This magnificent view overlooks the back of my neighborhood and the city valley below. You can see the steep inclines leading up to the apartments. While breathtaking to look at, it's also breathtaking to walk. My endurance is slowly increasing as I get use to the high altitude that comes with living in Quito. (9350ft) I'm getting use to the small hills around my building, but this climb usually requires a minute break just prior to reaching the peak.
One of the first phrases I've gotten use to asking is "¿Como se llama?", since I regularly run into dog walkers. Lucia has already tallied up friends' names such as, Alberto, Luna, Fidel, Ella, Pepo, and Corky. All them vary in breeds from German shepherds, Siberian huskies, basset hounds, golden retrievers, schnauzers, shih tzus, and Yorkshire terriers. The dog park is now a daily stop in Lucia's routine.
With all the dog walking at a higher elevation, my appetite hasn't quite caught up with the calories I need. But I've gotten use to forced snacking through out the day and drinking more water to help me adjust. Some of the popular supermarket chains in the city are SuperMaxi and MegaMaxi. Since I'm still waiting for my car to arrive, I use a taxi for my weekly shopping. The taxi rates are surprisingly cheap, usually costing $2 for a one way trip to the store. A nice tip for the driver helps me get the bags to my apartment door.
While it's nice eating familiar name brands (Snickers!), it comes with a higher cost due to obvious import fees. Fortunately, I've always liked trying local products since it's cheaper and tastes (usually) just as good if not better.
I've been working on my Spanish more now that I'm here. It definitely helps when you're trying to see more of the city and what it has to offer. Everyone's been extremely patient and tend to help me as I practice. I think I called my dad a potato once when I didn't accent papa (papá) correctly. Sorry Dad, I'll just say padré next time..