Category Archives: Our Daily Life

Fast Times in Jakarta

Now that I’ve written on what Ramadan is about, here’s how Ramadan plays out on a daily basis here. A number of things change in Jakarta this month. First, Muslims (i.e., most of the city’s population) get up before dawn. … Continue reading

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The Natural Alarm Clock

Our week of language classes in Yogyakarta yielded quite a few interesting lessons. During our long days in class, we got to discuss differences with people who were quite open to explaining their culture. One very telling difference was the symbol … Continue reading

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Roadtrip part 1

We are making use of a long weekend to take a road trip. We’ll post more about it in a few days, but just getting to our first destination is worth describing. As Ecuador’s capital, Quito can feel quite modern, … Continue reading

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Quito’s Housing Boom

From our apartment window we get to watch the impact of three trends that define Ecuador today — population growth, urbanization, and a growing middle class. The result is a real-estate boom. If you walk around our neighborhood, say within a five-block … Continue reading

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The long road to a new airport

As I first sat down to write this, I heard the roar of a jumbo jet flying about 400 feet over the roof of our high-rise apartment building. It was (as usual) loud enough to set off a few car … Continue reading

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Today in Ecuador, I voted!

Elections in Ecuador are very different from those in the U.S. To begin with, Ecuador does not have a long history of democracy; we only restarted democratic elections in 1979, after a series of dictators.  Since then, democracy has not … Continue reading

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Ecua-Volley, more than just a game

The crowd packed into the stands, and shuffled for standing room on the sidelines. Six unlikely, athletes took their places on the volleyball court (no uniforms required), and the challengers served up the soccer ball. The crowd was silent. Worn … Continue reading

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For Want of Blueberry Muffins

Homemade Blueberrie and Raspberry muffins

Homemade Blueberry and Raspberry muffins

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Welcome to Quito, Part 7: Bureaucracy

I didn’t want to write too much about Ecuadorean civil-service bureaucracy because it’s somewhat painful to recount. It’s not as bad as in, say, Italy (based on what I’ve recently heard), but it can be Kafka-esque nevertheless. You want to … Continue reading

Posted in Bureaucracy, Our Daily Life | 1 Comment

A ‘Super’ Market

Supermarkets are a relatively new phenomenon in Ecuador. You can now find them dotting major urban areas. SuperMaxi, the more Wal-Mart-styled MegaMaxi, and the less popular Mi Comisariato are all reminiscent of grocery chains in the U.S. (though with a … Continue reading

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