Tag Archives: living abroad

What I Will Miss About Living in Ecuador

– Not driving a car, being able to walk everywhere (Save $$$$ on Gas)

– A $2 three-course meal with dessert

– The variety of fruit and fruit juices (Quiero una jugo de mora AND the best pineapple I’ve ever eaten)

– High-priced fast-food and American candy (good incentive to not eat it)

– Empanadas (compare that to hot pockets, which are not as good)

– The breakfast at El Colibri

– Coup attempts that got us out of work

– Living in a country with vastly different geographical landscapes (the coast, highlands, amazon and galapagos)

– The passion in the culture and people

– Being able to survive without a cellphone

– Television isn’t the center of the living room (the only time it was turned on was during the coup attempt)

– Everything being so close (grocery stores, gym, cafes)

– Free Salsa lessons on Wednesday night in The Mariscal District

– Not living to work, but working to live

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Filed under Activities, Ecuador, Facts, Food, Galapagos Islands, Global, History, International, Latin America // South America, Nature, Outdoors, Sites, Tips, Travel, Worldwide

What I Won’t Miss About Living in Ecuador

– The diversity of people (predominantly one ethnicity unlike the melting pot in the States)

– Being stared at for being “tall” and “blonde”

– Having to watch my step, worry about breaking my ankle walking on the sidewalk

– Whistles, Car Horns/Alarms, Random Firework Shows every single night

– The no sense of time philosophy shared by every Ecuadorian

– Stores opening and closing whenever they feel like it

– Having to pay for “agua sin gas” (water) at every meal

– Holding my backpack like it was a baby on the bus in fear of it being slashed (aka having to be overprotective of belongings)

– Public breast-feeding

– Public urination

– Being asked for change when I presented a $5 bill or larger

– Nescafe or any of their coffee

– Fake ketchup

– The supermarket being crowded at any time of day

– Lack of personal space

– Coup Attempts

– Squeezing onto the buses and being packed lack a sardine

– The fact that insulation did not exist in the houses, meaning it felt like the Arctic in my bedroom

– The machismo personality (gawking and throwing pick-up lines at every ‘pretty’ girl)

– No seat-belts, No speed limits, No rules of the road

– Having to dart out of the ways of cars, not having the right of way as a pedestrian

– Having to throw away the toilet paper in a trash can rather than in the toilet

– Not having hot water in the faucets or showers (electric showers)

– Indoor smoking is still allowed in business/bars

– Having to haggle for anything (food, taxi fare, any item you wanted to purchase)

– Being begged for money at every corner, street light or on the bus

– Being sold/or asked to buy candy or food at every corner, street light or on the bus

– The lack of seasons

– Having to see stray dogs and homeless everywhere

– Lack of any spicy food

– Rice

– Not being able to eat salad for fear of contracting a parasite

– Slow walkers – they definitely take their time getting to and from places

– The scary stories of rape, robberies, slashed purses, drugs, etc

– Wondering whether or not the laundry people actually washed my clothes or not

– Being told not to walk around at night after 7 pm by myself

– No sense of common courtesy (knowing what the point of a line means, waiting your turn)

– The mission it is to pickup a package

– Overpriced imports (candy from the United States)

– Lack of laundry machines in the house, having to take it to the cleaners who may or may not even wash them

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Wheels & Paints

Every weekend Quito becomes a quiet city. The sidewalks are empty and the noises seem to cease, creating a peaceful solitude. However, when  Sunday arrives certain streets in Quito are closed and no cars are allowed. What is? Loads of cyclists and runners.

This past Sunday my friends and I walked around exploring Quito and visited La Capilla del Hombre, an art museum that offers breath-taking pieces that make you really ponder life in all it´s happy and sad glory.

Here is a video:

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Just another coup, Just another day

some of the military on patrol

I’ve been getting loads of people asking me how I’m doing and what the current scene is here in Quito, Ecuador after the recent coup d’état attempt by the national police last Thursday. The police, upset over a law that President Rafael Correa would potentially pass that would cut the bonuses they received once promoted, tried to allegedly take control of the government by overthrowing him.

They used tear gas, took over landing strips at the airport, blocked roads with flaming tires and apparently held the President hostage in the hospital where he fled to get treatment due to inhaling the tear gas. This is not the first time something like this has taken place in Ecuador. Three previous presidents had been pushed out before their time in office even ended. Violent protests are also not unfamiliar in South America. Numerous have been organized in Argentina – sometimes happening on a weekly basis. People should remember that protests and other attempts of taking what you want to get what you want are extremely common down here.

military on duty

The chaotic scene in Ecuador pretty much ended the same day it began. After the President was rescued from the hospital by his supporters, which sadly ended with some dead in the crossfire that took place between 500 people, he gave a lengthy, passionate speech at the Presidential Palace to a massive crowd. It seemed almost movie-like: the conflict (the law), the climatic battle and hostage  scene, the rescue and then the speech that left us all with a happy ending. My roommate even mentioned, “how Latin” the whole ordeal turned out to be.

The eery, quiet night in my town ended as soon as the sun rose to a beautiful morning. People were walking all over the place, acting like nothing happened. Black ash stained the road across my apartment where the tire was burning, but other than that the coup had left me unharmed. My friend and I were able to walk everywhere we needed: laundry mat, post office, lunch in Mariscal and even the supermarket (which is in a rough spot). We had no trouble and no worries.

walking unit on amazonas in mariscal district

Today, our area had turned back into a ghost town. Not because of the coup, but because it was Sunday and like every other Sunday the streets are closed so people can run, walk, or the popular activity: bicycle. The only difference this time was that there were plenty of military patrolling the streets, carrying their big rifles. None seemed too worried though, going on smiling and laughing with each other, probably because they felt comfort and security with the military personnel being present.  While my friends and me were walking up the street we heard this loud

POP!

watching on the corner

and we all jumped around with darting eyes to see where it had come from. We could see the military immediately look to find the source of the sound as well. A guy’s bicycle tire had popped and flattened. As soon as people found out they went back to normal. However, it was an eery reminder that although things are fine on the outside, deep down inside we’re all still a bundle of nerves with the recent events still fresh on our minds.

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Standing in two hemispheres at the Middle of the World

There are two equator spots in Quito, Ecuador. One is what I like to call the tourist trap with the big monument that you can’t miss. The other is the real one. It is right around the corner (walking distance from the fake one) and you have to pay close attention for the sign or you’ll miss it.

For $3 USD you get a tour of indigenous homes, learn about their way of living, customs, and get to partake in some equatorial experiments such as attempting to balance an egg and walking on a straight line.

Here is a video of my time spent on the equator (post to come):

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