Friday, November 21, 2008

Some things I like about Ecuador

1. Public transportation (bus in the city) is $0.25 and they really have it figured out. The amount of people moved around is just astounding, and you never wait more than two or three minutes for the next one to come. This is primarily the north/south routes which are trolley busses running on electric lines. But the whole city is very long and narrow, running north and south so you don´t often need to use one of the other busses. You do have to watch for your stuff, just today a thwarted someone trying to get into my bag and he looked at me with reproach as my paying attention had cost him time and effort to earn his income!
2. Mixed use housing. Almost every house has some sort of store or restaurant on the main level and living up above. Usually the same families live and work in each.
3. Breastfeeding children is accepted and normal and the smallest deal ever. There are ladies all over with their boobs hanging out, no modesty shawls to be seen!
4. You can take your clothes to the laundromat and they wash, dry, fold and iron if necessary for about $0.35/lb. This, for me, is a dream come true.
5. Long distance busses are comfortable and cost only about $1.00/hour to go anywhere in the country. They run many many times a day and are incredibly convenient. You still have to keep an eye on your stuff though, as the robbers think you must be rich and should share your belongings. They will take them from the rack above you if not locked down, they will even crawl under the seats to cut open your backpack if between your knees! It´s not that hard to keep an eye out, part of paying attention. (knock on wood).
6. Comida tipica, which is an appetizer of popcorn, chicken with rice and beans and salad and maybe fried bananas and a glass of fresh juice almost never costs more than $2.00.
7. Learning to cross the street. Or get on the bus. Or buy something. The part of me that is a turn-taker, and not in a hurry, and "go ahead, then" is getting some schooling! You never get anywhere without some sort of pushing or being so forward that it feels rude to this nicely mannered American, used to orderly lines and cross walks. It´s fun to learn to go for it!
8. The street signs. I´ve been taking pictures, so notice them. They are so communicative. My favorite, I haven´t been able to get a picture of yet because I´ve only seen them on the highway while driving by on the bus, is of two cars crashing, head on. That´s it. Not be careful, or Don´t Crash, or Warning, or anything. It looks a little like "And this is where you´re supposed to crash."
9. This morning I bought two beautiful big ripe mangos and a big bag of ripe strawberries for $1.20, gringo price.
10. DVDs are a dollar and there´s a store on every block.

Tie these up in brown paper packages with string, they are some of my favorite things.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the top 10 list. I was especially taken with #4...only wish they had that in my neighborhood. It also reminds me of your idea about the dishomat :)