|View of Quito's historic center|
|A swanky cafe in the New Town|
|Old building, new stores|
|Inside a 400+ year old building. I hope that the electricity is updated.|
|Chinese food? Noodles, french fries and cola for $2.20|
While traveling in Latin American cities safety is always an issue to consider. Quito, unfortunately, seems to be the standard rather than an exception to this statement. I cannot speak statistically, but it feels much less safe here than in Bogota. First of all, there is much less of a police presence in Quito than almost anywhere in Colombia. Secondly, in Colombia we heard plenty of stories about things disappearing -- if you put your camera down it will be gone. But here in Ecuador we hear several firsthand accounts of people being physically robbed and assaulted. Of course foreigners are easy targets, but I think Ecuadorians feel less safe here compared to their Colombian neighbors. I meet two women from Buenos Aires (another large Latin American city with a bad reputation) who were shocked when a local woman convinced them to take a taxi with her only three blocks.
|I do not really have any photos relating to "safety" so I am inserting|
random images to maintain a proper feng shui for this blog post.
My second day in Quito this happens to me. I am heading back to my hostel after a day of sightseeing in Quito's old town when suddenly I feel something wet running down my leg. W.T.F? I stop to look and there is a woman behind me holding a tissue saying "ave, ave (bird, bird)." I swing my backpack around to my front with out taking it completely off to get my water. I notice the bottom corner of my backpack also has some muck on it. The smell is awful. I douse my pants and backpack with water while the lady tells me there is more on my back. I tell her that I will clean it off at my hotel and quickly walk off. Only one block away does my brain process what just occurred.
I have heard that these thieves use mustard. The common hot dog condiment would have been much more preferable to the used baby diaper bi-product that I am sprayed with. It is disgusting. I am fuming as I am scrubbing my clothes in the shower and feel like an ass that I would be targeted for the scam. However, after talking with other travelers I find out it is not all that uncommon. It just happened to one couple two days before me, while another woman from New Zealand said that this happened to her three times in Buenos Aires! That makes me feel better.