March 21, 2010
where the white panama is the only hat to have.
When I was in Quito two cops on one bike rolled up to a kid about 20 feet in front of me, jumped off and made him hand over his jacket which he was holding in his hand. It was hiding a knife. I am pretty sure it was a gang thing, the kid looked OK to me, about 16. The cops must have been looking for him, because they went straight to him and it was all over in seconds.
There are also lots of small tiendas, like the old mom and pop corner stores we used to have before 7-11 and Macs took that market over. Tiendas are everywhere, at least one or two per block. Many do not let the customers inside, you have ask for what you want from the sidewalk.
I have only had a few kids come up to me ask for money. I gave the first one a peso in Mexico. A guy I was talking to said I should not do that, as the kids can make good money begging from tourists and then they drop out of school. That made sense to me, so when a kid asks for money, I ask them why they want the money, usually they say 'por comida' (food). I then say OK, I will buy you some food, they usually go away at that point, with me shouting "¡Va escuala!" at their disappearing backsides. I don't what this kid was asking for, he did not say anything, but he got my yogurt.
Speaking of escuela (school) in most of Latin America kids wear school uniforms, or uniform clothing, usually a navy skirt for girls, navy pants for boys with a plain white shirt or top. In Ecuador it seems that school does not get out till 6 PM, which is about when this picture was taken. They do get out around noon, and I believe they do not go back until 3. From what I can see, kids are very well behaved here.
In all the parts of Ecuador I have visited so far, everybody wears a sweater in the morning and evening. When I ride my bike I wear practically all of my cold weather gear. The weather is the same as Calgary in the summer all year round.
This was another roadside food stand, looks yummy don't it? I wasn't real hungry, so I just had a coffee.