Pickpockets Best Friend


For a dog lover to want to kill a dog or two, it is really saying something about how incredibly annoying they were last night. There was one dog on both the front and the back of the building that barked incessantly all night long. At 4:30 am there was a dog fight. I got up to look out the window only to find 5 dogs beating up on a 6th. The poor dog was in the middle with the bully dogs attacking it. If I had something to throw out the window, like one of the people who highly recommended this place on TripAdvisor, I would have to break up the fight. What I could not understand is why none of the locals seemed to do a thing about the noise or the combat zone going on. A healthy dose of water would cool them off long enough for the victim to escape. If they could only be as noisy as the bunnies out back, it would be fine.

By the time 7 am came around, I was so angry that we chose this place, I could have punched a hole in the wall. That would not have been a good idea for a historically protected building or for my knuckles. The bathroom had a distinct public men’s room urinal odor to it. The shower is similar to those in Costa Rica. There is an electric heater attached to the shower head, so you have to set it for a slow trickle in order for the heater to warm the water as it flows by. After having excellent water pressure in everywhere we stayed, this was like showering under a sprinkling watering can. Our house plants get better water pressure than this. 

Ron did sleep some during the night, but was still unrested. We decided that we could not last here three more nights and then spend hours on planes. I was still fuming over not being able to get our room until 9:30 pm. Having Wi-Fi was the only bright spot of this place. It allowed me to get on the Internet and book a room where we were the last time we were in Quito, the Hotel Catedral International. Check in there is 11:30 am, check out here is 11:30 am. Perfect timing. This was the difference between $24 a night as opposed to $60, but after ending a fantastic vacation, why ruin the memories over some extra money?

I went down to the desk to tell them we were leaving. When I told the young woman we had to go, our plans had changed; I hoped I could leave it at that. There were two Americans at the computers in the office using the Internet, so I did not want to embarrass the woman in a forum. She excused herself for a minute and when she returned, she insisted on knowing the reason for their records, so I spilled it. After fifteen minutes of a spiel, she looked like she was sorry she ever asked. Overhearing all of this, the Americans jumped in to share their identical thoughts, but since they were on a 3 month tour of South America, they were stuck with cheap inconvenient places to stay.

Speaking of embarrassment, the hotel insisted they call us a taxi. We did need one, but we really did not want to share the destination with them. This was insistence number 2. Apparently, the taxi they use requires this information, which is a first. Now knowing we were changing hotels, you would have thought we told them we were having a sex change. Costing $5.00, this was the most expensive taxi ride we have taken within the city. Paranoia had us believing the taxi was prompted to screw us on the fare.

Now checked into a hotel we were familiar with, we set out for The Magic Bean in the new town area. This entails taking the trolley bus, the same one that Ron had his bag slashed on the first time in the city. Wiser this time around, I had on the type of pants with zippered pockets that go at different angles. The one on my left that is just above the knee had our cash. On the right side, the zipper goes vertically rather than horizontally. In this pocket, I had a small plastic business card holder with small coins, about 5 dimes. All cards had been handed out. The bus was again extremely crowded, but I kept my eye on the pocket with cash. I had my hand in the slit pocket above it and was concentrating on any vibrations from zippers moving like a human seismograph. 

After two café lattes at The Magic Bean, I reached down for the coins. Strangely, the zipper was already pulled down, though I knew I had it zipped up. It was empty; the plastic card holder and my dimes were history. Now I could really care less about any of it, but the dexterity of it is like magic. There was no warning whatsoever. This prompted the decision that if we have to ride the trolley buses again, I will carry a sign like a store directory. On the top left pocket –tissues, bottom right pocket is a charge card, but in anticipation of its getting stolen, I have canceled it already, so have at it. What I am really tempted to is keep a wad of fake money in my pockets. I had thought of carrying a mouse trap hidden in a pocket, but when thinking through the safety factors to myself, I ruled that out. 

Blocks from The Magic Bean is a bookstore selling used English books. Ron had to check to see if they had English newspapers. I keep telling him if the US went over the fiscal cliff, we would have felt the tremors all the way down here. No papers on offer. 

It seems like the rest of the day was in slow motion, but it could have been the lack of sleep. We did spend much of the afternoon reading in parks, Ron napping, and me uploading photos. I guess we are accustomed to Quito’s vibe and did the most important museums. 

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