Crossing Borders

Quito and the middle of the world

Quito, the capital of Ecuador and the start of our adventure in the southern hemisphere.

We arrived by plane from Guatemala to the first city (along with Krakow) to be named a UNESCO World Heritage site. The oldest capital in South America, founded at the end of the first millennium, is situated at 2,800m (9,350ft) above sea level. Whilst researching Latin America we’d read horror stories of travellers being hit with altitude sickness who had been unable to function for several days, in rare cases the height had been fatal as it caused swelling of the brain and/or fluid in the lungs. Symptoms include; dizziness, confusion, severe headaches, nausea, vomiting, insomnia, convulsions, swelling of the extremities and shortness of breath. Not wanting to be bed-ridden or end up six feet under we took the precaution of buying some Diamox (altitude sickness pills). Thankfully however our three-day stay in the elevated capital produced no ill-effects.


Crossing Borders: USA to Mexico

Her round beach ball sized face suddenly became pale. Looking up from her computer
screen she had found something disagreeable as her widening eyes were now two giant
pools of fear.

She mumbled something about a printing problem and made a hasty exit with Alicia’s
passport.

4am, La Guardia airport, New York.

This was not the first time issues had arose when Alicia or her family had tried to enter
or exit their home nation of the U.S.A. Having Haddad as a surname comes with certain
unwanted baggage. Haddad, a Middle Eastern name, meaning and as common as
[Black] Smith, had been flagged by the United States government as a threat to their
nation’s security. So, to save a nation from all Haddads, the surname had been added to
the terrorist watch list.


Top 5 Most Korean-American Cities: Chicago

In a weekly series of posts, we will present the Top 5 Most Korean-American cities, selected not only for their numbers, but also for their visibility in mainstream America. Our research was guided by the following criteria: population, famous and/or influential locals, programs, and hotspots.


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