Sunday, 9 October 2011

Settling down..

I’ve only been in Ecuador a few days now, and I’ve spent them all in Quito, and so far, the city really is something else. Sitting at over 2850 meters above sea level, Quito is the highest capital in the world second to none other than La Paz in Bolivia. That reason itself explains why my first few days have been ‘chill’. It takes time and after 24 hours of travelling, I needed to take it easy and get used to the altitude.

Needing to do one thing is different from what you actually do right? Well.. being in the city, I can’t help but go out and admire how attractive it is and also appreciate the historic district that was the first to be titled a World Heritage site. To put it simply, Quito’s old town is so different to the New Town that it’s as if they represent two different cities. The way everything is designed in Old Town, there’s reason behind it, the buildings built in a certain way, but also limited in height, especially because of the airport in the city. It all makes sense, the people, everything! Somehow similar to what you might find in some European cities, but different.

It seems the culture of this place is really diverse, people make a living in different ways, live in different places, but share the same background and beliefs.

“Te amo Ecuador” Not one of my lines.. But instead the reply coming from the sea of fans that watched Ecuador beat Venezuela in the 2014 World Cup Qualifier on Friday.. I couldn’t resist, I had to be there, and also what better way to learn about a country and its people than from soccer? In some countries throughout Latin America, soccer, or football as we know it back home, is regarded as a second religion. I wasn’t going to disrespect the people! Football in Ecuador clearly represents something special. From early morning the streets were lined with people wearing their soccer tops, and for 6 bucks, if you didn’t have one, you could get one! Every bit of that day and that game was amazing, it was a family event, even if you weren’t related or from Ecuador. If you ever get the chance, get to a stadium in South America- no health and safety, you stand anywhere and on anyone, you get soaked in alcohol after every goal, and you get trampled on or into a fight (which by the way, everyone will hate you for) BUT, you’ll still have an amazing time, different from what European football can offer. Viva la Valencia!

Yes, Quito has its flaws, with most places you go in and around, you’ll get advice telling you to “cuidar de su bolsa” (look after your bag) and understandably that is an invaluable piece of advice, especially when crime in Ecuador’s capital is considered high. Someone I went to the soccer game with had their camera stolen,  that bummed me out even though it wasn’t my camera! Even with all that in mind, I can’t help but still cautiously love this place. The culture, the people, the way of life. Heck I’ve only been here a few days though right!?

Well whatever your take is on that… tomorrow I start Spanish school, so in that respect life here will become much easier and I’ll start being able to better relate with everyone around me.

In a bit.

1 comment:

  1. Your writing captures the city as well as your lens usually would! Glad you are settling in, just wait til you can compare it with other high altitude wonders! Enjoy Spanish School!