society exists only as a mental concept; in the real world there are only individuals ~ oscar wilde

ecuador is not exactly up there among the safest countries to travel right about now. in planing for this trip, i have had so many people waving red flags about the current fragile state of this country’s politics. but as RG told me, it seem like all south american countries experience some kind of unrest or another and it is perfectly normal. if fact, he adds that it is actually about time ecuador takes a turn because things have been boiling here for a tab too long.

anyway, this is a travelogue, not a news log. there are plenty of those going around if you like that topic. if susah sangat just wiki the place. or google has a pretty decent news stream. on with our regular programming…

there are both military and police personnel all over the city. with guns. and no, there don’t look like they’re on the friendliest relationships right about now. in fact, if you ask me, i think they’re on the lookout for what each other is up to.

i spoke to one of the police guys. actually, i was asking for directions. between his broken english and my broken spanish, we managed a decent conversation. when he told me that everywhere i wanted to see was close because its domingo, i asked him if it was doable to see the sights by myself, solo. and he said it is peligroso right now. dangerous to be walking the streets by myself. in lonely places, i risk being mugged. in crowded places, i risk being pick pocketed. the only consolation is that the boys in blue and green are in every corner for now and so crime rate is being controlled. still, the policeman told me that i should not be flashing my camera around. even on a tourist ticket taking pictures of their historic places. sigh.

the day generally ends pretty early here. i arrived in the evening yesterday and everything was already closed before dark. by the time it gets dark, like 6.30pm, the streets are almost empty and i am stuck in the hotel. i’d like to go about a bit, but maybe not right about now that i am still alone. maybe when the other committee members get here, i could score myself some bodyguards. for now, i guess i will explore the possibilities of in-hotel dining.


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