Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Updates from Turkey

Those of you who are of the traveling mind might enjoy the new posts we have up about Turkey. Turkey is a fascinating country, really stuck in the middle between two worlds.

Check out www.nargileistan.blogspot.com for some new posts on Turkish Skiing.

and check www.erintheturkeytrotter.blogspot.com for some posts about rock climbing in Greece.


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Ecuador's president: Smile turns to frown | The Economist

Not a great article from the Economist for Mr. Correa.

Apparently, as an interesting aside, his was the most burned effigy, this New Year's. The effigy burning is a raucous event in Ecuador that I had the privilege of experiencing first hand as the clock struck the Midnight hour on December 31, 2009.

I didn't burn Correa.

Ecuador's president: Smile turns to frown | The Economist

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Oh, silly translators

The sign at Papallacta hot springs always cracks me up.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Ecuador Officials Linked to Colombia Rebels

So, Correa's government is linked to the FARC. As the article below says, Correa, himself has not been linked, nor has any current government officials. Now, how likely is it, that the commission investigating this was truly independent? They were appointed by Correa himself.

Time notes that this may very well be the first signs of Ecuador's descent into a "Narco Democracy"

Ecuador Officials Linked to Colombia Rebels

Friday, December 11, 2009

Andres Hidalgo

Andres is a friend of mine living in Quito. We rented an apartment from him, and ended up becoming great friends with his whole family. The Hidalgo clan brought us a lot of joy in Ecuador, and if you are going to be spending some time in South America, I highly recommend that you get away from the hostel scene and try to go live with a family.

Andres, sadly, was robbed outside of our old apartment today. I sure hope he didn't have his camera on him, because the guy takes some amazing photos.

Check out his flickr galleries, and get in touch if you like his work, maybe he needs to sell some of it in order to recoup his recent robbery expenses. The photo at the top of this link is one he took of Erin and I after a crazy trip we took with his brother to Quillatoa.


Thursday, December 10, 2009


Well, here I am in Turkey, with a Turkish blog current and up and running, and I'm getting double the number of hits on my old Ecuadorian Blog. It's strange, yet, it impels me to continue to post something over here.

Today, I'm feeling lazy, and I'm just going to link you to an interesting blog going on right now, http://where-is-g.blogspot.com/

I met the creator of this blog, Justin Kleiter, 5 years ago in Nicaragua. We were both from Colorado, and an instant friendship budded. Since then we've kept in touch a bunch, and right now he is riding his dirt bike to the tip of South America. Pretty cool. Check out his adventures.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Measure of a Country

This post is from my blog that I will, I promise, one day be moving fully to. www.nargileistan.blogspot.com

As I'm still getting lots of hits here at www.esteecuador.blogspot.com, I've decided to write a few posts that apply to both blogs. Additionally, when moving from one country to the other, it's inevitable that comparisons (justified, or not) will be made.

Which brings me to this months dual post, and the conclusion, that, the measure of a country can really be found, in it's barbers.


It's something we all need. Whether it be a simple, try-to-make-it-look-like-I-have-hair cut like I get. Or, whether it's a full blown Paris Hilton coiffure; we all have to go in and get a trim every once in while, just to keep down the Chewbaca waiting to explode off the tops of our heads.

So, when you move to a foreign country, one thing you usually find yourself doing in the first month, is thinking, "Okay, self, that hair is looking a bit like the fur on that street dog outside. Now where can I go and get a decent cut, without it looking like the guy used a fucking chainsaw."


In Ecuador, the answer to that question, was Tijeras Locas, or Crazy Scissors. Great haircut, my friend, Brett, said. The only thing is, well, most of the stylists are, umm, Colombian transvestites. I was aghast when he told me that this was the place to go get a haircut. I thought, okay, this is some sort of weird teacher-hazing thing. He assured me it wasn't, and told me to go down and look how popular it was--with both sexes.

Indeed, I walked down to Amazonas Avenue and easily found the store, there are two within a block of each other they are so popular, and sure enough, it was full. I had to wait twenty minutes. Inside I went through the standard game of charades, showing how long I wanted my hair, and my stylist ran his/her hands through my hair nodding patiently. She/he seemed very concerned, and proceeded to carefully cut every single hair on my head. Now, I know I don't have much hair left, but because of the methodical nature of his/her style, I was at the barber for an hour! These girls new something about hair!

I subsequently returned to Tijeras Locas many times over my two years in Quito. Once I took the opportunity to get a shave, and not only did they shave my beard, but they trimmed my ear hair, nose hair, and eyebrows! The cost? Five dollars. I don't know anyone I can pay five dollars to, who will go anywhere near my nose. Now, I realize my introductory photo that I stole off the internet is pretty blatant, but I'm here to tell you, that there were times when both my wife and I had a hard time convincing ourselves that my barber was really a man from afar. But, the minute they throw that cape around you, and the scissors come within two inches of your nose, one look at the hands, and you realize--man hands, definitely, man hands.

Of course, the barbers here in Turkey also know their stuff (On the subject of stuff, in Turkey, you can also be fairly sure that, their stuff--is, well the type of stuff that you would assume it to be. That is to say, there are no Tijeras Locas here). But, that doesn't mean they don't do a bang-up job. Here in Turkey, the land of black mustaches and hair as thick as motor oil, hair management is a huge priority. According to squidoo.com, the job of hair-cutter is taken so seriously that foreigners are not allowed to do it, and men spend months apprenticing and training for the job.

First, you step in to the salon and drink some chai tea, waiting for a spot to become open. Once you are at the chair, the stylist spends 20 minutes or so shaping the edges of your hair with various combs and clippers. When it comes to the actual cut, you'll think Edward Scissorhands has sprung to life, as the man continuously moves his chopping scissors around your head with the flair of a crazed violinist. Next comes the shave, with plenty of hot shaving cream brushed on, and a straight razor perfect finish. After bending forwards to the sink, and getting a wash, the barber comes around for the final polish. Tweezing nose hairs and any other protruding strays, he slowly builds to the climax of the cut....the flaming cotton ball. Before you can say otherwise, the barber dips a cotton ball into denatured alcohol, lights it, and dabs it into your ears, singing the offending hairs from existence.

Cost? Ten dollars. Trip to the bathroom to clean your pants? Free.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Two Years

Well, here we are at the two year anniversary of this blog. On October 31, 2007, I started tracking the numbers of visitors to esteeucador with clustermaps. Since then, the site has been visited 5,567 times. Now, that's pretty cool. The map for this year looks like this:

That's a bunch of dots, in a ton of diverse places. I'm flattered. I have to say that the word probably got out because of the Ecuador Reporter, and I would like to thank Tom and Kathleen for their support of "The Blue Footed Booby."

As I've said before, this blog will be slowing down in the next months. I'm living in Turkey now, and it seemed best to start a new blog about my experiences in the Middle East. We thought about calling it este-pavo, but I settled on nargileistan. Nargile is the Turkish name for the ever-present water pipes here in Turkey. And, istan, I believe, means country of men with beards. Anyway, it works. Please visit, bookmark, or subscribe to the new blog. www.nargileistan.blogspot.com

Maybe one day the list of visitors to that blog can look as cool as the people who have visited this one:

United States (US)1,382
Ecuador (EC)342
Australia (AU)58
Canada (CA)56
United Kingdom (GB)54
Turkey (TR)50
Colombia (CO)40
Venezuela (VE)37
Germany (DE)30
Italy (IT)24
Peru (PE)23
Spain (ES)17
Netherlands (NL)16
Malaysia (MY)14
Thailand (TH)12
Philippines (PH)11
Saudi Arabia (SA)11
Bolivia (BO)10
Panama (PA)10
Korea, Republic of (KR)10
Bulgaria (BG)9
Indonesia (ID)9
Mexico (MX)9
Honduras (HN)9
France (FR)9
Iran, Islamic Republic of (IR)9
Pakistan (PK)8
Romania (RO)8
China (CN)8
Chile (CL)8
United Arab Emirates (AE)8
Dominican Republic (DO)8
Belgium (BE)7
Japan (JP)7
India (IN)7
Vietnam (VN)7
Norway (NO)6
Argentina (AR)6
New Zealand (NZ)5
Kuwait (KW)5
Brazil (BR)5
Georgia (GE)5
South Africa (ZA)5
Finland (FI)4
Uruguay (UY)4
Greece (GR)4
Trinidad and Tobago (TT)4
Russian Federation (RU)4
Nicaragua (NI)4
Bhutan (BT)4
Costa Rica (CR)4
Sweden (SE)4
Poland (PL)3
Austria (AT)3
Brunei Darussalam (BN)3
Sri Lanka (LK)3
Hong Kong (HK)3
Oman (OM)3
Algeria (DZ)3
Switzerland (CH)3
Serbia (RS)2
Montenegro (ME)2
Slovakia (SK)2
Qatar (QA)2
Lithuania (LT)2
Jamaica (JM)2
Netherlands Antilles (AN)2
Jordan (JO)2
Hungary (HU)2
Morocco (MA)2
Portugal (PT)2
Cyprus (CY)2
Mongolia (MN)1
Estonia (EE)1
Denmark (DK)1
Ukraine (UA)1
Czech Republic (CZ)1
Ireland (IE)1
Israel (IL)1
Guatemala (GT)1
Puerto Rico (PR)1
Cayman Islands (KY)1
Senegal (SN)1
Madagascar (MG)1
Zambia (ZM)1
Singapore (SG)1
Togo (TG)1
Namibia (NA)1
Egypt (EG)1
Bosnia and Herzegovina (BA)1
Croatia (HR)1
Europe (EU)1
Albania (AL)1
Syrian Arab Republic (SY)1
Lebanon (LB)1
Malta (MT)1
Liechtenstein (LI)1