Quito Travel Blog› entry 85 of 129 › view all entries
Lessons as usual, but this time another big interruption. The student who Mariana teaches in the afternoon, a blond woman of 66, had been in an internet café with her backpack at her feet, and someone had taken it and run away before she had time to grab it. Apparently in it was her cell phone and years of Spanish notes, which are irreplaceable. She rang her cell phone and the robber/s answered and said that they’d give back her notes if she’d give them a $20 phone card for the phone, or something like that. I think that by the time the incident happened and the lady rang Mariana and told her what had happened and Mariana then told me, the story may have got somewhat garbled, particularly as it was all in Spanish.
I’ve heard a number of stories from people who’ve been robbed. First there was the Dutch guy who left his backpack in the boot of a taxi and never got it back, although there were details of how to contact him, inside the backpack. Then Rafael, my teacher at Cuenca, who is a native of Ecuador, told me how a month before I came to Cuenca, he’d been robbed at 3:30 on a weekday afternoon by two Negroes. It was in an area very close to the house where I was staying and there’d been no-one in the street. One guy had come up behind him and put his arm around Rafael’s neck, while the other appeared in front of him, with a knife. Along with the backpack and other things he lost USD80 and a USD400 cell phone. Then there was Hayley who was robbed in a deserted street in La Mariscal in Quito, gringoland. With one exception, I’ve always made sure that when I go out there are plenty of people around.
After lunch I made the sauces for the cannelloni; it’s my last night tomorrow night and I’m cooking dinner. I went and read my book for a while and then had dinner with Fran and Jean Pierre. After dinner I made a brownie slice for tomorrow night’s dinner. Mariana and Maria came home around 8:30. The student had spoken to the robbers three times I think and had even bought the phone card for them, but the robbers were smart enough not to meet her, so that one looks like a lost cause. There are tourist police in, it seems, every country in S.A., but there’s not much they can do. Oh, and once again, the robbery was in La Mariscal, gringoland.