Quito is a big city. I’ve only seen tourist parts. It has lots of hills which makes for 1. LOTS OF VIEWS. Like this one . And the next photo, where you can see my bright red tour bus. That was taken yesterday, when I was experiencing the hangover-like effects of high altitude (10,000 feet give or take).
2. FABULOUS CHEAP PRODUCE. The fruit cup , with the best watermellon I’ve ever tasted, cost me all of $1.25. There’s also the option of drizzling it with chocloate syrup or cream. Those orange balls in the right side cups are not tomatoes, they’re a fruit that tastes good and sweet, name unknown.
3. Many other cheap items like the big prize in the sky, below: GASOLINE!!!! Do you believe those prices? I think they grow oil here, in addition to watermellon.
4. It’s bicycle friendly.
No, they’re not stealing computer parts. They’re recycling them. There’s no more true sign of an
5. ESTABLISHED MIDDLE CLASS than recycling computers, of all things.
6.COLONIAL HISTORY IMMORTALIZED IN GRAND FASHION, like this amazing gothic church.
7. IT’S NOT AFRICA: No one stared at me. No one tried to sell me anything. No one tried to part me from my money. I didn’t feel like a walking dollar sign.
8. I CAN COMMUNICATE, even with my baby Spanish. Favorite phrase for this directionally challenged nomad: “Donde esta” i.e. “Where is”. But I could manage to get anything I wanted with my 100 word vocabulary and 1000 charades. They have EVERYTHING. I priced athletic shoes, for mine will inevitably wear out. In Africa in the capital city of Malawi there was only one store that sold new running shoes. And those were awful ones from China and they cost a fortune. Here, the cost was just about the same as in the U.S., if not a little less.
Yup, it’s all here.
9. THEY USE U.S. DOLLARS – do you believe? Wow, now I know how much everything costs. They use dollars in Zimbabwe, too, but here the bills are still crisp, and there is change to be had. And all the ATM’s work. And there were no lines in the bank when I went in to change a $10 into 10 Susan B Anthony $1 coins.
10. I’M COMING BACK! I’m off to Cuenca tomorrow to study Spanish for a week or so, then a Galapagos tour, at the end of which I am delivered r i g h t b a c k h e r e.