I woke up the next day with my head in a jiffy bag. Well at least thats how it seemed, then I realised that in fact I had somehow managed to wedge my head inside the pillowcase in the night, the stuffing was leaking from the pillow and I as I emerged I spat out enough feathers to incrimminate a guilty cat in a chicken shed. I padded across my room to the bathroom and attempted to wash with the half a teaspoon of water which I coaxed from the ancient tap, as I returned to my room, tugged on the door handle, I realised it was locked. Shit. I tiptoed to the kitchen to find Dora - who was salsaing with a frying pan and I tried to explain that my door had locked and did she have a spare key as mine was in my room? Obviously my message wasnt getting through as Dora pointed to the table, where she had layed breakfast and with her head buried firmly in the (none too clean) fridge started to wave various members of the fruit family at me over her shoulder, presumably trying to catch my preference. Exasperated and in no mood for her fruit machine antics I left the kitchen waving my arms frantically in the hope she would get the message.
Puzzled, Dora followed me in to the apartment hall and as I tugged and pulled faces at the door the penny finally dropped. And so did Doras face. Another torrent of unintelligible spanish ensued, while Dora emptied the contents of two rather large drawers in the hall. Holding various objects up for examination, even crossing herself at one point, she dug for what I hoped was a spare key. But this time I was feeling a little self-concious, particuarly as Dora had become rather animated and started to shout goodness knows what at me, her headscarf now loose and flapping like a sail off her white bun; for someone so small she could really get her point across, and her point was I was a stupid gringo without the brain I was born with and I was ruining her omelette with my thoughtless locking of my own door.
Eventually she pulled a worn tin from one of the drawers, and extracted two keys one of which after some jiggling opened my door. Thankfully and muttering a million 'los sientos' I shrank back in to my room and did what any self-respecting 40yr old in a Mickey Mouse nightshirt would do at this moment, burst in to tears on the jiffy bag.
I emerged some time later, shame faced and returned to the kitchen for my breakfast. Dora, who by now had obviously calmed down decided to make conversation with me, so I returned to my room for my dictionary and we had a chat consisting mostly of me waving my hands, looking up words and making faces. Interestingly somehow I think I must have mistakenly told Dora I was a Catholic, therein ensued a very complicated set of instructions, of how to get to the nearest church. Now I have never been to a Catholic church in my life, but after that mornings bad start I decided that as she seemed to approve of my new religion I kept quiet.
Breakfast over, I grabbed my map, paying heed of the warnings about being mugged every five seconds in Quito I left all but a dollar or so in my room and set off on foot to find my Spanish school. I was to start my lessons, one to one tuition for the next four weeks. By the time I leave here I thought confidently, I will be speaking like a native.