What Do Ecuadorians Think About Americans in Ecuador?

| May 10, 2013 | 110 Replies

 

Americans in Ecuador

Do You Care About What Ecuadorians Think About You?   (part 2)

Lets start with a couple of short stories today…

 

Americans in EcuadorAn Ugly Touchdown in Guayaquil

I was pretty tired when our plane landed at Guayaquil International… Another long flight from the states. It was almost mid-night as the plane taxied towards the gate and finally came to a stop.

Now count to 5.

That is how long it took for some guy sitting behind me to yell, “hey, turn the lights on.” 

The lights were turned on and everyone started to get out of their seats to disembark. The same guy yells again, “Thanks for the lights…. Guess this is the first time you ever flew an airplane.” 

I looked over at Chad and whispered, “Mad White Guy”.

Yes, we were not even out of the plane before some whack-job decided to open his mouth.

 

Knocked Down and Naked in a Cuenca Bathroom…

I needed a bathroom bad. We were at the museum in Cuenca. It was my second day ever in Ecuador and this was my first local public restroom experience.

I finished up my business and reached for the toilet paper. Who’s cruel joke was this?  There wasn’t any toilet paper. There wasn’t even a toilet paper dispenser.

The bathroom was empty so I hiked up my pants half way and shuffled out of the cubicle and started looking in the other stalls.

Nothing!

Then I see it. A roll of paper at the entry door to the bathroom. I get over to the dispenser and at the exact moment that I grab the paper Chad opens the door knocking me off balance and onto the floor.

So there I am, pants around my knees, toilet paper still coming off the roll, and me on the floor with all my business out in public.

“Just checking to see if you’re alright”…. He looked down at me, smirked, and without a word turned around and walked out.

Now imagine this event being discussed at lunch. Of course we laughed about the situation and learned a lot about using public bathrooms in Ecuador. It became a very funny travel story.

But someone with different coping skills might consider this a horrible experience.  They might even attack the culture for not doing things the “right way”.  And if they became frustrated enough, they might even talk about it at the top of their voices so all around could hear them. And if cruel things are said, this could become a very sad story.

Same experience, two different outcomes. The first one gut wrenching laughter, the second might end up bordering on Ugly American behavior if other people hear it.

 

Experience, Education, and Expectations….

Why do some people travel better than others? Why do some people blend in and seem to get along while others seem so out of place?

Should a finger of blame be pointed at these poorly prepared travelers… or do they just need a little help from the more experienced? Could they go from ugly to fabulous with just a few travel tools and a little cultural education?  Maybe.

 

Club Cuenca

There is some scuttlebutt that a new expat club is forming in Cuenca to “take care of” these bad behaving gringos that are coming to Ecuador… Not sure if this is a club or an activist group… Not even sure if the story I read was serious or just written out of frustration. But how will this club work if this is true?

Americans in EcuadorI wonder if they will issue badges to the members. (I like badges)

According to some reports, there is an increase in the number of expats yelling while in local banks and at local shops. They are screaming things like “Why don’t you people speak English here”, or “What is the matter with you, are you dumb!”

It has also been rumored that the Ecuadorian Government is considering some sort of intervention to stop these escalating cases of rudeness.

Not sure if this is really true either.

I’m picturing police with wooden rulers (same ones that are issued to Catholic nuns), and they corner and then smack the knuckles of unruly white people whenever they get to loud.

 

What to do… What to do…

I believe that before any solution can be found, we must get a handle on what is causing this type of behavior.

With enough information we should be able to come up with a good profile of these naughty gringos. This will help us recognize and find these bad apples and then make sure they stop these unacceptable and rude behaviors.

After much study I have come up with this list of defects that these suspected trailer trash have….

The list is pretty lengthy.

 

List of Personality Characteristics of the Typical Loud and Unruly White Person

  • An Unfounded Sense of Entitlement
  • Arrogance
  • Self Importance
  • Huge Ego
  • Hyper Critical
  • Impatience
  • False Pride
  • Intolerance
  • Angry and Resentful
  • Under-educated
  • Not Well Traveled
  • Bad Breath
  • Voted for George Bush (Just Kidding)

My research showed that most of these people will also be ugly, and either alcoholic or currently abusing pain killer medication.

To better recognize them before they even open their mouths, most will be dressed in button down, one size to small, short sleeved Hawaiian style shirts if they are male. If they are female, look for elastic, skin tight capri pants, and big floppy hats.

 

Pretty silly stuff don’t you think. I laughed when I wrote it.

 

Ugly and unruly people is the topic today.

And seriously, how do you solve this problem… Certainly not through confrontation…

Telling someone they are an ass, in my opinion, makes you look like an ass.

Education and experience that comes with time will be the most successful path here.

If you saw a person drowning, wouldn’t you jump in and save them? Sure you would. These people are drowning in fear and ignorance. You don’t yell at them as their lungs are filling with water.

These people are ill prepared for this new experience. And don’t be surprised if they don’t want your help, but try anyway.

Your expectations are way to high if you think this type of bad behavior will every go away completely.

And I think our host nation and it’s people understand how to deal with this. Learning the english words, “Get Out Please Until You Can Behave” is the first idea that came to my mind.

And it is not the responsibility of this American to police the behavior of other Americans, or for that matter, anyones behavior other than my own….. I promise right now that when I see loud and obnoxious people, I will go over and try to help them through their fears. If that doesn’t work, I will kick them.

 

And if we’re not going to get badges, maybe I could get a laminated card for my wallet.

 

No Spanish this week, no blogging info either. Sorry.

 

Love your Mother

Have a great weekend…

Be nice to each other.

 

And please, leave a comment. They always feel like gold stars to me when I get them…. Thanks

 

 

 

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Category: Before The Big Move, Living in Ecuador, Moving to Ecuador, Visiting Ecuador

Comments (110)

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  1. Jill R. says:

    As usual – congrats on a great post!

    • Thanks Jill…. This one was difficult to write. It is a serious problem, and it has happened in many places in the world. Just hope the ugly doesn’t rub off on the good people. George

      • Jack says:

        Hi George. One question. Did you move to Thailand a few years ago? I seem to remember a blogger “George” who was moving from Ecuador to Thailand. Pls email to me.
        I am an American expat in Thailand. Ever meet a bunch of Russian tourists in Thailand? Far worst compared to the vast majority of Americans.
        Thanks for your blogs. I plan to move to Cuenca soon.
        Jack

        • Ecuador George says:

          Jack,
          That was not me. I have never been to Thailand. Your comment about rude Russians is funny. Americans (USA) are not the only ones that display ugly behavior. Thanks for the note. George

      • Paula Nievas says:

        I’m an American and I’m considering moving to Ecuador and have lived in Argentina in the past. I say if you’re going to move to another country that speaks another language learn it! lt is a respect to them and they appreciate it more!!!!! and if you don’t like the culture don’t go!

    • Susan McBride says:

      I am writing to you because you have a large Gringo readship and I do think we have an obligation to “assist” these Gringos…

      Serious problems are arising in Cuenca because newly arrived Gringos are unhappy that Cuenca is not Little America; that Ecuadorians don’t all speak English; that Immigration has “their” rules; etc.

      These unhappy Gringos are being impolite and loudly addressing their complaints.

      What these folks need to understand is that we (Gringos) are considered a “family” and that when someone in the “family” is rude and disruptive that it is a reflection on the other members of the “family” (the rest of us Gringos).

      Since many Gringos are offended and embarrassed by this behavior, perhaps we can unite in an effort to educate these unhappy and rude members of the “family” when we hear or see them attacking Ecuadorians for not speaking English and/or not doing things “the right way as in America.” We must make these offenders realize that they are spoiling things for the rest of us and we don’t like it or their bad behavior.

      • Susan…. I understand about the bad behavior of some of these people. The big question is, what can we do about it… Do we confront and scold them or do we embrace them and help them through their adjustment period? Probably depends on both parties involved. This is not an easy subject and I do not think there is a black and white solution…. George

      • maria conover-smith says:

        I would like to suggest the following: when a rude person is addressing you and insists on yelling at you, do what I do when I train one of my dogs: turn your back to it! In the case of the rude person, make sure you put up a sign in English and Spanish that would say something like: you will not be served until you behave civilly! or, consider: you will be charged double the price if your behavior is rude and uncivilized! I am not joking about it, as I have also noticed how Americans sometimes behave when in another country!

    • Hoffa115 says:

      Want an answer, leave, get out of our country you f*#kin crackers.

  2. Charlene says:

    Read your personality list, I teach high school — are you sure you’re not talking about teenagers? Try being stuck in a room with these folks 5 days a week for 7 hours – about 150 of them…welcome to my world! I think living amongst the occasional rude person will be delightful and more tolerable! LOL 😮 p.s. they all wear badges – doesn’t help….still the same… Happy Mother’s day to all!

    • Charlene,
      Our young people are a product of the media and their home life. Pretty scary stuff. I hate being cynical about these things but I am afraid that things may get worse before they get better. Hurry up and retire so you can move to Ecuador and meet these kids grandparents….

      George

  3. I vote for Ecuador George! A+ Work as All Ways! Have a Fantastic
    Moma’s Day Weekend!!
    Jack in Quito,

  4. Nancy says:

    The story about the Ecuadorians having had “enough already” is true. Veronica at the Chamber of Commerce reports that someone (an Ecuadorian) comes into her office everyday to lodge a new complaint about something abusive that has been done to them. Veronica is the person at the Chamber responsible for The Chamber’s out reach program to gringos, as in trying to educate us.

    There IS NOT a new gringo CLUB getting ready to do something about the UGLY Americans here. We were asked to be more aware of the gringos around us and to intervene when we found something unfortunate going on.

    Last week, at Supermaxi, another female expat was observed screaming at the woman at the checkout counter ordering her to speak English. The expat was informed that – this is my country and we speak Spanish here. The rumor going around is that one of the options about “What is the gov going to do about the gringos?” is to limit how many can have residency every year.

    What I think should be done is the these morons should be arrested and fined for abusive behavior.

    I also think there should be a mandatory Spanish test at the immigration office. The taxi drivers here have a new mandate to learn a specific set of 50 words in English. Why should we not be required to know 100 words in Spanish by the time we have been here long enough to get the paperwork done for residency?

    I am aware that you think I think this is a bigger preblem than it is. I live here. Write to Alberto and see what he thinks. He has been talking to B&L about it.

    I am putting this on the blog rather than an e-mail because people who want to live here need to know that THIS BEHAVIOR HURTS ALL OF US.

    A really unkind letter from an Ecuadorian was published this week in Captivating Cuenca. Some of these folks, particularly in the service sector, are saying “enough already”. We need to be willing to be proactive in order to maintain our credibility here.

    BTW – the American Ambassador stuck his nose in an Ecuadorian political march in Quito today and made it known he was on the side of those not in favor of Correa. The as***le behavior seems to start at the top.

    We do not own this country anymore. There is a reason why lots of folks in South America don’t like us. Some of them want the stuff from America, but us along with it – not so much.

    • Nancy… First of all, I think we are both on the same page. I know what is going on. It has happened everywhere that there has been a large influx of expats. Costa Rica and Panama come to my mind. The stories are not pretty.

      Our mutual friend that you mentioned, we had a long talk about this behavior when I was in Cuenca a few months ago. It goes even deeper as Americans and other expats are throwing their money around, and causing hardships for the local businesses in the area. They are competing directly with the locals and this can cause hard feelings.

      It would seem that a number of people who do not like what is happening in their homeland are coming to Ecuador and bringing everything they don’t like with them… not a pretty thing.

      I am wondering if Veronica is hearing these complaints everyday from many locals or from the same person. Or from the same two or three people.

      By the way, I am not giving the locals a pass here. They may be playing a small part in this situation. All of us need to adjust to the change that happens around us. Charging gringos more than locals for the same product or service is one thing that comes to mind….

      And this may not be popular but if I were in an area that all of a sudden had huge numbers of foreigners moving in, I would try to adjust to that change. Chad works at a funeral home that caters to many Spanish speaking folks. He knows how to say, “We are now lowering the box” in Spanish…. He also knows how to say, “Sorry, you can’t bring that gun into the service”.

      It would be interesting to know the real numbers here. Is it one out of a hundred that are behaving badly? One out of five hundred? Or is it one out of ten? If it is one out of ten, then there is a real problem.

      And I agree with you on many of your points…. I would love to see a cultural sensitivity class required, and yes, maybe even a basic Spanish phrase test, like a drivers test, that would have to be taken.

      And if these people are disturbing the peace, then by all means arrest them and put them in a holding cell for a couple of hours. I love that idea.

      My guess is that most of these people were just barely hanging on socially in North America. We have a lot of entitled and bad behaving people up here. Take a marginal personality and set them in a foreign country without any language skills and without any traveling skills, and you will have this kind of thing happen.

      I believe only education will help. But you have to be willing to learn… And I think that is where the problem might just hit the wall. Some of these people may not be up to the challenge…

    • I totally agree with Nancy! “THIS BAD BEHAVIOR HURTS ALL OF US.” For me the “ugly ‘American” (even the saying is wrong in South America… we ARE Americans too) is a product of the self absorbed, “take take take” culture that the U.S. has developed as we feel we are somehow “chosen” and entitled to everything. Add to that fear, uncertainty and a lack of empathy so typical for us bombastic “Americans” and you get gringos screaming at Ecuadorians at cybers, “…I SAID, WHERE IS THE “@ key” (AT KEY), I SAID T-H-E “@ KEY” – CANT’T YOU STUDID PEOPLE UNDERSTAND PLAIN ENGLISH.”

      F.Y.I. – I live in Manta and I hear variations on the preceding quote every time a cruise ship comes into port – jajaja.

    • felix says:

      I just returned from a 30-day trip to Ecuador.
      Fortunately I did not see any ‘ugly Americans’ but lots of friendly, helpful Ecuadorians. I was in Guayaquil, Manta, Crucita, Puerto Lopez, Quito, Riobamba and Cuenca.
      The story about toilet paper is true and you know where it has to be deposited, sometimes.-
      I loved Ecuador and may retire there, maybe (I am 85).
      Keep up the good work, George!

      • Ecuador George says:

        Hi Felix,
        I have not seen any ugly American behavior but I know it goes on. You are right about the Ecuadorians, they are a very friendly culture. Hurry up and retire! George

  5. Gary Sisk says:

    Hey George it is hard to believe that some expats living here do say these things!

    A women posted the other day that people need to get together and buy washing machines for the Indians washing their clothes in the Rio! Can you imagine how long it would take them to use machines and who is going to pay the electric bill? Indians have been washing clothes in the rio’s here for over 8000 years and now suddenly a gringo decided to move to their country and complain about them polluting the river!

    I am convinced that many of the expats here decided to leave their Prozac up there!

    If people can’t adapt to a new environment they should stay where they are more comfortable. I will tell you in 15 months all I have met here are very nice and friendly Ecuadorians. Unlike many people I left behind when I moved here.

    • Ecuador George says:

      Gary, It certainly can be disappointing to hear what comes out of some peoples mouth.

      This problem will not go away unless there is some kind of intervention… I still would like to see a mandatory class for expats. 15 hours of education which would include 6 hours on cultural sensitivity and 9 hours of basic Spanish. This might help get people started on the right foot…

      Here is another idea… We were at a resort last year and they had an informative video on the TV that told you all about the amenities and about the history of the resort. This came on every time you turned on your TV.

      Maybe a video program that came on late at night or was played at local resorts and hotels that covers the cultural differences and shows an example of bad expat behavior. You know, a 20 minute program that would inform and remove some of the fears that some travelers carry around with them… Any film makers out there???

      George

      • Hi George,

        Your blog is a pleasure to read. Excellent writing! I like your idea to educate using TV. I’m a trainer & believe in the power of training to change behavior. I also believe in the power of the “carrot & stick” approach to make people WANT to change their behavior.

        Most of the comments sound negative to me; i.e., “this behavior is bad, ugly, hurts,” etc. What about approaching the situation from a POSITIVE viewpoint?

        For example, Focus on Good Behavior.
        1. Observe a Gringo responding positively in challenging situations.
        2. Make this behavior visible (video capture).
        3. Enlist a respected city leader to publicly praise the behavior (on TV) & reward the person in some desirable way (pin to wear, gift certificate, invitation to a coveted event, etc.).
        4. Get merchants involved (good PR for them).

        This approach sends a strong but subtle message that it PAYS TO BE NICE. And, if you are nice, you just might receive a reward and become a local hero!

        Now what I’m talking about here is a psychological PR Campaign that requires hard work by a dedicated task force. Key actions are to make a plan, to develop relationships with city leaders, news people, merchants and to execute the plan, but the big payoff is HUGE & hugely satisfying.

        If I can help from New Mexico, let me know. We moved here from Dallas last week and are experiencing a culture shock of our own. We plan to learn to speak Spanish.

        Good luck & dream big! I will follow your progress with great interest.

        Liz Bogard
        Placitas, NM

  6. Jeff says:

    I have lived and worked all over the world and have met many ugly Americans and quite a few ugly Englishmen. Have heart you are not alone!
    With Americans it can be that they talk in very loud voices in restaurants so that everyone can hear everything they say…..Are they f*****g deaf or what?

    Perhaps Ecuadorean emigration could subject potential migrants to a test where they purposely frustrate them to judge their reaction as to whether they need these people in their country!

    • Jeff, I like your idea about trying to frustrate the Ugly American… pretty funny… This behavior is not new, it has been happening for years and years. There will always be mean, self centered egocentric people. No one has found a cure yet… George

  7. Judy Nelson says:

    Such a good post and it saddens me. How could people be so arrogant and stupid? The term, ugly Americans was coined for a reason. I like what you said George about upon encountering such bad behavior, go up to the American, or Englishman or …. and ask if you can help them. I have done so in Mexico upon seeing a tourist being very demanding and rude to a shop keeper. I kept my cool(which I don’t always do), and just tried to help the lady with her needs and apologized to the shop keeper for the tourist lady’s behavior right in front of her.
    I then walked away before she could try to argue with me.
    Note to self: Keep your cool, and try to deal with these kinds of things in the above way instead of how I too often do, with my own angry words.

    • Judy,
      Every situation would need to be handled differently but I think approaching with a kind helpful smile would certainly be an option. My mom used to do it with us. We would be behaving badly, Dad was the disciplinarian and Mom was the hugger. We preferred the hugs…

      George

  8. George In Quito says:

    I’ve been here in Quito for about two and a half months, working with a foundation in an elder care project. I’m having the time of my life dealing with the obstacles and frustrations of being in a different place. I recommend it highly for any of the “bobos” who come down here from wherever…

  9. Tom Gallagher says:

    Thanks for the lift George; right on!

  10. David Salahi says:

    This post reminds me of a scene in Steve Martin’s movie L.A. Story. A bunch of privileged people are at lunch in a fancy restaurant kvetching about their champagne problems. One guy says, “And what do we do about the g**d** wrong-number dialers?!!” Yeah, some people have a short fuse and an exaggerated sense of self-importance. (Of course, the scene was pure satire.)

  11. Lee says:

    I personally have not seen behavior like you describe, but I have heard from others that it is happening. It IS affecting those of us who live here. Today I got in a cab, brightly greeted the driver in Spanish, and gave him my destination in Spanish. He raised five fingers and told me in broken English the ride would be 5 dollars…that ride normally would be 3 dollars. Then in his rear view mirror, he arched his eyebrow at me and said again in broken English, “there are too many Americans here.” I can only suppose he’s had a bad experience as Ecuadorians are not normally rude. However, two wrongs do not make a right as the man was quite rude when I had been pleasant in greeting him. I decided to continue being pleasant, chatting with him on the way, and I paid him that 5 dollars and thanked him profusely in Spanish for driving me. So, I figure one of those rude Americans owes me 2 bucks.

  12. Mike Hinshaw says:

    So my loose fitting Hawaiian shirts are okay friend? Hope so, because that is all I own these days! Last time we were there we didn’t run into many of these creatures, but we did notice and extreme increase in ExPats. Hope that is not a trend! Saludos mi amigo!
    Mike

    • Mike, I have seen your shirts… I have ones just like them. It is the size of the shirt that is important. If you raise your hand and it exposes your belly button, the shirt is to small! Have fun and we will compare Hawaiian shirts when I get there… George

  13. Sonia says:

    HI GEORGE,
    EVERYTHING YOU COMMENTED REGARDNG UGLY AMERICANS IS TRUE MAYBE THE POLICE SHOULD BE CALLED
    IN THESE SITUATIONS AND THE MANAGER OF THE STORE SHOULD TELL THEM TO LEAVE SO UGLY AMERICANS WHEN IN ROME DO AS THE ROMANS DO. AND SHOW SOME CLASS!!!!!
    WHEN I WAS THERE I HAVE NOTICED A FEW AMERICANS WITH THAT BULLY ATTITUDE
    SOMETHING NEEDS TO BE DONE
    FELIZ DIA DE LAS MADRES JORGE

  14. s . smith says:

    Great blog. I love reading it. Did you know that there are a few black expats including my family in Cuenca? My family have lived here for almost four years and have seen how customer service has greatñy improved.

    I firmly believe if a expat is looking for the quality of customer service as in the states, they will never be happy. Being positive goes a long way. Most of all we must remember how blessed we are to have an oppurtunity to lives overseas.

  15. Carol says:

    Hi George loved your article, I used to own a tourism business in Ontario, Canada, and understand where you are coming from. I hope Canadians have a few more manners.
    Love your website. Carol

  16. Armando Ledesma says:

    I read three Ecuadorian e-newspapers, on a daily basis, trying to figure out how the water is running over there. I initially had the notion of maybe retiring in the Loja/Vilcabamba area, although even then, it seemed like there were too many foreigners there, and I noticed they always stuck together, like a clique at the few bars and cafes there. I was not looking for that, I was enchanted with the weather, the people, the history, and the economy. When I first visited Ecuador, one of my friends said I should memorize the national anthem. That’s because when she was there, there was a dictatorship and marshal law. I didn’t see that, but it made me wary and later, interested in what goes on in that country. A few years back, I was there when there was a disturbance involving the president and the national police. That was very scary, although I was in Loja at that time and there was a national lock-down and a “state of exception” and I saw lots of soldiers on the highway and non-stop TV coverage. Anyway, over time, this president, who attended graduate school in the US, has been very anti-American, anti-American empire. When the WikiLeak business started, certain email from the US ambassador in Quito were revealed and she was promptly booted out. Now the new US ambassador Namm is on notice for participating in a public demonstration against government restriction of the news media. The president, who is an economist, has sharply criticized capitalism and the financial fiasco, although he is trapped with a US dollar economy and few options available to leave it. He constantly complains of US interventionism and the apparent disrespect of sovereignty, that is why the first thing he did when he became president was to close down the US base in Manta, which was there to bolster antinarcotraffic efforts.
    The government has a love hate relationship with the US, as the US sometimes provides preferential trading deals with some countries. They didn’t get it this time, which hurts their economy and the trade balance, since unlike the US, they can’t create dollars. Rafael Correa is the president, but he is not a president like the presidents we have in the US. There is no balance of powers there, like in the US. So it would not surprise me if Correa would put the squeeze on those foreigners who act like ugly americans. If you have money lots of good things can happen, but I would not be surprised if assets get frozen or if special taxes or fees are suddenly imposed on some foreigners if they don’t behave like good guests.

    • Bob says:

      If they crackdown they won’t distinguish between good Americans and ugly ones. We’ll all look ugly to them.

      You can’t come in to a country and toss around a lot more money than the residents have and expect to be loved. The resentment will always be simmering just below the surface and if they become convinced we think we’re better than they are, there will be hell to pay.

      I’m planning on visiting Cuenca in a few months, to see if I’d like to live there. In prepping for the trip I have come across innumerable sites trying to sell Ecuador as this wonderful place where you can live like a King on your Social Security check. And hey, we’ll sell you this book, video, trip, service etc. to help you do it.

      So what happens to the happy idiot who doesn’t check the State Dept. site for travel warnings or see the relatively few sites (like this one) and articles that show both the good and the bad? They end up coming to Cuenca expecting to be treated like kings and when they aren’t, instead of admitting they screwed up by not checking things out before they committed, they blame the Ecuadorans.

      Those sites and magazine who are making money off potential emigres are doing all of the ex-pats and locals a real disservice. Once the mark in this con game reaches the promised heavenly haven and the blinders come off, the people there are stuck with them.

      So the problem isn’t just the Ugly Americans coming into the country, a good part of it is those who painted the rose colored picture of Cuenca that lured them there.

  17. Joie says:

    Hi George
    Just had to say the picture you painted in the bathroom was too funny. Couldn’t stop laughing until I read about the Ugly Americans. Too sad.

  18. Anne Luyster says:

    George, Is it ok if I wear my big floppy hat if I forgo the skintight, elastic capris? I got more than a few chuckles out of this one.

  19. Love Cuenca says:

    You hit the nail on the head George! Just came back from a month in Cuenca and found the Ecuadorians quite reserved.
    The only problems we had were with Gringos, one very obnoxious bar owner who was extremely rude to some patrons while we were there and Loud Talkers in the restaurants. Even though we would be sitting at a distance would hear every word of their authoritarian conversations while the Ecuadorians would sit talking quietly to each other. We even had a drunken American demand to sit with us and would not take no for an answer when we were at a business meeting with Ecuadorians, so embarassing- him chastizing us that this is not the American Way!! We are guests in this country and need to remember this. Recently we read that a condo developer has now refused to sell to Gringos as they are too much trouble. Where do we get the badges George?

  20. Mistymeaner says:

    Admittedly I have seen some of these Americans in action both stateside and here in Ecuador. Unfortunately this sort of behaviour perpetuates the negative attitude that many have of Americans.

    If you like the lifestyle, the social fabric, the attitudes, the language and so on of the states then stay there.

    Myself I am Canadian and happen to have lived most of my life very close to the states and did spend several years living in the states. It always amazed me how different our cultures were even though we lived so close to one another.

    This is not meant to insult. I have many US friends, however when I travel I make darn sure that people do not mistake me for an American. Truth is these people who behave so poorly when out in public just make it hard on the many that are good people.

    Anyways got a chuckle out of the bathroom story. It boggles my mind how a thing as little as no toilet paper in a public bathroom can rattle so many. Try being female here. First you have to find a public bathroom, it’s a given that there won’t be toilet paper….. My biggest hope is always that there will be a toilet seat!!!!!!! At 54 I have mastered the art of toilet bowl hovering. 😉

    Ignorance is no excuse. Do your homework. There is all sorts of info out there. Do a recon visit if you are unsure but in the end if you are expecting things to be like they are in the states then just stay there. No where else on the planet is like the states and honestly I’m not convinced that is a bad thing! 😉

    • Silvia says:

      Forgive me but as a South American and Ecuadorean I can say that part of the problem is that people from the USA think they are the only American’s and Canadian’s don’t know that they are American’s. American is ONE continent not two. So anyone born anywhere in America, North America, Central America, Caribbean and South America are American’s. I find it frustrating to say the least to hear this all the time. American this American that what am I chopped liver! Will never change because the stronger one always wins. But we will always know the truth.
      I am thrilled you love my country and we are always happy to help you out and be your friend. And there are nasty people no matter where you go. Had to interject just couldn’t help myself. Oh yes almost forgot we speak Castellano not Spanish, Spanish means it’s from Spain not the name of the more than five languages spoken there. 🙂 Just some information for you.

  21. Loved the bathroom story….as a woman, I always carry tissue with me and that saved me in my first “toilet roll at the door” event. I had read about it but had forgotten.

    We are winding our month here down – we fly out on Tuesday – and we fear culture shock when we return to the US. The locals and the expats that we met have been wonderful. We can’t wait to return.

    While we appreciate having someone that can speak English, we use what little Spanish we have every chance we get. Lessons will be taken, we will be better when we get back. We have been so envious of expats who are conversant with the locals and want to do better.

    It still amazes me that in the US we shout about immigrants who don’t learn English but here, in THEIR country, we also expect them to learn English. Tragic.

    • Donna, I remember the culture shock I had when I got back from Ecuador. Please excuse the language but this country is full of assholes.

      I was driving the first day back. I realized I needed to turn left but I was not in the left lane. The only two cars at the intersection were mine and the guy behind me. The light turned green and my blinker was on, and I turned left. I looked in my rearview mirror and this guy was giving me the finger. Maybe he was doing this because I broke a driving rule. Maybe he was just a crazy out of control serial killer. This is ugly American behavior right here in the good old USA. Happens all the time…

      Glad you had a great time in Ecuador.

      George

  22. Aunt Jody says:

    Great post, George! And, I agree about the huge number of jerks right here in the U.S. I see them everyday, and I live in a state that has always beeen known for being friendly and hospitable. I really think the country has been in such a bad condition for so many years, that people have internalized all their fear and anger to the point that it has turned to poison and the ugly behavior is just coming out of them ’cause it has nowhere else to go! Kind of like a big nasty abcess that finally erupts. I still plan to move to Ecuador by year’s end, but I’m definitely looking to go to a small town with few Amnericans. I’m confident that I have enough Spanish to function, and have no desire to be anywhere near “gringolandia”.

    • Ecuador George says:

      Aunt Jody… I think you have hit the nail on the head. And using your analogy, many Americans need a root canal and they don’t want to go to the dentist. I talk about “acceptance” a lot on this site. There are so many examples of corruption and decay in this country and it seems like almost everyone is either asleep or in denial about it. I think we are a nation that is realizing that “retail therapy” does not work. I think many people are feeling like “hollow shell zombies”, and are so anxious and have few or no real coping skills… Hope I am not being to harsh… but to me, things seem to be really messed up around here.

      Thanks for the comment Jody…. George

  23. Ilenebalt says:

    Thanks, George. I really enjoyed this piece. Sadly many angry Americen a**holes have moved or are thinking of moving to EC. Unfortunately, I suspect they will not bother to read any of the articles or comments on bad behavior by expats. However, I think your suggestion of asking them if you can help them is excellent.

    • Ecuador George says:

      Ilene… Can you imagine someone yelling in public and then another expat going up to them and then they both end up yelling at each other. Oh, those crazy white people.. What a show that would be. Now imaging a person going up to the loud mouth and talking calm, asking if they can help. It might not work, in fact it probably won’t, but now you have a calm and steady person that is doing their best to help the situation. A much better situation then a couple of mad dogs going after each other.

      I was thinking yesterday how much fun it would be to have expats take videos with their phones of these episodes and then we could post them on line, maybe on a dedicated site. The only way these videos would be removed is by the expat apologizing on video for their bad behavior. There are many remedies to this bad behavior, and they do not need to be aggressive or in your face confrontations….

      George

  24. Shamus McBride says:

    George, as usual I found your post most provocative.

    It would be myopic to believe ethnocentrism is a trait exclusively demonstrated by Americans of U.S. origin. Albeit it is hard to ignore the examples we are all made aware of when this trait is at times exhibited by American travelers, athletes competing in foreign countries, and some political figure’s insensitive and ignorant attitudes towards countries other than the United States. And let’s not forget popular culture. A study carried out in 2002 revealed that Hollywood also contributes to the “Ugly American” image. Ironically in regard to your post, the origin of the term “Ugly American” is attributed to a 1948 photograph of an American tourist in Havana by the Cuban photographer Constantino Arias. Not the photograph but a book of the same title written in 1958, and the later release of the 1963 movie adaptation starring Marlon Brando seems to have entered the pejorative term “Ugly American” into popular culture.

    Ugly and unruly people are the topic of your post. You’re absolutely right George; confrontation is not the solution and typically becomes the problem. And I concur; telling someone they are an ass, in most instances makes you look like an ass. This is especially true when the “ugly and unruly “person(s) is approached by a stranger, pointing out a negative character trait. We all know most people will not acknowledge problematic behavior when they don’t perceive their behavior as problematic. It is naïve to think we alone can fix something that an individual does not perceive as broken. When it comes to dealing with the individual(s) we identify as the “Ugly American” it’s best to except that this is most likely one of the things we don’t have the power to change for that person. And by all means there is no problem to attempt to be of help to the ugly and unruly. You’re absolutely right; chances are they are simply fearful and frustrated in adapting to their new environment.

    What we can change is how we handle and represent ourselves. It would be impossible to know all persons who have had a negative experience or experiences with an ugly or unruly person(s) domestically or abroad. But it should be a conscious goal for us all to be altruistic with all those we interact with. Simply being respectful, and demonstrating simple acts of kindness just might be the key to restore one’s faith that ugly acting people are merely the minority and do not represent the whole.

    As always George, great post! Let’s all remember to be part of the solution and not the problem.

    Your topics are always provocative and make us think!!!

    Shamus

    • Shamus,
      Your name has me thinking you must be Catholic… (there is a bad joke in there somewhere)

      And I see you not only have writing skills but also a nice handle on the vocabulary. Thanks for the comment.

      You hit the nail on the head when you said “what we can change is how we handle and represent ourselves.” If we can calm these ugly people instead of adding fuel to the fire through confrontation, then we have done the best we can.

      Please comment more often. I like your style Shamus…

      Your friend, George

  25. Michael says:

    Hi George. Hilarious banos story. Yikes now i can’t get that image out of my head : ) . Reminds of when I was in Vietnam a few years back and waiting at the Hanoi airport for my flight to leave. I had a terrible cold and not feeling well and searched for the airport restroom where I entered and found an empty stall and took care of my business. I came out feeling better and started to wash my hands when a nice lady entered and entered a stall. I thought she was the cleaning lady until another lady and then one more lady entered the restroom. Silly me. I was in the ladies room. And they didn’t even bat an eye, so unperturbed I quietly dried my hands and nonchalantly and casually headed for the door hoping there was no police outside the door. I am grateful to those nice ladies. Yup I am the one who introduced coed bathrooms to Vietnam.

  26. Dan from Arizona says:

    My wife and I are exploring the idea of retiring in Ecuador. We recently looked at Panama, as well. We came across an expat web site of people retired in Boquette, Panama. Comments they made were somewhat on contrast to comments here. I can see how they could have been more politically correct, and stated that the people of Panama are the greatest people anywhere and that it is wrong, as a foreigner, to expect them to show up on time or keep promises, or do quality work. But their posts were actually more helpful, as they were respectful of the country and the culture, while at the same time open and honest regarding some locals bad habits. For instance, when you witness an Ecuadorian dumping a load of garbage onto the ground at your favorite park, do you just accept it and figure it must be part of his culture? I doubt it. You know immediately that this is not a good person. So why pretend people like this do not exist, just so you can better bash the poorly behaving foreigners?

    When I traveled to Brazil, back in the early 80’s, I was on a charter flight with Americans. Most of them disgusted me. Why? Some because of their behavior. Mostly, it was because they were all so fat and slovenly in appearance. Now, I mention this because how many of the critics on this post, cast stones at others for lacking patience, are morbidly obeese, and cause our foreign hosts to think all Americans are big fat slobs lacking the dicipline to stay trim and fit. Gluttony, to many Equadorians, is sinful. They look at you like the same as if you were a thief or a liar. It is part of their faith.

    It seems harmless to start a thread bashing others for behavior that is unacceptable, while acting like your own behavior or lifestyle would never offend anyone. In fact, the original thread included a comment suggesting that these poorly behaved people must have voted for George Bush. Just kidding, right? No, that isn’t why you included the coment. I voted for George Bush and I greatly admire the man, especially the work he is doing for wounded warriors. So maybe some of the people posting here should step off their high horses and look at themselves and consider they might be part of the same problem they are criticizing.

    • Terry Shockey says:

      Dan, do you think it would have been possible that W could have put sanctions on Iraq, sent Special Forces in to get Saddam, and stayed out of the Country? Two Gun George should be tried for War Crimes. He definitely should be helping Wounded Warriors!

      • Dan from Arizona says:

        Terry, this is hardly the place to criticize a former U.S. President. But I’ll remind you the U.N. had placed over a dozen sanctions on Iraq, with no success. Saddam and his sons were torturing innocent civilians and assisting terrorists who were killing Jews in Israel. Most people on the left, and some on the right, are isolationists and don’t care who in the world is being slaughtered, they simply do not think we should help in any way. War Crimes? Really? And Obama is getting close to entering a fourth war in Syria. If liberals were so offended by the deaths of 4000 American soldiers, why are they never upset over the 60,000,000 totally innocent and totally defenseless unborn who have been murdered in the U.S.?

        There is another blog I came across last night where the American who is now living in Cuenca for the past three years, feels he speaks on behalf of all Ecuadorians, stating WE don’t want and WE don’t need any McDonalds in Ecuador. Regardless of how one views that particular restaurant chain, it seems odd that an American feels he knows what is best for Ecuadorians. He states they are incapable of knowing what is in their own best interest and that the government should step in and make the decision for them. Sounds familiar. Inm the U.S. we now have a government that feels it should make all our decisions for us. We will have our own IRS checking up on us to make sure we have purchased mandatory health insurance. People don’t seem to enjoy or want freedom anymore. And now you have retirees in Ecuador suggesting that the government find a way to screen or punish “ugly Americans”. Most on this thread think thats a great idea. At least as long as the government doesn’t decide that a fat American is also considered an Ugly American. Then there would be a lot of surprised people on this forum. When my wife and I arrive in Cuenca, we will be looking forward to meeting locals, speaking spanish, not being too critical of problems that occur, and jogging, riding our bikes, and walking the dogs to stay fit. We will not be a burden to anyone.

        • Terry Shockey says:

          Hi Dan, you are right about the 60 million, God will judge for that, people loss sight of what’s really important in this country, showing love and compassion for your fellow man or woman,no matter what country you reside in . Peace

        • Silvia says:

          No fears Dan from Arizona, Ecuadoran’s don’t allow anyone to tell us what to do. I just hope more people like you move to my country. God bless you.

        • Jeanneth says:

          Dan, you have the right to let know your thoughts, that is why we are in this blog, but be careful when you defend George bush! it is insulting for some people that there are still people defending him after he promoted a bloody war under not proven excuses, pls. remember he started it with “there are nuclear bombs in Irak”, they show “maps” where supposely they were hidden, milllions of inocents believed then but now…how is it possible that there is still people like you believing that…thing. There were not nuclear bombs instead a big war that killed millions of inocents with the colateral damages!!! and all of this because this “man” drunk and racist with paranoid that could not even spell one public speech started under big influences that he represented. the family bankers that fraud millions of people from the Silverado bank. commanding the finantial fiascos in Southamerica…much more. Control from the tv channels with emotional news to manage people like you easily, that family are covered by mad until the next generations, tortures in Guantánamo, women rapping by soldiers (some of them teenagers that killed people in Irak and Afganistan like in a videogame), death penalty (which goes against the human rights)…I do not want to offend anybody and no matter the age… but you are either too naive or you just ignore the facts in the course of the time!!! BTW Unfortunately Obama is following the same international militar strategy, just imagine to set up 6 militar bases in Colombia and add a big war ship in front of the costs of Iran…Hello??? still not getting it?

    • Silvia says:

      “Gluttony, to many Equadorians, is sinful. They look at you like the same as if you were a thief or a liar. It is part of their faith”

      I’m stupid, what exactly do you mean please?

  27. Dena Jo Kanner says:

    >> Voted for George Bush (Just Kidding)

    HA!

    No, you’re not.

    Dena

  28. Frank Roma says:

    @Dan from AZ: George Bush should spend the rest of his life and all of his personal wealth in support of wounded warriors. Since he is directly responsible for them being wounded, in a war based upon lies and layers of deception too deep to fathom here. Saddam may have been a problem to some of his people, but he was not a great threat to the United States. Those are the facts, we know it now and we knew it then as well.

    • Ecuador George says:

      Frank, I was waiting for someone to rip on Dan… I did not think it was my place but I would invite anyone else who does not agree with Dan to please, go at it… Thanks. George

  29. don sabin says:

    This blog says a lot about expat culture. And, they’re always in a group:

    http://brokedownpalette.wordpress.com/2013/05/26/blacksmith-chic/

  30. Jim says:

    Im ecuadorian, but i have never seen a gringo go off on an ecuadorian in ecuador. If i ever see myself in that situation i will jump right on top of that gringo n make very clear to him the one that needs to speak the language is him/her, i live in the USA and i am a great supporter that immigrants should learn english (considering english is not even the native language of the US). So before they go off on someone for not speaking the language, well these white trash better learn it, and if they dont like the ecuadorian way, the doors wide open for the, to leave the country n come back to their misery life in USA. Im sorry, but this kind of abuse must stop. I pray to god to never face me in a situation like this, cuz i would probably have the US embassy after me (lol just kidding), but yeah a slap in the face might wake em up….

  31. M Luna says:

    Also, this is a fabulous & informative website. Thank you so much for all of the information!

  32. Jim says:

    I’m thinking of moving to Ecuador next year. Love your blog. Voted for Bush and still don’t understand those rude gringos! Think your idea of the art gallery is fantastic.

  33. Harold Philpott says:

    Enjoyed reading your reports & they were very helpful. Alot of talk about how Americans are seen by others & how they think of themselves. I have traveled a fair amount, with only 15 countries under my belt, I have learned to always ensure the people know I’m NOT American. It is my own observation & what I have been told in many countries ( and in know way does this mean that the majority of Americans are like this )that they find that most Americans have no patience, are rude, obnoxious & come with a feeling of intitlement. I was considering getting a place in Ecudor, but not not. If Americans are there it will become costly , so I’ll keep to Cuba but I know that to will soon become Americanized. So Thanks for the info & keep it truthful as you do. HP

    • Ecuador George says:

      Thanks for your observations Harold…. Hope we are not a lost cause. I plan on arriving in Ecuador with a magic wand that will make everything ok… George

  34. Maria Morton says:

    Greetings!

    I am arriving in Manta next month to start a new life and adventure~ in reading the posts, I have many thoughts and emotions~ my thoughts I will keep it simple:

    One of the reasons that I am leaving the USA is all the restrictions – does not allow us to chase the American dream without a pile of paperwork to support a corrupt government. Americans are one of the most giving people, but we are mandated where we must spend our money and who gets it anymore. Therefore, I am not for more sanctions coming to Ecuador on what I must do and not do to enter. Coming from Montana – a handshake still means something and you are judged on your own merit – actions speak louder than words.

    Why not start an outreach program? If expats huddle together, this does not always present well. Start a club and see what you can do for the community Write a note to the papers, let them know you disapprove (non-supportive) of any rude Americans (If this is a big problem?) and will be starting a community center for classes for the locals. How many expats have knowledge, ideas, expertise to offer? Hours or money volunteered result in a color status pin? Wearing this lets the locals know you are invested in your community. How fun to interact, make new friends, network. Put up or shut up – no more regulations! How many would feel different if the illegals that entered our Country gave back instead of stand in line for all the benefits they can get? I know I would feel different! Wearing your color pin will let the cab driver know you may be the one teaching his kid English or how to use the computer or web – your fare and a positive response may end up in the $3.00 fare. Many may not know how to begin to interact, but they know quilting or painting, crafts, computer – therefore by teaching, brings new found relationships and a feeling of accomplishment. Be a part of the solution, not the problem!

    Just thoughts – use your leaders in your community to get started. For the record – corruption is from both sides of the isle – Obama has gotten many Americans killed too, but even worse is the way he treats our Vets and his huge taste for Hollywood hob knobbing, vacations, dividing our nation worse than it has ever been and golf…. Just kidding…NOT! (Sorry George – I couldn’t resist!) 😉

    • Maria,
      I suggest to people that they just need to get out and walk, or go sit in the park. Interact with others. Your new life in Ecuador will be richer for it.

      As for politics in the states… We have so many underlying problems that I am not sure it matters much anymore who is in the White House….

  35. Craig says:

    Laughed my BUTT off at the toilet paper story. I had the SAME experience at a mall in GQ. Montezuma got revenge on me (or is that only for Mexico?) and I had to go BAD. Finished my business and reached for the toilet paper and……….REALIZED THERE WASN’T EVEN A DISPENSER!

    So I have to ask. What is the purpose of having the TP dispenser OUTSIDE of the stall? Do they want you to wipe in public? I guess you’re supposed to grab a handful before you enter?

    Good to know anyway. At least I know THAT won’t be happening again. Hiking my pants up just a bit to get to the TPD hoping nobody notices.

    • Craig,
      Paper product are very expensive in Ecuador. I think if the paper was in the private stalls it would be stolen. And yes, you are suppose to grab the toilet paper before you go in and hope for the best…
      George

  36. Barb A. says:

    Just subscribed to your site. Awesome! Palmera Beach?! Your thoughts…

  37. richard m says:

    I plan on retirement in ecuador,in the future.I’m mexican american living in san diego california.I am fluent in english and spanish so the move should not be to hard for me.I’m still year’s away from retirement,but I have been thinking about cuenca ecuador for years now.
    When I get to ecuador I promise to keep my cool.I don’t think ecuador needs ugly mexican/americans in ecuador.

    Thanks Richard

  38. Janice Henning says:

    This is where I plan on retiring. I live very minimal now so it won’t be a huge transition for me as far as going without. But I thought I was getting away from the nutcase, self-entitled Americans. Hopefully, they’ll be far and few.

    • Ecuador George says:

      Janice… I think you will do just fine. Find a few friends you have something in common with, either locals or expats and live the life you are looking for. But don’t surprised at some of the stuff you see. George

      • Robert Johnson says:

        Gringo from the Northeast part of the USA. The part of the states where you can tell someone to go bleep themselves and no ne takes it personal.
        one of the things I’ve learned after ten years of travel throughout Europe is that obnoxious is an equal Opportunity Offender. Very little difference between EuroTrash and WhiteTrah IMO. Same with our self important Asians running up the aircraft aisle from row 30 trying to be first odd the plane.

        Generally speaking confrontation is ill advised. However, used sparingly at the right time can be very effective in stopping the confrontation. A well placed foot in the aisle causes our Asian friends to reflect on the advantages of being first while their face is planted on the floor.

        If you’re behind a typical ugly American or EuroTrash type yelling at service personnel. Politely tap them on the shoulder and ask politely what they would do if someone talked to their mother in the same tone. Stops them dead in their tracks almost EVERYTIME.

        Point is every culture has “these people”. Left to themselves they will continue to abuse others. Count on it!

        I am scared to death I’ll be unable to learn Spanish properly, but I promise to try very hard before I get to Ecuador. I love Hawaiian shirts but after reading this I might leave them here. BTW, how hard is it for a guy 6’2″, 230 pounds to buy local attire?

        • Ecuador George says:

          Nice comment Robert…. and it is not easy to find clothes for us big guys… and as long as the Hawaiian shirt is the right size, I see nothing wrong with them… Have fun. George

  39. Brenda says:

    I have just retired from 20 years in the classroom, all grades, but mostly high school. I think when Americans are rude in Ecuador, we should handle the situation as we did in Kindergarten and elementary school and just push them down.

  40. Mark Cowtan says:

    Nice one George. If we want to have a peaceful existence here, we must educate our fellow Americans, not to try to turn this place into another America. Else the reason we all came here will vanish.

    • Ecuador George says:

      Yes Mark, that is exactly right. Like your site on beaches of Ecuador. If readers will click on your name it will take them to your site… George

  41. Stephanie Hansson says:

    George,
    I love reading your posts, and everyone replies. My husband I are considering a retirement in Ecuador, and reading all the comments, make me think a bit more.

    My husband and I have both lived in South American and Europe and have travelled quite a bit, so I have seen that rude American behavior you speak about. Usually I just cringe, slide down in my chair and acquire and accent and pretend I don’t understand what they are saying.
    Sometimes I have seriously considered apologizing for them afterward, when they are gone. I have seen this over a span of 40 years, so it sure isn’t anything new, nor will it even really end. The best that I think can be done is teach by example. Step in and help if they are frustrated and need help. If they still want to complain, then tell them you can help them pack for their return trip home, where they belong.

    What I am starting to see, is a trend of too many expats with a lot of money, and that scares me. We will have a very small retirement and of coarse want the most for our money, which we know will not happen in the states, but we don’t want to be a part of any little America community.

    I will continue to read everyone’s blogs and any articles, until such time we can come down and see for ourselves. Language is not a barrier with us, as my husband is fluent in Spanish, Portuguese, French and Swedish. I can mumble in Spanish and Portuguese.

    BTW, in Portugal the public restrooms are monitored by a lady, for which you pay a couple of coins and receive paper, and she keep the area clean. Not really such a bad idea, seems quite civilized, if you ask me.

    And I did not vote for Bush (either one) either, but if another one even considers a run for the office, I can guarantee you, I will be out of here as fast as I can……….oops I guess my politics are showing.

    • Stephanie,
      Funny Bush comment… We have been here for a couple months now and traveled here often before the move. I have not seen any bad gringo behavior. Wonder if the one in a thousand times story is being exaggerated?
      George

  42. Dana Mills says:

    Good article. These rude people are most likely the same ones in the states that say “learn to speak English”. Well, the shoe is on the other foot eh?
    Dana

  43. John says:

    I agree almost a hundred percent. When I go overseas my wife and I always feel the need to be extra nice to make up for the upper north east crowd as they seem to be the rudest(that’s where I’m from so I think I have the right to trash them). Either embrace the local culture or DON’T go there.

    As for the swipe at Bush I totally agree. But what really amazes me is that the mad exodus has doubled during the Barry years and figures to increase even more so now that we have this Obamacare mess that will/is killing job growth. So enjoy, and expect, more obnoxious Americans in just about every south American nation when Hillary wins in 16 and she continues this mess. Sorry to go political but trashing one bad President without trashing the worst President makes little sense. I know it was colored with the typical ‘just joking” but c’mon we know. Guess that’s why I’m not a one Party kinda guy.

    But I’m ok with them moving. The obnoxious American I mean. I’ll just smile and be extra nice and shake my head at the guy from Philly or Jersey. Maybe tip a little extra and shake my servers hand while wishing him well in butchered Spanish. No place is paradise but a friendly host nation with 84 degrees 365 is pretty darn close. Best wishes!

  44. Scott says:

    The, impolite, rude, obnoxious, foreiners certainly stand out don’t they?

    Get over yourselves. I’d have no problem educating someone on how to act in someone elses house.

    George, I love your site and understand your where your coming from.

    For those that just want to rant and rave about the american mafia, … get the hell out and find a political site.

    Sorry, George

  45. wendy says:

    I have been in Cuenca now for almost 3 months. My Spanish is bad, but I try. I don’t seem to have any trouble, even ordering furniture. I hope to be able to have real conversations soon. The people are soooo friendly, I can’t imagine losing my temper. I like it here and I plan on staying.

  46. Egyirba says:

    Your post: funny. That state of affairs: sad, but true. It would just never occur to me to go to someone else’s home and act a fool. Your categorization: spot on.

  47. Travis Travis says:

    On the other hand I see so many Americans and Canadians rescuing the dogs and cats, donating their time free to help kids improve their English, buying orphans clothes, and helping Ecuadorians improve their level of English which is now requiered by the Ecuadorian government. Yes there are idiots out there, but the majority of Americans who live here are very very giving and want nothing to do but help. There are always two sides. And it is also unfair to blame every ignorant thing that a tourist does on USA. Gringos according to Latinos are everyone who is white and from another country. Unfair to lump us all together.

    • Ecuador George says:

      Travis,
      Of course you are correct. There are only a few bad apples. Most of the people I have met here are fantastic…old, but fantastic.

    • Jazmin says:

      Hi Travis;
      I’m happy you are enjoying Ecuador, and as in any other country of the world you will find good and rude people.
      I hope most of my fellow Ecuadorians are nice people to Americans as they had all being nice to me in the USA
      Regards,
      Jazmin

  48. Ray says:

    I have been to Ecuador 5 times and cannot say I ever enjoyed it. But then, I am not a secondary psychopath. Most of the expats I have met there are. Tbey can be themselves in a country where lying, cheating and stealing are the economic basis for thier economy. Hence the reason they bring nothing to humanity’s table. It can be a cheap place to be but you get what you pay for. Maybe that is the reason most expats live in gringolandia behind walls and leave after an average of 3 years.

    • Ecuador George says:

      Well Ray, you seem to talk for everyone. You seem to know what makes everyone tick. Good for you man. George

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