Before becoming a Spanish teacher, I worked in Quito for about six years.
Because of my job I had to visit about 25 different stores across the city, and I used to think I knew Quito really well.
Well, I was wrong.
After I became a teacher, I met a group of people from the US, and it’s because of them that I realized I didn’t know Quito. Not to mention Ecuador.
They were living in the city, and had a list of places to visit whenever their buddies from the US came to stay with them. The first place was a church, not because they were particularly religious, but because there is a great view of the city from one of the towers.
Once, I asked them how many times they had been to that church, and I don’t remember the exact answer, but it was more than 4.
Then, they asked me the same question, and my answer was zero.
I had worked in Quito for SIX YEARS and I had never been to that church before.
One time, the whole group but one person went on a trip to the Amazon, and the friend who stayed in Quito texted me about that famous church:
Andrés, it’s unbelievable that an Ecuadorian doesn’t know the Basilica. You and I will go there this weekend.
And we did.
It was fun: an American woman showing an Ecuadorian guy his own city.
That group went back to the US a couple of years ago, but in just six months here, they visited more places in Ecuador than I have in my whole life.
After meeting more visitors from different countries, I can say that’s normal.
You see, as locals, we take many things for granted, while a person who knows that he or she has a limited time in a country, tries to make the most of that time.
Last week I (virtually) met a person who had visited Ecuador a couple of months ago, spent just four days in the country, and enjoyed every single minute.
We talked about his experience in my country, and how knowing the local language (it doesn’t matter if only a little or quite a lot) can help during the trip.
If you are planning to visit Ecuador (or any other country), I think you will find our conversation interesting and useful.
Yes, I recorded it for the podcast. You can listen to it here.
P.S. At the bottom of the page, you can find a YouTube video of the same interview. That’s just in case you would like to see us.
P.P.S. If your spanish is not very good yet, that won’t be a problem, we talked in English for the whole interview.