I continued to deal with my day to day issues, as well as sell my possessions, move money around, and started to gather some cash to carry. I eventually got my passport. Looking at alternative locations pretty much stopped as I poured over youtube videos, watched documentaries, bought a book off Amazon and read it… everything pointed to Cuenca. SO what the hell… why fight it? I think a year in planning, studying and comparing to my first-hand knowledge was enough. My decision was made! A place I could live in comfort, security, and peace. They even use the dollar!
Downside? I never took the time to learn Spanish. If there is one thing I would suggest to you, before you ever leave the country, is to get a working knowledge of the language before you go. Why didn’t I? Well… all the traveling I did I always managed to get along OK. Even in Colombia where they speak no English, I did OK. However… If I had to do it over again, I would have put much more time into the language first. I DID buy Rosetta Stone. I highly recommend this program. I have 6 others and they all suck compared to Rosetta Stone. Why didn’t I? so busy doing everything else that needed to be done!
But I am here now and putting in at least an hour a day. It can be frustrating. Google is a help. When I am in the store, I use the translator app. I click the camera. I can then hold my phone up to the labels and the English words appear on the screen. That was really useful in particular in finding the right milk!
Let me talk about milk for a minute. I love skim milk. I will drink a gallon a week. I can’t eat a cookie without a big cold glass of skim milk! So of course on my first shopping trip, I am looking for skim milk. Right. And looking. And looking. There is an entire aisle with milk. Yes… isle. NOT cooler! I’m a bit freaked out. The milk is all on warm shelves. I have all kinds of horror pictures in my head. If I drink this warm milk, maybe I am patient zero for the next zombie apocalypse! Why on EARTH is there warm milk?
A screenshot of my phone using the picture google translator. It is a skim milk finder and a lifesaver.
You can see in the picture an example of boxed warm milk. Next to it is a screenshot of me using the translator in camera mode. You can see… SKIM! If you move the camera around you can get pretty much every word.
So what about this warm milk? Well… when in Rome! I bought it, chilled it and tried it. Skim milk! Pretty damn cool really. And now I can buy 4 liters and if I don’t drink it all right away, no problem! They stay good! No more milk down the drain. And so much easier to stack, carry, pour etc. Score one for Ecuador!
OK but I get ahead of myself! Let’s board the plane first!