Posted by: Jena Davison | February 5, 2010

Wednesday is the New Thursday

Wednesday is the new Thursday, didn´t you hear? Well, here in Quito at least, Wednesday is a big night to go out. I actually am a big fan of the Wednesday night debauchery, mostly because it breaks up my week a little. In fact, I´d say some of my best nights out here so far have been Wednesday nights (I´ve been out until at least 6 a.m. the last two Wednesdays, making for some awful Thursday mornings).

Well, for one, Wednesday night is Ladies´ Night at the Bungalow, a small shitshow-of-a-club in the Mariscal. This means that anyone (well, only those) with female anatomy can get into the Bungalow for free AND drink for free (absolutely anything you want) for two straight hours, from 8pm to 10pm. This is just a recipe for diaster…or fun, depending on how you look at it. In the meantime, guys line up at the door waiting to be let in at exactly 10pm at which point they rush in like tigers just let out of a cage and congregate in corners creepily watching the drunken girls. Kind of a sick concept, if you ask me (but you don´t see me complaining with my free vodka tonic in hand). I have only participated in Ladies´Night once and we chose to down our drinks and bounce once the guys all arrived. But, if a steady flow of free drinks is not enough incentive to go out, then what is?

Likewise, I began my love affair with salsa on a Wednesday night. No, not that salsa–the tomato-based dip that goes gloriously with Mexican food and Tostitos chips–but rather, the spicy Latin dance. Wednesday night is also Salsa Night at Aguijón, a somewhat hipster club in the Mariscal that is quickly becoming one of my favorite spots in Quito to go out (minus the $6 cover fee, ouch). Salsa is a big staple in Ecuadorian culture, and it is played at almost every club every night at some point in the night. That means you either have to find a partner and swing on down or retreat against the wall and just watch. I have to admit, the first bunch of times I was in the aforementioned scenario, I was a retreater. But to tell you the truth, watching salsa, to me, is just as fun as dancing it. I find myself mesmerized by the freakishly coordinated footwork and subtle body contact. I love watching the seductive spins and steps in motion to the fast-paced beats. It makes me sweat to watch the Latin guys shamelessly roll their hips and shoulders repeatedly (God bless Latin blood) while leading the Latin women toward and away from them in curlycue patterns. I also find it cheveré (Ecuadorian slang for cool) how salsa breaks down all boundaries in terms of age, economic class and looks because it doesn´t matter who you are dancing with as long as you are dancing. Grab the nearest person and away you go.

So, Aguijón´s Salsa Night always turns out to be a bit overwhelming when I first walk through the doors and see the dance floor occupied by salsa-dancing pairs. Most people are coming just because it is Salsa Night, and come every week for the sole reason of dancing salsa. It is nice because it is filled with many more Latinos than gringos, giving me more of an opportunity to speak Spanish, to meet more locals and to observe the culture more. I usually watch for the first twenty minutes or so, taking in the sights and sounds as I sip on my free drink that I get with my entry ticket (I love how they call it free seeing as though I just paid $6 to enter; I paid for that drink, and I had no choice in the matter) and then attempt to dance. The problem is that I am grossly uncoordinated–possibly the only thing necessary to be a successful salsa dancer at a basic level. But I am learning, and as a result, getting a bit more comfortable each time. And the good part is that all you really need to do is find a good male salsa dancer and he will likely lead and then all you have to do is follow (easier said than done). When I get the first step right, I can more or less stay on pace until I am spun around, at which point I have to frantically find my place again. I must say, when I get it right, it is super fun. And once I start, I find that it is easy to get in the zone and forget about time altogether.

So, I thought it was just me being a lunatic wanting to go out until all hours of the morning on a Wednesday night with work the next morning. But turns out, Wednesday is a pretty big night in general. Plaza Foch, the central going out area, was teeming with people this past Wednesday night and Jesua, my Ecuadorian co-worker and friend, also assured me this was true when he rolled into work an hour and a half late yesterday morning due to a few too many drinks the night before. I may be a traitor, but I think I have traded my Thirsty Thursdays for Wasted Wednesdays for the time being and I´m totally liking it.



  1. ja ja… an interesting way of seeing things here.

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