6 things I hate about public bathrooms in Ecuador

Payment.  With most public bathrooms in Ecuador, you gotta pay to play, I know it´s only 10 cents or so but what if you only have a $20 bill?  Be prepared to get $19.90 in icky nickels and dimes back!

No soap– I don-t get it, why have soap dispensers if you can never find soap in them?  If you can find soap in a public bathroom i suggest stocking up for next time by squirting some into your hand and just walk around with it in there, just don´t shake anyone’s hand.  Another idea is to stash some behind your ears.

No toilet paper– Literally, two days ago I found myself running for a bathroom in the Mall Quicentro Sur in South Quito.  Of course, there was no toilet paper, only a complicated machine that requires exact change, of course, I didn´t have it in those precious moments, so what did I have to do?  There were a few old receipts in my wallet, those had to do.  I chuckled as I dropped them in the open waste basket of the stall thinking how people were going to laugh when they saw dirtied receipts in there. Oh, man.

No ventilation– “Oh man, I can´t breathe in here, and it´s so humid the smell and r¡grime is sticking to my skin!” My friend with loose bowl movements moaned from a cramped, dark, windowless bathroom at a gas station in steamy Guayaquil.  It was funny for the rest of us just outside the bathroom though.

No where to set down a backpack- many floors of public bathrooms in Ecuador are really nasty, yet there are often no hooks on the stall doors, so where do you set a bag down?  The only solution I can think of is to squat with the pack on and hope you don´t pop a hernia.

Sweet sayings Ecuadorians (maybe just the males) write on the back of toilet stall doors.  Ecuadorians think its hilarious to write their buddy´s phone number on the back of doors with things like “for cheap gay s-e-x call 09—–“.  Recently, I saw one interesting graffiti, “gays poop easier”.  Actually, some of these can be quite funny.

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My top 3 cheap side-trips from Ecuador everyone should take

South America is a BIG continent.

And not many budget airlines yet more are coming.

But there are interesting side-trips you can take while living in Ecuador… I suggest starting with these three!

1. San Andres Island (Colombia).  This picturesque Caribbean island off the coast of Honduras is actually a part of Colombia, yet most don´t realize it if they´ve even heard of the place.  Yet it costs just $69 roundtrip to get there from Bogota!  And now with the Colombian budget airline Wingo flying to Quito you can get roundtrip to Bogota for around $230 if you buy at least a month or so in advance. A must-see!  Try Google Flights to find.

2. Summer skiing in Chile.  The ski season in Chile is July through September.  And most don´t realize you can actually get to the resorts quite quickly from the capital Santiago.  And you can get to Santiago for around $300 round-trip if bought in advance from Guayaquil (Ecuador). Try Google Flights or Kayak.com.

3. El Salvador/Nicaragua/Costa Rica.  There is a little-known, new, cheap round-trip flight for $232 with Avianca from Quito to El Salvador.  From there you could discover the El Salvador coastline or drift up by land to Guatemala for a few days or catch a cheap flight to Nicaragua or Costa Rica via Kayak.com. I´ve seen one way flights for around $60 from El Salvador to Nica.

There you have it! A few interesting side trips to get you started once living in Ecuador.  More to come.

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The deal-breaker: Why my brother would NEVER move to Ecuador

Recently, one of my brothers who lives on the west side of Cleveland recently came to visit me on an extended trip to Ecuador.

Towards the end of his stay I asked him if he would ever consider living in Ecuador?

He said “no”.

Naturally, I asked “why?”

He said not being able to flush the toilet paper after wiping is a total dealbreaker for him.

Fair enough. Deal-breakers can be very simple things.

I agree that aspect of living here is annoying.

Yet all the while some gringos think it´s just a false belief and actually you can flush it, you´re wrong, in almost all places in Ecuador you really can´t or you could have major problems soon.

I know I´m going to get a million emails now saying why don-t I use a bidet. Man, whatever.

But I´d still choose Ecuador for the weather, costs of living, food, people, language, business opportunity and much more.

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