Navigation Pages

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Some Stuff for Our Place Or "What You Should Bring With You"

With all my posts about our trials and travails of feathering our nest, I thought I might try to help with, what seems to be, a burning question for expats: "What do we need to bring with us?" So, I could get all existential here, and ask "what does anyone truly need?" Shelter, food and (arguably) love. In truth, what one needs for a comfortable existence is subjective.
It's all about personal perspective! (Picture source:
The overwhelming thing that seems to be desperately missed by many immigrants is comfort food. You name it...cheddar cheese, peanut butter, pickles, Dr. Pepper...for the most part the thing that you loved back in North America is probably different here, or doesn't exist. That's not to say that you can't buy cheddar cheese, peanut butter, pickles or soda definitely can. So you either adapt or bring in large quantities in hopes that it will get you through to your next visit up North. If, like some of my relatives, you can't live without Twinings tea, you may not make it here.
Poutine...classic Canadian comfort food.
You can buy almost any gadget here. Appliances, tech stuff, kitchen gear, even "As Seen on TV" items, but much of it is apparently at a price that seizes the hearts of many Americans. (Canadians don't suffer from sticker shock quite as badly, but every now and again we take a sharp breath when we look at a price tag - especially now, with the dollar trading at around 80 cents US.)
The one thing that we can recommend that you bring (assuming you're shipping down a container) is kitchen appliances. For whatever reason, there is a pretty big disparity in quality. We can't quite figure out why, but North American appliances are just better, at least at this point. I won't even get in to the quirks of Indurama appliances that are quite popular here. This is not to say that you can't get by with South American appliances...almost everyone manages it and at least it's easy to get parts and service for the local brands. Even though it's completely unrelated to appliances, here are some branch names that make me giggle:

The mattresses here seem to be very comfortable (some people vehemently disagree), even if the sizes aren't quite the same as what we're used to, but we have yet to find a truly "comfortable" sofa here in Ecuador. Some are close, but most are not. Dining chairs are another mystery. Ecuador seems to like very straight backs. No adjusted angle or graceful curve on which to recline. The nuns of my mother's Catholic school would approve.

We have a friend that gets rid of more and more stuff, the longer he stays here. He's embraced simplicity in a way that is inspiring and yet foreign to us. (I can't overstate the importance of a comfortable sofa... which say more about me that I may want to admit - sad but true.)

Doesn't get much better than this...
So, really, you can get away with just bringing your clothes and filling your nest with local has been done before and millions of Ecuadorians swear by it. As I will always recommend...come here, live here for an extended period, before you buy property, ship containers or cash in your retirement savings to "make the leap". Then decide what you can and can't live with (or without, for that matter). We're glad we brought our appliances and furniture, as it's what we're used to and feels right to us. It's nice to have familiar objects when in a strange new world, but we lived with the local stuff for an extended time as well and know a good life, either way.

No comments:

Post a Comment