La Ronda is just around the corner

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

How to survive and strive in Quito, Ecuador.Physical survival first. May 2018.

I have my permanent residency since 2008, 10 years anniversary (of living in Quito) in October 2018, time sure flies! I decided to compile "hacks" how to "make it" in Quito Ecuador.
Physical survival first: 
Living on the ground floor is cold, cold and colder in Quito. 
Down comforter or thick wool blanket is a must in Quito.
When you coming to Quito - make sure you pack warm lounging clothing, flannel pajamas and slippers. Forget about shorts, short skirts and sandals. Layers, layers and more layers - it's what you need!
If you own your place - anti-noise windows in the bedroom is a must, Quito is a noisy city.

When you intend on crossing the road in Quito, imagine that you are in the enemy camp: cars, motobikes, buses can appear from the thin air and red light is not reason good enough to stop or slow down for some of them, in-spite of  cameras everywhere at semaforos (street lights) in Quito! Considering that lots of streets don't have lights at all, even at intersections - staying alive and in one piece is your own responsibility, crossing the road not in a hurry, it might be fatal, take your time, look right, left, up and down - it won't hurt. On the contrary, if you are fast enough you can try to outrun cars, its what some locals do and good luck with that.
Hanging or hidden, no other way! Forget about fashion, your best trend is cross body purse or messenger bag or backpack on your front. Hanging on you (front) at all time, even when you are eating at nice restaurant - your possessions either by your side (so its not possible to grab it) or hanging on you.  
If you are a tourist, get some travel money belt or clothing with built-in pockets for your credit cards, money and documents. 
Stay in airbnbs as a tourist or newcomer! In Quito there are 300+ airbnb listings and most of them are incredibly cheap, while having good qualities. Why people are staying in hotels and hostals are beyond me. You can have place with washing machine, kitchen and balcony (in Quito) for under $30 per night! 
If your plans are to live in Quito and you are not sure where is the best fit for you, just check out different areas living in airbnbs there.

This tip is about physical survival of your possessions and mental health while traveling in between Ecuadorian cities. When I travel on long distance buses I buy two tickets, one for me another for my belongings. So far it works for me pretty well. The trick is to memorize faces of bus driver and his helper and to tell "no gracias" to everyone else trying to say something to you. 

Based on my observations, people who ask questions like "How serious is the crime? Any particularly safe places on / near ...?" or people expressing desire not to live in "gated community" won't make it in Ecuador, they will be gone sooner rather than later.. Ecuador is not a safe place and you are in charge of your own well-being here. It sounds simple enough, yet, most "first world" people act contrary to the common sense. Starting with sidewalks and stairs: sometimes they are uneven and you cannot sue "them" if you fall. Watch where you're going! Look around who is near you, let them pass by if you have uneasy feeling.

Again, based on my observations, I can say, although it might sounds strange - Quito choosing or rejecting you, not the other way around. I am talking about English and Russian speaking people. You might put your best intentions forward and all in vain, something is not right for you here: tiny bugs bite you to death (that's more Cotacachi or Vilcabamba problem), not enough oxygen, getting robbed, not enough personal space while in public, your new friends leaving Ecuador, etc..etc.. In the contrary, other people find lifestyle they being looking for, friendships, romantic relationships, business opportunities or jobs, everything just fall in place for them.

Patience, acceptance, relationships with Ecuadorians

2 bedroom, 1 bath, totally remodeled
Centro Historico furnished apartment for rent.
Anti-noise windows in both bedrooms
For booking, pictures and more info

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Belarus, Minnesota and Ecuador. April 2018.

I left my hometown and home country, USSR, Republic of Belarus at the end of April 1993. 25 years ago. At the time there were lots of opportunities in USA for youngish energetic person with good education and not contaminated with political correctness and feminism.
I used them(opportunities) in all aspects of my life: to bring up my children, their education, my own education, my personal life, chance for well paid professional work. In my late 40th opportunities dried up and life in US became way too expensive, regulated and complicated for me. 
Thank you Minnesota, time to move out. And move out I did - to Quito Ecuador. I already wrote (many times) why I love living in Quito, here it is,.. again
life is less complicated, for example, no junk mail in Ecuador, not so much advertising, 
mild weather, no need for heating or air-conditioning, 
more relaxed people: they smile, you can talk politics with them without fear, they don't call authorities on their neighbor's children playing outside without supervision (happened few times to my son in Minneapolis) 
less chemicalized and cheaper food,
affordable medical care,
public transportation: inexpensive, modern and efficient, no need to have a car. 
not so many personal regulations, for example I don't need a pet permit from city council for my dog, my Home Owners Associations (HOAs) allow dogs or cats in apartments, 
cost of living in general is cheaper, for example my association fee monthly are $33 and property tax yearly $70 (gone up since last year), my haircut is $5 including tips
the list go on..

Country living, urban, sea side, volunteer, farming, business, working, leisure, traveling. You can create any lifestyle in Ecuador you wish, can afford, and, of course, with a little luck.   

Sure, Ecuador is not a paradise, however better than....
Apartment building where we used to live in my hometown which I left in 1993. My photo: August 2017. 

Apartment building,where we used to live, located just few blocks from city's main square. Considered as one of the best neighborhoods in town. My photo: August 2017. 

Apartment building where we used to live, build in 1980 and never been maintained since. My photo: August 2017. 

Mother of my Quito's Russian speaking girlfriend took this photo in her neighborhood in Volgograd. April 2018. 
Graffiti says "No money but tsar (is) on the throne"

Minneapolis then Mayor Betsy Hodges. 2014.
Photo credit: 

In Minneapolis, an Australian woman one month from her wedding day was shot to death by an officer after calling the police for help. The officer(no more) and his family, the victim and her fiance. 2017.

Minneapolis. Winter time from November to April.
Photo credit: Star Tribune
STAR TRIBUNE. A jogger braved driving wind and blowing snow around Lake Harriet in Minneapolis this morning, April 14, 2018.

2 bedroom, 1 bath, totally remodeled
Centro Historico furnished apartment for rent.
Anti-noise windows in both bedrooms
For booking, pictures and more info

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Changes. Quito Ecuador. April 2018.

I started this blog many years ago as a marketing tool to find renters for La Ronda condo and it worked really well until recently.  All of a sudden the stream of long term (one month and more) qualified guests dried up. Qualified as: the guests without toddlers, 40 kg dogs, extended family "visiting" them while they rent my apartment, who can climb 60 stairs to the upper floor, who provide their names and country of their passport when trying to book.
Where are you qualified people? You are welcome to La Ronda condo when its available - anytime!  
Best Centro Historico location: around the corner from Calle La Ronda and Recreational centre Cumanda with the adjoining urban park. Out of apartment building, turning left and half-block away, you can exercise in a urban park in the morning or anytime. Turning right - La Ronda is your second living room, as one of my guests said. Combined with anti-noise bedroom windows, hot showers (calefon), high speed internet and balcony; its an unrivaled deal in Centro Historico Quito!
I had to adapt, so I switched to another booking platform.
Since I don't have motivation to write anymore, I am going to take it easy. This post is not the last one, but they(posts) will be few and far between.
However if some of my blog readers would like to make a reservation directly with me, you are welcome to do so - check my La Ronda condo link.

2 bedroom, 1 bath, totally remodeled
Centro Historico furnished apartment for rent.
Anti-noise windows in both bedrooms
For booking, pictures and more info