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10 Signs You've Been In Ecuador Too Long

It's an Ecua-World and you're just living in it...

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1. When “sleeping in” means waking up at 7am without an alarm

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Ecuadorians are definitely madrugadores (early-risers), and it’s hard to say exactly why. However, you can tell when you’ve become more “Ecua” simply because you’re always up by 8:00am on the weekends, even when there’s no need to be.

2. You eat everything with rice

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No matter what’s for dinner, you can bet rice will be on the menu. At first, it was okay. Who doesn’t love carbs!? Then it gets really annoying. You’d roll your eyes when you saw rice on your plate. Now, you don’t even notice it because you’re so used to it. That’s not to say Ecuadorians have plain taste, however. Ever had an empanada? Delicious. Popcorn in soup? Genius. I’ll just pass on the rice next time…

3. Bananas are no longer a simple fruit

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What you used to call a plátano is now something much more complicated. There are the regular bananas most foreigners know, called guineos. Then there are savory bananas called verdes (because they’re green) and used for patacones. Maduros are just ripe verdes, but are sweet rather than savory. And don't forget about oritos, which are very small and very sweet bananas. In total, there are about 300 types of banana growing in Ecuador. Overwhelming, right?

4. You stop taking it so personally when someone honks at you

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Drivers in Ecuador honk for any number of reasons. Maybe somebody sat at a green light for a second too long, or cut off another driver. Maybe you get honked at while crossing the street, even though the car is no where near you. Taxi drivers honk at people on the side of the street in case you’re looking for a ride, or just because you’re a woman. Either way, you’ve learned that there really seem to be no rules while driving in Ecuador, so everyone has road rage when it comes to using their horn.

5. You start to recognize the vendors that get on the buses

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The guy getting on the bus yelling “avas, avitas, avas, avas” has just become a part of your daily routine. You probably see the same guy get on the bus to sell newspapers a few times a week, or maybe you’ve even memorized the “promoción del día” which has actually been the same promotion for the past 3 months. In any case, you’re no longer confused by the interruption and you expect it daily.

6. When getting a $20 bill seems like way too much money

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Suddenly, you’re quite protective over your one and five dollar bills… Hardly anybody in Ecuador accepts a $20 bill, even if your total is more than $10. If they do, they probably roll their eyes and seem very annoyed that you paid with such a large bill. Twenties seem almost useless after you’ve experienced the difficulty of paying with one. Why do ATMs even give them to you??

7. Seeing a volcano spewing ash every day is no longer worrisome

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You read all of the news about how Cotopaxi has been more active recently, and were probably a little worried about an eruption. The volcano can be seen from various places around Quito, so seeing it actively spew ash every day can freak you out a little. However, by now, you see Cotopaxi as beautiful and probably just think it looks ~ominous~ off in the distance.

8. You can walk up a flight of stairs without being out of breath

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When you got to Ecuador, you couldn’t even walk a block without being out of breath. The altitude had you dizzy and exhausted constantly. Not to mention walking up a flight of stairs felt like trying to climb a mountain. After a while, you can finally walk up a flight of stairs without feeling like you need to sit down at the top. Probably only one, though…

9. You have experienced a chiva at its best

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The open air buses that are basically nightclubs on wheels are one of the best experiences you can have while in Ecuador. Most likely, you peed behind a tree in the park where the chiva stopped halfway through. If it was a proper celebration, you probably woke up sticky from all the canelazo spilled on you with one hell of a chuchaqui.

10. You add “Ecua” onto everything

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You live in an Ecuahouse with your Ecuafamily and Ecuadog. On the weekends, you go out with your Ecuafriends to drink some bielas and go to the Ecuaclubs. This prefix has become a normal part of everyday conversation, and your friends/family back home don’t quite get it. It’s an Ecua-world, and we’re just living in it.

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