13 things that annoy the h-ll out of me living in Ecuador

“Oh man,” I thought as my heart sunk into my chest while driving in Ecuador. As I peered through my rear-view mirror I saw a cop car on my behind with the lights blaring.

“What did I do now?” I thought. Is it simply “driving while foreign?”

Yes, cops have been known to swindle foreigners out of a few easy bucks for no driving infraction whatsoever, they know we can be an easy target (an Ecuadorian if pulled over for doing nothing would be like F-off!).

But then, the cop car sped around me, he wasn’t after me at all.

Relieved, I didn’t know this was a normal occurrence in Ecuador until I lived here a bit, which brings me to my first annoyance in Ecuador, cops that ride around with their sirens on, for no reason, the norm in Ecuador.

Here’s a few more things that annoy me enough to make this list…

2. When people in Ecuador don’t accept my dollar bill that has a microscopic rip in it.

3. When banks don’t accept my check (or one another person gave me) because the signature was missing a dot of the “i”, or a tiny missing loop… yes they actually check signature form here!

4. When lane-sharing motorcycles pass me to the left when I’m about to turn left.

5. How a “hot” shower to an Ecuadorian often translates really to a mildly room-temperature one.

6. Conversely, how in many places the water pressure will be so low you have stick your bare-a$$ to the shower wall in order to get the one little dribble falling from the shower head.

7. How buses gladly sell you a ticket and let you up on even a long distance ride when there are no more seats, and you find yourself holding onto the rails in the walkway for dear life while your neighbors comfortably sitting down reach over and pick pocket you.

8. Also, how city buses don’t bother fully stopping to let you off, I often have to “time my jump” so not to land face first in an open, unmarked sewer hole.

9. When neighbors leave for the weekend and leave their dogs out to roam the streets and fend for themselves often ravaging in your garbage which is only slightly worse them leaving them locked on their roof to bark all night hungry.

10. How when parked at a red light and upon the change to green you often literally don’t have time to lift your foot up and press the gas pedal before someone behind you is honking at you to go.

11. The horrifically gory, mindless, Chinese action movies Ecuadorians ALWAYS have blaring in the long distance buses.

12. The absolutely horrendous local Andean music the city buses often have blaring at all times of the day.

13. Ecuadorian men who dress like women, YIKES, Thai men they are certainly not!

But despite these annoyances and a few others which you usually can get used to. I love Ecuador and would prefer living here 100 out of 100 times over living in the USA!

Hasta pronto, if you liked this you’d love my Insider’s newsletter on living and investing in Ecuador,

Fill in below to sign up now (you can unsubscribe at any time):

8 steps to convert any property into a successful AirBnb rental in Ecuador

This week I had the pleasure of acquiring a new condo in Guayaquil I plan to rent to short-stay clients.It had been vacant for over 4 years and covered in filth.

The power was cut and the AC didn’t work (important in Guayaquil).  Neither did the hot water.

But the one bedroom suite did have the basics, a bed, mattress, TV, and sofa.

So literally, about 3 days and $400 later I was ready to rock. With websites like AirBnb you can turn any unused space (like a bedroom, or a vacant unit) into a money maker if you follow these steps.

1. Hire a professional to deep-clean the place and get the grime and mold out of the bathroom.  In Ecuador this means find someone who can clean real good and pay them the day rate $15-25.

2. After verifying the basic services are up like water and electric, focus your energy on three more ALL renters will require… Hot water, WiFi, and AC (on the coast).  Cable TV is a nice extra but not necessary.  This week I hired the Internet plan on Wednesday and they were installing on Thursday.

3. Change the door locks.  I suggest a keyless smart lock on the exterior door, one you can grant and deny access with on the click of a button starting available for around $100 at places like Target or Best Buy.  As for the interior doors, make sure they are all keyless bathroom-style door knobs, because your guests will close them and get locked out of the bedroom or bathroom.  It will happen, trust me.  And with any tiny screw driver like one you leave in a hidden location in the unit they can open the door. No key needed.

4. Put signs everywhere.  If you’ve ever stayed in one of my rentals you know I love to sign things up.  Sign up the suite indicating the WiFI code, hot water direction, how to call a taxi and anything else pertinent to their stay (so they don’t have to bother you).  Make it easy for them.

5. Accent color.  Like in my case with white walls everything was white and black in the suite so I just added one accent color (red).  Red sofa cushions, red (fake) roses, red bed cover, etc. And for very little money I gave the suite some pop.  Best not to have many bright colors.  Just one for some pop.  No need to be a major in interior design for this one, since you can just add new paint or a mural from a muraledesign service online.  But if you have access to someone with design background ask for assistance!

6. Include basic necessities.  I’m always surprised scouting my competition on AirBnb how many forget to put the basics like toilet paper causing bed reviews.  Think like a hotel.  People need toilet paper (try to put an extra one), towels, hand towels, and soap as well as hand soap.  That’s about it really. Start people off right and they’ll love you for it.

7. Must secure private space.  A space where only you and your cleaner/manager can access, this way you can store things like extra toilet paper, sheets and things you don’t want your guests to have full access to.  Can be as simple as putting a lock on one cabinet door.

8. Broken signs.  Maybe you have a washer and dryer you don’t want your one night guests to use.  I’ve found it useful to put “BROKEN- DO NOT USE” signs on things you don’t want your guests to use.  They won’t want to risk their clothes or whatever and will respect it.  And if you have a guest staying longer term you can tell them to simply ignore the signs and use it.

OK, now you’re ready in 3 days or less to post your unit in Ecuador on Airbnb.com and start making money! Check out this link to my new unit for rent near the airport and Mall del Sol in Guayaquil here. 

Hasta pronto, if you liked this sign up for my Ecuador Insider’s newsletter so you can check out my latest posts(not available online) on living and investing in Ecuador:

Fill in below to sign up now (you can unsubscribe at any time):