18 On A Gap Year: Red


I had always thought red was too aggressive of a color, but it has come to represent familiar objects and remind me of people that I adore.

Red is the color of the ice cream I buy everyday at the local tienda. I’ll walk down the street in PJ’s and flip flops, in the pouring rain or beating sun, sometimes accompanied by one (or all) of my 4 nieces or nephews, for the heart-shaped guilty pleasure above. I unfailingly, everyday, purchase this addictive dairy product despite being lactose intolerant.

Red is the color of the sweet flesh of sandia that I encountered not only in my local market in Ricaurte, Ecuador, but also in the outdoor markets of Juliaca, Peru. It’s also the color my face flushes into as I struggle to barter in Spanish.

Red is the color of the countless bouquets of roses I have been given while in Ecuador from my nieces, nephews, host dad, and other Cuencano admirers. Some of these occasions include my first day, Valentines, el Dia de la Mujer, and a typical Tuesday.

Red reminds me of my good friends Sophie and Jordan. Sophie, because she’s poppin’ all the time (my true bad b inspiration) and Jordan, because we always find ourselves under red strobe lights in some club. And for some reason, the song Corazón by Maluma, Nego do Borel is always playing in said club.

Sometimes, Ecuador is red.


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