What’s Your Favorite Story about Ecuador?
Trying to get your head around life in Ecuador is sometimes like writing a cover letter. It’s cumbersome, makes little sense and can get on your nerves. That being said, once the work is done and the day is over, one feels a sense of accomplishment akin to finishing the chores on the list.
A group of friends back in the day had a game which had its moments. We would gather and tell each other if we were up or down depending on how well we handled the nuances that go along with being a gringo-gringa in a foreign land.
Did you tell the person who jumped in front of you at the store to beg off? Confront three taxi drivers throughout the day who tried to charge you double the price? Find the nerve to ask why there was no hot water or electricity for three days? If so, points were earned-if not, it went on your tab.
I bring this up as I want to start a discussion. Having worked and lived in Quito for a few years, as a matter of course and enjoyment, I meet expats who are newly arrived and trying to figure out the lay of the land. The stories that are told about what they experience are enough to boggle the mind.
Shiesty landlords,errant boyfriends-girlfriend, drug dealers, theft, muggings and corruption are rampant in conversations while the positive moments about daily life rarely get mentioned.
While I give the forces of the underworld their due and understand that like in Chicago, its part of the game to keep you head on straight and have eyes in the back of your head, I think that a lot of people who move here miss the point at first glance.
Away from the expat joints, the discos and the mayhem, apart from the annoyances of the day and far from the the chaos of trying to navigate life in a different world, there is a beauty to the land and the people that escapes those with a critical eye.
I don’t like trying to explain this to people as in my eyes its paramount. Waking up (or falling asleep) to the sun, feeling the warmth of the smiles of people on the way to work and being part of a culture that respects the journey I’m on makes a difference which can’t be qualified against complaints and disillusionment.
So, the point of this post is this. What make you smile when you think about Ecuador? Why do you stay? Who have you met today that makes you keep walking up the hill?
As a traveler, vagabond, hippie and gypsie and writer, these are the stories that I want to hear. A good friend of mine once told me that you have to find a reason to leave where you live. There needs to be a place worth going to before a decision is made.
For me, that place was Quito, and after six years living here, I still see a culture which I can’t imagine elsewhere and feel a sense of affinity for the people around me which is above and beyond that felt elsewhere.
If you can relate to this and have a story to share, please let it be known in the comments, send me an email with a guest post or give me a link to a post about the good things you have found when traveling or living in Ecuador. I’ll be checking in daily, so if you don’t hear from me, keep trying!