HEARD: National and municipal police on strike!! Chaos in the streets.
SAW: That seems to be true. I broke every traffic law known to man on my moto this morning. I (and everyone else) got away with it. Uh, really can't see anything new here - with or without police presence.
HEARD: Big uprising going on in Parque Calderon (this is the main park or plaza in old town.) Dangerous. Stay away. They are rioting and burning tires.
SAW: Yeah, I went down there to catch the action. Yawn. About 50 people doing some kind of half-hearted rally thing with chanting in Spanish. Maybe another 200 watching. I would be #201. All in one corner of the park. Apathy seemed to reign supreme. The rest of the square was completely tranquil. Street vendors were at work as were the street sweepers. Didn't seem violent or scary. Maybe about the same amount of littering as usual.
HEARD: There will be marches and demonstrations in the downtown streets.
SAW: A couple of sparsely constructed groups walking with babies and old people. It could have been mistaken for a church parish parade.
HEARD: SuperMaxi (the local upscale supermarket) had to close due to __________. You gotta fill in the blanks here yourself as the story was different every time I heard it.
SAW: Yeah, I went to SuperMaxi against Brennie's protest but we had no food in the house. It was open. Quiet. Calm. Did some shopping and came home. PRIMARY CAUSE FOR CONCERN ? They were out of JIF Peanut Butter. But then they were last week too. In all fairness, there are 3 SuperMaxie's in town so maybe one of the other 3 were (looted, stripped bare, whatever). Of course this happens in Kansas grocery stores every time there's a tornado warning or ice storm prediction.
HEARD: Stores are closing. Safety concern.
SAW: Yeah, it seems that half or more of the downtown stores are closed but, then, that also happens when there's a big soccer game on TV.
HEARD: Bank robbery in Guayaquil.
SAW: Well I actually didn't see anything as I am in Cuenca. But, yeah a bank robbery in Guayaquil. So what? Guayaquil has a reputation for a high crime rate because it's a port city. That's why we live in Cuenca.
HEARD: Firebombs and gunshots in Quito/Cuenca.
SAW: Must be using those new smokeless firebombs. We have a pretty good view off the old balcony. Beautiful day with no smoke or fire sirens. However, we did hear the usual backfiring of old cars which sound alot like gunshots if you use a little imagination.
HEARD: Student riots at the university
SAW: Drove by there on my moto. Musta been one of them passive-resistance kind of riots. You know, the kind led by Ghandi or Mother Theresa.
HEARD: IT'S A COUP!!!
SAW: Standard operating procedure when Ecuadorian elections draw near. It's a cultural thing. They do coups. The U.S. uses hanging chads.
HEARD: Thugs roaming the streets.
SAW: Myself in the mirror.
AT PARQUE CALDERON:
Standing on the bandstand.
Standing on the bandstand.
Another shot of the park during the ruckus.
ALSO AT PARQUE CALDERON:
Some businesses were closed.......
....And some were open.
This is Tutto Freddos (above and below).
I went in and got a Tres Leches Cake to go (for the Brennie).
Seemed open so I got Brennie some flowers.
Never close down.
I got strawberries, tangerines and avocados.
Basically another day of peace.
Hope tomorrow is the same.