Quito, Ecuador

  • Date
  • 27 September 2001

I headed off via taxi (with the meter, cost only US$1.10, however, this was the only taxi driver I’ve found willing to use the meter) to explore the Casa de la Cultura, home to several museums, among them the impressive and well-executed National Museum filled with contemporary paintings on the top floor, colonial furniture and paintings on the second floor and temporary exhibits at the ground level. Cost was US$2 for foreigners, free for nationals. Imagine if we tried this pricing approach in our museums in the US….

Then I headed to Quicentro Shopping, hoping to find a t-shirt as mine are stained and/or with holes. On the way (via taxi US$1.50, as driver wouldn’t use meter), I watched an intensive storm brew and churn into a hailstorm, with golf-ball size drops pelting the ground. I couldn’t get over the frozen ice balls pounding the warm ground so near the equator. Once at the shopping complex, I darted inside looking for escape only to find a new, but leaking shopping structure! Security officers and janitors walked and slid down the hallways placing buckets under downpours and sweeping water towards doorways. And, no, I never found a t-shirt, but I did find Baskin Robbins.