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Shit Happens

ECUADOR | Tuesday, 10 March 2015 | Views [261] | Comments [1]

Quite literally...

On Sunday I decided to go to the Centro Historico in Quito, Ecuador. To quote Lonely Planet, "Spread across a spectacular Andean valley and flanked by volcanic peaks, Quito's setting alone is enough to strike you speechless. The historical center – or ‘old town,’ as it’s called – is a maze of colonial splendor, an Unesco World Heritage Site since 1978. Quito is currently flush with pride after 2006 marked the final installment of a massive restoration project that spruced up buildings and churches, brought historic theaters back to life and made the old town’s formerly sketchy streets safe to explore once again."

However, within minutes of arriving, a man pointed out that a bird apparently pooped on me. I always carry tissues in my bag but unfortunately, I forgot to replenish them on my recent return to Canada. There was a police car in front of me so I asked for assistance. He dismissed me. Then a woman came up and told me there was a bathroom a couple of meters away. She said she would show me where it was. Normally, I would have been more suspicious but as I was dripping smelly poop, I followed her. And that is where she and at least two other men grabbed me, spun me around grabbing my arms and stole my bag. I tried to yell but it was too late. It was gone in the blink of an eye. I yelled for help and all the people who watched it happen simply walked away. Quickly, two security guards came by and asked me why I was yelling. I told them what happened and they took me to a police car (which I think was the one that had dismissed me minutes before). I was taken to the police station to report the loss of my iPhone, camera, money, bank card, Lonely Planet and bag. While I was there, an Australian tourist came in to report the theft of his camera from the same area. Upon looking at my poop stains he said there was no way that a bird did that. The police agreed that someone had deliberately thrown poop on me. I had already suspected as much because the smell was too strong to be from a bird. After finally wiping it off, I still "smelled like shit".

This is what bothers me most I think. It was not a crime of opportunity but a deliberate attack. Needless to say it has taken the wind out of my sails.

I am now stuck here in Quito until I receive my new bank card from TD Bank (which thankfully they have sent to me free of charge). The police could not make international calls so I called the Canadian Embassy which was closed - I was rerouted to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Ottawa who rerouted my call to the TD Bank. Until the card arrives, I am living off of US$60; not exactly enough to do anything. I am thankful that breakfast (as dismal as it is) is included in my hotel price.

When I returned to my hotel (via the back of the squad car), everyone there agreed that as a female solo travelor, I would continue to be a target while traveling around Equador. I can't get to the beach soon enough.

...And that is how a day I was quite excited about turned out to be the shittiest day of my life. I really think that Lonely Planet needs to rethink their description, don't you?

Tags: crime, lonely planet, quito

Comments

1

Wow...that sucks big time and sure puts a damper on your adventure!!

Good thing you weren't in India where the outcome could have been worse!

You can never be too cautious and never know when something like this will happen....again, sorry and hope the rest of your holiday goes smoothly....take care my dear friend!!

  George Sicord Mar 24, 2015 10:52 AM

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