  1. My goodness Eileen! I checked out the picture of your bathroom window in coppermine and couldn’t believe how small it is! You always have had good problem solving skills not to mention your determination, so I guess I’m not surprised that you got in and had a good time doing it. Enjoyed the story.

  2. Pingback: wiscostorm » Blog Archive » Good Monday

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