Friday, May 25, 2012

Ecuador vs. Europe

I keep thinking that it was a bit silly for me to have traveled in Europe in college when Quito has so many of the things I enjoyed there, and for much lower prices. For example, in Copenhagen I ate Danish pastries maybe once a month because I couldn't bear to cough up $4 for a snack. Here I buy fresh pastries every day because they cost 60 cents.

Here's a comparison of my experience of Quito with the European cities I spent time in (Copenhagen, London, Paris, Barcelona, Amsterdam). I understand Buenos Aires is the most "European" city in Latin America, but I've never been there.

Advantage Europe:
less crime
better food for a larger budget
less air pollution
probably better for obviously gay people
no altitude sickness
more and better art

Advantage Quito:
better food for a smaller budget
hiking / birdwatching / rafting / ziplining
landscape (misty Andes, cloud forest nearby)
lower prices on everything
cheaper to fly to (our tickets cost $600 round trip)
I'm practicing a language that's useful in the US (unlike Danish)
plants and animals (ideal climate for orchids, roses, hummingbirds)

Streets with charming old architecture
Sexual harassment (I get shouted at here about as much as in France and Spain, less than in London or Copenhagen)
Lots of old churches
Cute children (somehow foreign children are always cuter)

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