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These are just observations gathered from a number of people, not necessarily all my own, and not judgments about the country, its people, or its culture.
- Long lines in banks to cash a check or make a deposit.
- Stores, taxi drivers, and banks not having change.
- Lack of sanitation and trash collection in many areas.
- Ubiquitous hazards walking down the street such as open holes in the sidewalk, pieces of steel or unfinished rebar sticking up, uneven sidewalks, excrement.
- Disregard for the environment i.e. littering from car/bus windows.
- Public urination by males nearly anywhere, in full view of others.
- Lack of street signs and lighting, especially outside of major urban centers.
- Major streets/roads in poor condition with potholes, dirt, and other obstacles ubiquitous.
- Lack of civility and disrespect for the law by most drivers-i.e. you will be cut off by drivers without any signal whatsoever, disregard for stop signs and red lights, honking from cars 5 behind you or more the second a light turns green, bus drivers who drive like they are the only one on the road.
- For businesses, if you sell B to B, you will be paid Fridays between 3 and 4:30 pm only, and you have to go pick up the check.
- No mail for official business or anything regarding financial transactions.
- Little use of electronic transfers for payments.
- Slow and erratic internet connections, at high cost.
- Unannounced cut-off of water or power, usually for hours at a time.
- Loud salsa/merengue/rock or other music from storefronts, totally unregulated.
- Vehicular advertising using loudspeakers and very loud music.
- Next door neighbors partying until the wee hours at loud volume and there’s nothing you can do about it.
- Lack of variety, selection in stores.
- Almost total absence of effective policing. Police are mainly figureheads, and objects of scorn and the butt of jokes by Ecuadorians.
- If you are injured and unconscious in a car crash, you may be robbed and picked over before you are offered help. I have never seen this happen but have heard of it and been warned about it by Ecuadorians.
- Absence of EMS and emergency services except for select urban areas.
- No dynamic real estate market or statistics for pricing-making pricing a shot in the dark for many transactions.
- Insecure property rights due to lack of clear titles on rural land; squatter’s right’s often prevail if you don’t keep them off according to locals.
I´ll try and cover these as best as I can in detail in future posts and explain the who, what, where, when and why behind these observations.