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Journals from Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Ecuador

2010-02-28 Some things I have noticed about the Ecuadorian Culture

Honking while driving " Honking is completely acceptable in pretty much every situation, such as: when you're going to drive through an intersection without stopping, when you're not going to stop for a pedestrian, taxis honk or flash their lights to let you know that they are empty, and of course there are the men who honk at gringas just to honk at them. Time " Time can be kind of a joke for gringos in Ecuador. Although classes, movie, and professional sporting events start on time, pretty much nothing else does. When my family goes out for lunch I have learned that when they tell me that we are leaving in 5 minutes, that means we're leaving in 15 minutes or more. With Ecuadorian friends it is the worst. I have a friend that tells me that we are going out right now, which really means that we're leaving in an hour at the earliest. My host brother is probably the worst of all Ecuadorians, who once told me we were leaving at 3 pm on the dot; he got into the shower after 3 pm. In Restaurants " You always have to ask for the check. The waiter will never bring it to you before you ask. I really like this part of the culture: they never rush you out of the restaurant, and you have as much time as you would like to talk and just hang out after eating. Pickup lines/Catcalls " These are a huge part of the culture here, especially directed towards gringas, although sometimes towards Ecuadorian women as well. At first it was really hard to get used to them, but now Im to the point that if I dont get one while walking to the bus stop I sometimes think to myself "Do I look okay today?" Some of my favorites were American Beauty and How you go girl? I love you is also a very common one, but it is always said with a very heavy accent. Katherine

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