Dec. 14-17: Still breathless in Old Quito and The Middle of the World!

Quito Travel Blog

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Me straddling the Middle of the World

I spent Saturday, walking around Old Quito on beautiful cobbled stone streets, losing my breath on mild inclines, and hanging out at an internet café, well-positioned near a public bathroom.  After a short walk and lunch at a local restaurant I chose after giving up on finding the one in the guidebook, I found myself back at the internet café, where I am perfectly comfortable.  I managed to take the really cheap public transportation back to relatively close to my homestay and cab it back.  I’ve noticed that big Latin American cities like Lima and Quito have very polluted air.  I chalk it up to all the fumes-spewing, diesel-running vehicles. 

I spent the rainy afternoon back in the (dry) homestay.

Old Quito Main Plaza
  Although my stay was short, the homestay family in Quito was notably pleasant: Miguel, Ana Lucia, and their 8-year-old son Martín.  On that rainy Saturday afternoon, we went head-to-head on Play Station: X-Men and Simpsons.  He kept on cheering when he won and saying things in Spanish like "Eat dust!" that he had learned from watching Ultimate Fighting Championship.  Good to know English programming is making such a positive I influence on other cultures.  But after about 2 bouts on a game, I'd catch on to how the game worked, i.e. what same buttons I should hit over and over to get Storm's lightning bolt and soon, young Martin was losing to me. Yeah!  And he wasn't so chipper.  Haha, I'm actually not gloating, because Martín is really cute. 

He has this little dog, aptly named Pequeña (small in Spanish).

Old Quito Main Plaza
   She is by far one of the most patient and easy-going dogs I've seen, at least with Martin, who often grabs the dog's 2 front paws and makes her stand up and dance in rough moves that I was sure would dislocate one of her legs at any moment.  Martin also liked punching the dog's face to the proud smiles of his parents.  It also made me wince when Martin would take real bull horns taped together and poke Pequeña.  But despite Martin's pre-serial killer tendencies, he was really sweet and spent the whole rainy weekend gliding along in his too short flannel pajamas and eating Nesquick cocoa puffs, as if he needed more sugar to fuel his hyperactive ways.

His father, Miguel, took to me quickly after he learned of my affinity for bullfighting and was impressed with my knowledge of Spanish matadors (they're the best in the world!).

I spent Sunday, visiting La Mitad del Mundo (The Middle of the World), a generally gimmicky mini-Disneyland dedicated to the where the Equator supposedly passes through Quito.  There was a cool ethnic museum and performances by locals with deafeningly loud music.  I spent the rainy afternoon in bed watching Simpsons, Smallville, Charmed, and Jersey Girl in Spanish. 

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Me straddling the Middle of the Wo…
Me straddling the Middle of the W…
Old Quito Main Plaza
Old Quito Main Plaza
Old Quito Main Plaza
Old Quito Main Plaza
Old Quito Main Plaza
Old Quito Main Plaza
Old Quito Main Plaza
Old Quito Main Plaza
Old Quito - little shopping area w…
Old Quito - little shopping area …
More of rainy Old Quito
More of rainy Old Quito
La Mitad del Mundo (Middle of the …
La Mitad del Mundo (Middle of the…
A bit dramatic
A bit dramatic
Cool ethnographic museum
Cool ethnographic museum
View from museum
View from museum
Quito
photo by: Bluetraveler