Ecuador adopted the US dollar back in 2006, they prefer to use dollar coins (the gold ones up top) as they last longer than paper bills. Makes sense, but some expats have said they don't like the dollar coins because they are too heavy, well, get over it, it is the way it is! The other coins (quarters, dimes, etc) are similar but different to what we are used to in the States, "ours" work, totally interchangeable, but these do look a bit like play money, or is it just what I'm used to?
These are from Google, I don't think either of them are Ecuador, but we see this ALL the time! Note that the driver is the only one wearing a helmet! Part of me cringes every time I see this, and the other part says...they are adults and they'll have to live with the consequences. Our neighbor sells chickens, and one day a young family came to buy some, The man was driving, they had a child Inbetween them, and the woman was on the back with a chicken in each hand (holding them by the feet upside down) WISH I'd gotten a picture! Motorcycles are cheap, and are the most common mode of personal transportation, so I expect to see MANY things while we are living here, it is what it is.
This is...peanut butter and jelly! The first peanut butter we had was in a jar, then we found the squeeze top bottle, now we get it in the bag, and I just empty it into the bottle. This jelly is new, we haven't opened it yet, but with the little squeeze top, it'll be great to use, as long as it tastes good. (Mani is peanut, and pasta is paste)
Some more squeeze top packaging. Sure takes up less space in the fridge, and carting home on the bus. (Left=garlic paste, right=BBQ sauce) We've seen laundry soap and shampoo in these type of packages as well, and when it's time to replenish our supply, we will opt for these.
This is milk. We found the little plastic holder here in the rental, if you put the milk bag in the holder BEFORE you open it you're fine. And I have split my share, putting too much pressure on the bag while cutting a corner, but you CANT CRY...over spilt milk, right? We rarely had milk in the states, used powdered for cooking, and used Almond milk for Mike's cereal, but we've found nondairy creamer is expensive so we buy this. (powdered milk does not work as creamer) This bag is $1.05 at the tienda, or .90 cents at the grocery store, and probably lasts us a week and half, or 2 weeks. We could buy it from the "leche man", he comes every morning around 8:30 and delivers to the "chicken neighbors", some days they take a bowl, or pot out to his truck, other days he has the milk in bags. I'd said he sold it from a five gallon bucket, and that congers up the wrong image.
He drives a pick up, and has two of these in the back, with his teenage son riding back there. I don't see the neighbor pay him, so they must have a trade arrangement, probably milk for chicken. We've asked about this milk, and people say we have to boil it first, that sounds like work, so I'll buy ours in a bag...for $1.
Another difference (that I'm glad I knew about before we came) is you don't flush toilet paper. All restrooms have little trashcans you use instead. It has to do with the sewer pipes. We use the shopping bags from the tiendas as trash bags and since the trash pickup is twice a week, it hasnt been an issue. Different, but not a deal breaker. Public restrooms don't supply toilet paper, so a little package of Kleenex is a must carry item, also good to know before you come!
One more is about restaurants, I may have touched on this before, but another mention won't hurt. After your order is placed, and served, they aren't going to ask if you're ok, or if you need anything. It's up to you to ask if you need something, and this includes the bill. In the culture, they consider it rude to put the bill in front of you, like they are rushing you to leave. In the States, if we had encountered this, we would have seen this as neglect, and rude...isn't that interesting? But now that I know, I can totally see it "their" way. It's not wrong or right, it's just different.