Observations from Riobamba

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 *you walk into a bathroom and see toilet paper, soap, and paper towels and think, “Wow . . . this bathroom is nice!”

*you learn to say chau, instead of adios, when leaving for the day.

*you wonder what kind of soup you are going to have with lunch because Ecuadorians have soup everyday at lunch.

*you get excited when you have the opportunity to buy a refrigerated drink.

*you see a man peeing on the side of the road and don’t think much of it.

*you look forward to bus trips because vendors get on and off selling tasty food.

*you expect bus rides to cost about $1.00 per hour.

*you pass bootleg video stores on a daily basis and forget how illegial that concept is in the U.S.

*you go on a walk to the park and naturally avoid cows walking on the same sidewalk.

*you look forward to seeing what Chimborazo looks like everyday.

*you kiss people on the cheek when you see or meet them.

*you pay 15 cents to use a public bathroom and think it’s worth it.

*you look forward to promotional saldo days for your cell phone.

*you frequently pack toilet paper in your bag because most bathrooms don’t have it.

*you walk down the street and don’t flinch anymore to avoid dog poop on the sidewalks.

*you get used to hearing people say, “Buenos dias, mi hija.” (Good morning, my daughter.)

*your English class “officially” begins at 5:00pm, but no one shows up until 5:05pm or 5:10pm – and that is normal.

*you get bummed out when you have a $20 bill because no one likes to take large bills.

*you learn how to flag taxis down like a pro.

*you come home from work and look forward to what kind of new, fresh bread is in the kitchen.

*you don’t think twice about using bottled water to brush your teeth anymore.

*you get used to seeing babies and kids in cars, without carseats.

*you are used to putting toilet paper in the trash can, instead of the toilet.

*you haggle with taxi drivers when they try to charge you $1.25, instead of $1.00.

*you learn how to cross the street without getting hit  by a car, bus or motorcycle.

*you aren’t surprised when you see an entire family (dad, mom, and kids) riding on a motorcycle or bike.

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3 responses »

  1. Great post! This is the kind of stuff good travel books are made of. Keep up the great work you’re doing. Oh yeah, I wanted to tell you that Tengo una nieta en el camino en marzo!

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