October 7, 2013
So I leave my hotel in the Historical District and take a short stroll to the Plaza Grande. A military band is tooting a mid-day concert in front of the Presidential Palace. Colorful colonial style municipal structures and churches surround the busy plaza.
I continue my stroll down several narrow streets lined with buildings coated in pastel colors – light blue, beige, bright yellow. Colonial and modern style “flower-potted” balconies adorn the facades. Storefront signs announce “Desayuno – Almuerzo” – Breakfast and Lunch is served.
A typical lunch “menu” consists of a goblet of fresh fruit juice (melon or guava or pineapple), a plate of chicken or fish with rice, fries, lentils, fried banana, a small salad, and desert – all for “un dollar cinquenta,” a buck fifty. Usually, at these luncheonettes, I am the only “gringo” sitting amongst the locals. Well, I didn’t come to Ecuador for Subway, Swenson’s or Starbucks.