Friday, Aug 31, 2018

Street Party

People in Ecuador love to have a fiesta. There are many national holidays in Ecuador and it seems like a party is always happening. When there isn’t a recognized holiday, there are always birthdays, confirmations, and graduations to celebrate. What is very unique here is that a family party happens in the street, and the street becomes closed off to through traffic.

This is common place. It doesn’t matter that the street is a main route for the taxis to get to their pickup and drop off hub. If your business front is covered up by tents and balloons, oh well no matter. This is just what happens here and everyone seems on board with it.

Those not directly invited to the party pull chairs out in front of their business and homes to watch the activity and festivities on the street. It is a simple life here where even the smallest pleasantries do not go unenjoyed.

No Name Brands Here

Clothes are an interesting phenomenon for people along the coast. Most every guy here wears some kind of athletic t-shirt and shorts with either a soccer team or bank name on it. It is almost like the national uniform.

If you want to buy something new to wear in the area, there are a couple of shops in Olon and Montanita to look for it. Choice and selection are very limited. Think small (about 200 sq feet) clothing boutique. If you want a major clothing store you will need to hit one of the bigger cities that have a mall.

What most often happens here for local clothes shopping is buying from people who arrive in town dragging suitcases behind them filled with what appears to be used clothing. These merchants stop on the various corners of town and spread their clothes out along the sidewalk. People in town show up, and then pick and sort through the piles for what they want to buy. I guess these mobile clothing stores would be the equivalent of thrift stores in the US.

The clothes people buy are for the most part all about function. You need a shirt? Great. Find one that fits, maybe a color you like, but it really doesn’t matter what it says. While I was eating one day, I noticed this guy promoting the Dixie White House Nursing Home. What struck me most is this Ecuadorian man, who I bet speaks no English, is wearing a shirt with a promo written in English.  But hey, it’s a shirt and keeps the sun off your back.

Life is different living outside the hustle and bustle, rules and regulations, and status and symbols of the first world. Both have things to offer. For now, I am choosing what this stretch of South American paradise offers me each day…however it looks.