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Sunday, July 4, 2010

Gringolandia of Quito, Ecuador

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My hotel (Hotel Otavalo) in the Mariscal District of Quito

I stayed in an area of Quito, Ecuador called Mariscal, better known as Gringolandia. So named because this is where most of the foreigners live and hang out. It is a very congested part of town, and on Friday nights, it's like a parking lot with the traffic being so heavy. People from all over the world come to La Mariscal. Fortunately for me, everyone I ran into spoke Spanish; my primary reason for my being in South America in the first place, to practice and get immersed in the Spanish language.

I'm just not used to women acting so attracted to me at first sight anyway, thus, I figured she might hustling or possibly setting me up to be robbed.

I arrived in Mariscal around 9:00 p.m. hungry and stopped in the first restaurant I saw. Upon leaving, I saw a black Ecuadorian male hanging out seemingly doing nothing. Thinking I might be turned on to Quito's black community, I tried to make conversation. He asked me to get him something to eat, which I did. But when I returned, I saw him down the block throwing a "pitch" at some white tourists. I said to myself, this “Negro” is hustling, and left him alone.

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Avenida Colón in downtown Quito bordering La Mariscal.

Meanwhile, a black woman appeared with whom I immediately introduced myself. I can tell by the way she spoke that she was local, and figured she might turn me on to some Afro-Ecuadorian action in the community. But I got a little suspicious of her vague conversation coupled with the fact that she was hanging out in Gringolandia alone at night, seemingly doing nothing. She seemed overly elated that I even stopped to talk to her. As I gazed into her eyes, I did not get the impression that she was attracted to me other than what's in my wallet. I'm not used to women acting so attracted to me at first sight, anyway. Thus, I figured she might hustling or possibly setting me up for a robbery. I thought of Gloria whom I was supposed to meet the next day, and went back to my hotel----alone.