Our current time zone: GMT +8 (We're home in Singapore!)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

A Bad Spill

When we were in Quito, our hostel owner had posted a note in English and Espanol on the little notice board for guests. The note warned of people who would 'accidentally' spill stuff on you, and profusely apologise. Then, they would direct you to a nearby toilet where you could wash off whatever was spilled on you.

Only thing is, the toilet does not exist! It's supposedly just an empty building where an accomplice is waiting to rob you! How sickening is that? A ploy to get you all flustered and uncomfortable, and thereafter susceptible to their suggestion, only to be an addition to the crime statistic.

The Korean couple whom we met in Bogota and met again in Quito told us that they were a 'victim' of the first part of the ploy. A sticky sauce was spilled on the girl, and they were exhorted to go to a nearby toilet to wash up. Fortunately, being forewarned by the same hostel, they endured the icky sensation and cleaned up at the hostel instead.

It's petty crime like this that made us glad that we did not have to stay in Quito any longer than necessary, and were able to quickly move on to Mindo, Puerto Lopez, Cuenca, Loja and Vilcabamba. All smaller, relatively safer towns.

Or are they?

When we were at the bus terminal in Loja, looking for tickets to Vilcabamba, it seemed like an entire cup of strawberry milkshake was thrown on my bag, which I was trolleying behind me. It splattered all over the front of the bag, and got into the zips. Oh, I felt so grim then!

Fortunately, we had our toilet roll within easy reach in another bag (a must when travelling in South America!) and could use it to mop up the worst of the spill. While we were wiping the bag down, a man came to us and suggested that we clean it off in the toilet, saying that the drink was probably thrown from the second floor.

No way, Jose!

Icky bag or not, it was time to board the bus. So we stowed it in the luggage compartment of the bus, and let the milkshake congeal on my bag for another 2 hours, until we reached our hostel for the night, where I spent the next hour or so cleaning it off.

Pic taken in the safety of the hotel

Looking on the bright side of things, at least we were warned about this type of treachery and were able to react accordingly. I was also lucky that the drink was on my bag, rather than on me. I would have hated sitting in a bus covered with milkshake. In fact, I'm not sure the bus operator would have allowed me on board without washing up! And yeah, that lovely alpaca-wool sweater I was wearing escaped unscathed too.

Ah well. Chalk it down to the perils of traveling.


Tracy Su said...

Well, sometimes when people tell you 'travelling stories', it lends a certain authenticity if you later recount it happening to you!

Looks like a really icky affair =( but it's a good one to save for the grandkids lar...

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