Recently, while traveling through Guayaquil, I purchased two delicious, Ecuadorian produced drinks. One was a delicious tomatillo juice, and the other was a Rockstar energy drink. Now, I know what you are asking… How on earth is the Rockstar energy drink Ecuadorian? As it turns out, dear reader, there is a bottling plant in Guayaquil, which is just an hour and a half boat ride from the island where we are currently staying. Seeing as this drink is not available worldwide, and this is in fact the first time we have encountered it since we embarked, I have been drinking quite a bit of my favorite energy drink.
On this fateful day, I purchased more than a dozen (they don’t have it on our island), put them in my backpack, and began walking to the pier where I would catch a boat back to our island. On the way, I walked through a naval base, and was stopped by a couple of seamen who were on break. As it turns out, they love Rockstar, and it was their favorite drink. Seeing as I had so many, I offered them both one, and we talked for some time about what they do. As one was a medic, we also talked about what it is like to become a doctor in Ecuador verses in the United States. After some time, during which they were extremely kind as I spoke in broken Spanish, they escorted me off the base and thanked me for the drinks. This was an extremely wonderful interaction I had with local people that was facilitated by my favorite drink.
The interaction I had from the tomatillo juice was of a different type.
Both me and Conor had breakfast with a glass of tomatillo juice. Tomatillo juice is made from red tomatillo (rather than yellow tomatillo which Americans are more familiar with), and is rather like a mix of tomato and strawberry juice. We had confirmed with the owner of the restaurant that the juice was made with purified water before we ordered it.
For two days after our trip to Guayaquil, the major interaction Conor and I had was with the toilet, as we suffered through two days of vomiting, diarrhea, cramps, and constant nausea. While I already noted the importance of purified water, this gave me first hand experience with the problem.
And now, after my experiences with these two Ecuadorian drinks, I am very hesitant to drink any more tomatillo juice, even from other restaurants, but am more than happy to get a caffeine boost from my Rockstars.