Week's worth of adventures Feb 5-11

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-Helped my little sisters learn handstands. (Addy and/or Bailey Bengtson we greatly could have used your help!)
- visited several possible internship sites in and north of Quito, all pertaining to the prevention and assistance of interfamilial violence
-visited an indigenous community and learned about the influence of machismo
-professor took us on several short unauthorized tourist ventures
-learned some basic salsa steps
-lost my cell phone...
-RAN for the first time in 25 days in the Parque Carolina
-got lost in Quito so many times in the span of 24hrs it's almost not funny
-learned the bus system better (hurray for perks being lost)
-nearly finished 2nd of 3 group essays

Quito Transportation
All the cars here are manual and there are so many in Quito that each vehicle can only be driven 6 days a week, it's called pica- y- placo. The public transport of choice here is the bus, though crime fairly common on the more crowded ones, it's only a quarter to ride and that includes a transfer from a station as well. There is always a person on the bus responsible for correcting fares when you get on or off the bus and they also tend to shout at pedestrians all the wonders of the places the bus is headed. Why you would here about how great the centro historico was and just hop on a bus going there I have yet to understand, but it seems like a exciting career choice if school doesn't pan out. Also the there are NO schedules for the buses, just 3 main systems with north-south routes, and telling their buses apart can be tough as they can be ANY color or size.

The taxi drivers here are especially crazy drivers and generally agree on a price before they let you in the cab. They tend to be a pretty chatty and friendly bunch, unless they feel you've lead them astray in directions and then will very seriously demand a higher fare. They also mark up the price a couple dollars if you look foreign and it's your responsibility to call them out on it and talk them down. If cabs aren't your cup of tea and you are a real Quito native you can also hitch a ride in the bed of a passing truck. There are speed bumps all over the place in the residential streets and I have no doubt they save live. At times it seems the only reason we slow down on the way to school is to survive the dreaded cement bumps. It appears the most liberating way to travel here is by motorcycle, for whom there are NO rules. They zip in and out of traffic at will and tend to ignore all signs or traffic flow. While most have the sense to wear helmets I can't help but assume there are a lot of fatal accidents involving this roadway rebels. There are virtually few bikes here in the city, as it is in no way biker friendly, but on Sundays there is a route open for folks to try to bike the 30k across Quito.

Because I would have to take 2 buses reach school, it is required that my family and I hire a taxi. Thankfully, there are 3 other host families in my neighborhood and one of them has an obscure connection (we think 2nd cousin) to Edwin, who happily drives us to and from school each day for $25 a month. He has good taste in music and is very easy to talk to, even while dodging through traffic at ridiculous speeds.

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This page contains a single entry by gehri042 published on February 12, 2012 9:33 PM.

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