Life in Quito (You should try it!)

Two weeks after having moved to Quito, I am still thoroughly impressed with this city. Before I left the United States, I mentally prepared myself for how different life was going to be in South America. Not only would I be away from loved ones, but I would also have less access to products and services that I am accustomed to. While in Venezuela, for example, I realized how grateful I was for high-speed internet and even electricity and running water because we would often have day long blackouts. As far as goods and services go, there pretty much were none there. But as I mentioned, I had prepared myself before I left to expect the worst (and pack a year’s supply of some items which made my bags a huge burden). Quito, on the other hand, is full of surprises. Here are a few that I’d like to share:

– Celestial Seasonings tea at my nearby Supermaxi
– Phyto hair products and Schick Intuition razors (I guess I didn’t need to pack 10 of those…)
– Highly addictive vegetable chips similar to Terra Chips
– Zara and Mango
– Anise cookies and coconut water
– Spinach and arugula (although no kale or chard)
– Apple cider vinegar
– Direct Deposit (still need to set up my bank account though)
– Nonfat yogurt (that full-fat nonsense in Venezuela really wasn’t doing wonders for my body)
– Fresh squeezed juices such as carrot-apple-ginger
– Bagels and lox
– 85% cacao dark chocolate (go buy a Kallari bar the next time you’re in an organic supermarket, they’re a cooperative from Ecuador and have a cafe here in Quito)

Still on the lookout for: seedy bread, Moleskine notebooks, vinyasa yoga, cafes with high quality coffee and unique brewing methods, road bikes, and maybe an intense spin class.

Well, what’s a blog post without some pictures? The past week was incredibly social for me. Jane and I had three guys staying with us (she rents out the extra rooms on AirBnB) from Montreal who were quite entertaining. They’ve known each other for over 20 years and travel the world together when they can, even though they all work in different professions. One sells rare snakes for a living (www.serpentexotics.com) and they all speak barbaric-sounding Quebec French. On Tuesday, we went out to a local karaoke bar with some German friends:
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I also experienced my first chiva this week for Fiestas de Quito. That was quite the experience. The typical holiday drink here is canelazo, which is some sort of fruit alcohol drink with cinnamon. It definitely didn’t taste like I was expecting it too, but I had to drink a lot because it was so cold!

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Mid-chiva bus break at the Basilica in the historic part of Quito:
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Post-chiva with new friends:Image

Can’t wait to see what I discover next week! After that, I will have a bit of a break for the holidays and hopefully get the explore a bit outside of Quito. I encourage all of my friends and family to come visit, we have three extra bedrooms 🙂

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