Redistributing wealth

I got through 49 hours in Quito without being robbed. It couldn’t last. I am now without my Hanoi spectacles, which I need despite my fancy-pants Park Avenue laser eye surgery three years ago. So it’s back to wearing prescription sunglasses at the movies.

At least I’m not alone. The noticeboards at the hostels are full of stories of new Quito robbery techniques, the most straightforward of which involve requests strengthened by knives. More complicated manoevers involve spraying mustard on the victim and then helpfully cleaning up the ‘birdshit’ while liberating wallets. At the laundry, the girl ahead of me arranges to meet her friend after she picks up her police report. Polite notices on the lampposts offer rewards to the ‘Senor Ladrón’ who made off with a Range Rover containing fabric samples valuable only to the owner.

Bastards. I live in fear that they will swipe my notebook.