Language & Free-stay
However, if your intention is to learn Spanish and stay and eat and drink for free, perhaps the Hoestel Secret Garden has something for you to offer. For a month or longer stay you can work on a 8 hours shift morning / evening (you are not able to decide what time) you can have two hours of Free Spanish (1 to 1) everyday. You don get paid, instead you receive a bed and share a room with another and have free meal and drinks. Quite a few young folks are working there but they complain sometimes it might be just hard to get your own time after work and language classes to plan some sightseeing. But still it perhaps offers something to some of you. Check out the address at accommodation tips section.
Street vendors: up close and personal
Street vendors in Quito don't necessarily keep to the sidewalk. Some like the young boy whose photo I took sell their wares on very narrow median strips with traffic whizzing by at breakneck speed, waiting for the inevitable red light to give them a captive audience for at least a minute or two per cycle. In my opinion, this is one step above panhandling. Aside from being a bother to motorists, it is dangerous for the vendors. The locals don't seem to mind all that much.
Friendly regional rivalry
If you're in Quito and you hear folks making jokes about folks from the coast, there is a friendly regional rivalry between the mountains and the coast. It is more like the rivalry between Charlotte, North Carolina and Atlanta, Georgia than the North and South before the War Between the States. Like Charlotte and Atlanta, folks from Quito and Guayaquil quarrel over which city dominates the regional financial markets.
GPS doesn't lie!
The funny thing about La Mitad del Mundo is that it is, in fact, wrong!!! Ever since a scientific expedition determined that it was the spot to call the middle of the world, people have wanted to come and visit. In 1979, the stone monument and the complex was built and instantly it became a popular tourist attraction. But, then in recent years, the technological innovation of GPS has deemed the original site to be slightly off target. In fact, the real "middle of the world" is about 215 meters away at this new attraction. In my opinion, this is actually more interesting because of the science experiments that you can do here. Check out my pictures below and you'll being to understand. Balancing two eggs on top of each other, watching water spiral down a drain and even exerting downward force on your travel companion are all interesting experiments that will plainly reveal that the doing any of these things a few meters apart on either side of the true equator can make a big difference in the end result.
Wanna buy a pen?
Entrepapeles is a small office supply, mainly paper, store at the Esquina Cumbayá not far from where Sergio lives. I needed a small notebook to carry with me to Old Town Quito the following day, plus a couple of pens to replace one that was going dodgy on me. The prices are quite reasonable, but how can you charge a great deal for pens and paper?