Blogs from Historical Center, Quito, North, Ecuador, South America - page 4


South America » Ecuador » North » Quito » Historical Center May 11th 2012

I hate it when you see something weird or funny and there is no one to share the joke with. For example, I was in the cell phone store my first week here and there was a worker whose ringtone was “Mr. Jones and Me”. Really is 1993 calling you? Or the time I discovered this giant statue alongside a house (see attached photo). It was like seeing a Fat Boy in someone’s front lawn. My laughter drew a look from a girl so I just pointed said “Que es eso?!” and went on my way. (I’m glad my tone indicated a rhetorical question, because I wasn’t yet equipped to have a conversation in Spanish.) Now some of you (Rodney and Charlotte for sure) know about my obsession with the spread (disturbing in my mind) of ... read more
Cartoon Ronald
Big Boy
Danielle Steele

South America » Ecuador » North » Quito » Historical Center April 27th 2012

First full day in Ecuador started off with breakfast in the courtyard of Casa Helbling. $2.80 gets you great bread, tea or coffee, jam (guava and blackbery) butter, and fresh squeezed fruit juice... Eggs and cheese are about two or three extra. Nice place to eat breakfast, surrounded by lots of potted flowering plants, and a giant tree in the middle, sticking up through a hole in the roof, with some birds hopping around on the roof. It's a nice place to stay, in general. Helpful staff, very clean, with a small library of books, lounge, kitchen, laundry, safe, and rooftop terrace. While we were there they were in the midst of repainting everything, so looked good! Only complaint was the gas tank running out during our stay... Cold showers! Most of the first day was ... read more

South America » Ecuador » North » Quito » Historical Center April 14th 2012

Kenny doesn’t realize just how small he his. Kenny starts fights he can’t finish. Kenny has Napoleonic/small dog syndrome. Dachshunds were bred to fight animals bigger and meaner than themselves. OR maybe Kenny just doesn’t like other dogs all up in his biz-ness and when they get inside his American sized comfort zone he snaps at them. Our 13th day in Quito, only our second Saturday, Kenny snapped at an Akita and the 150+ lb Akita snapped back. She attacked his head, separating the muscle and skin from the skull and his right chest area, puncturing his lung, tearing his muscle and dislocating a rib. Kenny was in surgery for about an hour repairing the torn muscle and punctured lung and the surgery required about a 4” incision. I’m writing this entry 26 days after the ... read more
Kenny Pants
Doxie Slinky
New Couch/Bed

South America » Ecuador » North » Quito » Historical Center April 12th 2012

Oh the places you’ll go… the smells that you’ll smell… and the thoughts that you’ll think. Here’s my working theory on showers, body odors and excess cologne/perfume. Let’s start backwards with the excess cologne and perfume. One morning I got on my elevator alone and the perfume stink was so strong I thought I was going to have to bail out, but couldn’t figure out how (it’s a 1950s, 3 person max, with a door you manually open and close). Besides there are only 5 floors, so I sucked it up. Another day in the park I counted how many steps it took for the cologne and it’s trail to stop (over 25). On multiple other occasions I have physically and audibly gagged just passing someone on the street… in the open air! I ... read more

South America » Ecuador » North » Quito » Historical Center April 10th 2012

I smiled. I said Buenos dias. I avoided eye contract and then I noticed… Quitoreans are nodders. Solemn, respectful, have a good day, nodders. There are also marked differences between what greetings are actually passed and what we learned in Spanish class. In Ecuador we say chao, not adios, alo (ah-low), not hola and many times people will offer you a simple bien instead of bothering to piece together a buenas noches (or whatever). Not rude, just city people… rushing to and fro with their daily lives. Quito has a population of 2.7 million people… that’s the size of Chicago. Chicago is the third largest city behind New York and LA. I’ve never been to Chicago or LA and Quito is no New York (at over 8 million people), but it’s not overwhelming. The neighborhoods are ... read more


South America » Ecuador » North » Quito » Historical Center April 10th 2012

Wearing a sweatshirt in your apartment. Because we don’t have heating or A/C it’s not uncommon on a cloudy day or after a rain to have your apartment be 62-65 degrees. Getting caught in a rainstorm. The weather, not unlike Florida, can change in an instant here. When the clouds cover the sun the temperature can drop 10 degrees and then 5 minutes later you’re sweating through your tank top when the sun reappears. Quito is also in their rainy(est) season right now so when it rains, it can last from an hour to all day. Washing your hair in the sink. Because there is not enough warm water in the hot water tank for a decent shower (the Countess/aka First Lady of Quito and I are going to have a talk about this). And ... read more

South America » Ecuador » North » Quito » Historical Center April 7th 2012

Lessons with the first lady of Quito: I ran into my landlady downstairs and she insisted I see her real apartment so I could visit her whenever I wished. She also insisted that I take chocolates as soon as I entered her apartment, which soon melted in my hand. She mostly insisted that we should setup lessons so that I could improve my Spanish and she could work on her English. Listen here youngsters… a lesson for you… old people are in very the least interesting and if you’re lucky hilarious. Sure she’s lonely and wants company, but this lady is still a big deal in this little country AND she offered to feed me. I adore her already!... read more

South America » Ecuador » North » Quito » Historical Center April 6th 2012

Good Friday celebrations in Quito are world famous and I was dead set to discover what the fuss was all about. Picture what the Klu Klux Klan wears, including the face coverings, now make that purple. This is what hundreds and I mean hundreds and hundreds of men and women donned on a sunny Quito day. I didn’t have a watch, but I’d guess that the procession lasted about two hours. Between walking up and down to the Bascillica and standing for two hours I was exhausted, but who can complain with these people dragging GIANT crosses and dressed in dark clothing from head to toe in the heat? Check out the attached photos… hopefully I’ve managed to capture the magnitude of the event (and the crosses) better than my short description above.... read more
Statue from the Basilica
Young girl with cross and thorns
Roman guards

South America » Ecuador » North » Quito » Historical Center April 5th 2012

This statement is actually true. My apartment is the highest apartment in a five story building, affording me the best views of the old city, Basilica, Parque Ejido, the mountainsides and the suburbs that creep up the mountain offer the most beautiful view a night with thousands of tiny lights notifying the cosmos of life this city. It’s basically a studio with walls and doors, but since my bedroom is the only room of any size (if you don’t count the kitchen and the hallway with the dinning table) I think studio fits better than one bedroom. I have one full bath and one half bath and a BALCONY. It’s not big, but I’m hoping to get a small table and a grill out there. A grill, because it’s fast and easy, but more importantly, because ... read more
Mi apartamento #2
Night Views
Day Views

South America » Ecuador » North » Quito » Historical Center April 4th 2012

I was always a strong reader, but the book that taught me to love reading was “Harriet the Spy.” In the book, Harriet, is the only child of wealthy parents who completely ignore her. Thus, Harriet finds the best way to entertain herself, as she has but one friend, is to spy on her neighbors and keep a diary of their comings and goings. The best part of this book is that one of her rich neighbors has a dumbwaiter, which Harriet uses to reach a 2ndfloor bedroom to spy. Now I’m fairly certain that the odd noises coming out of a locked door in my apartment is a dumbwaiter! My first question is, who is sweet baby Jesus’ name is using the stupid thing this much. The second and more obvious question is how do ... read more

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