Observations, Musings and other Meanderings of the Mind

Page 1 - Mexico/Central America
Page 2 - South America


Food:  Typical Ecuadorian food:  chicken, rice, chicken, salad, chicken, papas (fries), chicken, and more chicken.

Driving:  Don't know because they won't let us drive anywhere except to the border.

Galapagos: Darwin's proof is alive and well and evolving

Bird name:  You know that the person who named the Blue-footed and the Red-footed boobies was away from home a long, long time.

Clothing:  Make sure you always carry a pair of pants for you never know when you will not be allowed in a building while wearing shorts or other "inappropriate" attire.


DrivingTraffic lights, who needs them when you have horns that tell others you are coming through.

Driving:  Mexico has nothing on Peru for crazy drivers.  But, once you get the system, it works.  If there is an opening in traffic, first one there wins the coveted spot and with a sharp horn blast, you get to announce your arrival in front of the competing vehicle.

Milk:  Readily available only if you can milk a chicken.  But, that would be udderly ridiculous :-).

Dogs:  How can a dog so ugly and so dim witted still be around, virtually unchanged for 1000 years.  Perhaps there is something to the saying "the meek shall inherit the earth".  They will be hairless, ugly and dim, but still here.

People:  Quick to smile and even quicker to feed you.

Mummies:  There is no such thing as plastic surgery in the afterlife.  You are going to have wrinkles whether you like
it or not.

Food:  Hope that you like the food because you get a huge serving of whatever you order.

Laundry:  When you take laundry to the local lavanderia, make sure that you say "no staples".  They have a tendency to mark your clothes by stapling little pieces of colored paper to all of your pieces of clothing.  We found out the, how do you say, painful way, where they located the staples in your underwear and socks.


Roads:  There are 30,628 miles of highway - and only 1,550 are paved.  I think you get the idea.

Bolivia:  Means "extremely, incredibly, unbelievably cheap" (example:  whole broasted chicken, potatoes, salad, rice, drinks all for a whopping $3US; or long fleece jacket, double layered, reversible, removable hood, two-colored for a wallet-breaking $10US; or two fresh trout meals with rice, potato, salad and drinks for an appetizing $5US).

Water:  Water is not for drinking and apparently, not for bathing.

Stores:  "I would like to buy this gum, how much is it?"  store person "I don't know."  "Is there a way you can find out - maybe go next door to the other store and ask what they charge?"  store person "ok"....(upon their return) "So, what is the cost of the gum?"  store person "I don't know, the other store has different prices."

Children:  They are truly the hope of Bolivia if they can resist the taint of helplessness of the adults. 


Chile:  We must have made a wrong turn and left South America.

Manners I: I repeat the above, we made a wrong turn and ended up in New York for we have ran into some of the rudest people we have ever met.  The price of civilization.

Manners II:  We found not only manners but genuine kindness the further south we ventured.  Southern hospitality.

Food:  Abundance of seafood, abundance of taste.

Food II:  Obesity is not limited to the United States.

Roads: What do you get when you combine a narrow sidewalk with a water-filled pothole and a fast-moving bus?
answer c

TheftWhat country has made us worry the most about theft?  a) Mexico   b) Peru  c) Guatemala  d) Chile 
           e) Bolivia   f) El Salvador  g) Nicaragua
answer c

Hot water:  Gerson: "I thought you said you had hot water in this camp."  Owner of camp: "Well, it's not that cold so it's warm enough."

Service:  The absolute worst country for service compared to their extremely overpriced goods and services. 

Economy:  Chile boasts that they have the best economy in South America.  No wonder, they may export many things and on paper, have a good income; however, very, very, very little of that money goes back into the infrastructure of the country.  Horrible, absolutely terrible roads, communication technology, etc. 

In and Out:  Of all the countries we were the most happy to arrive in: Chile.  After several weeks, the country we were most ecstatic to leave: CHILE.

Humor:  It is somewhere lurking with their ability to provide good service.


Attitude: Argentina has the reputation for being egotistical and arrogant.  Who is the first to make fun of Argentineans?  a) Chileans  
 b) Brazilians    c) Argentineans    d) Peruvians
answer c

Food: If you are a vegetarian, go somewhere else.  If you are a cow or a lamb, run for your life.

Language:  Argentina has a tremendous European influence and it is exemplified in the Spanish accent.  Not including Brasil, this is the first Latin American country that did not sound "Mexican" and sentences riddled with unflattering slang.   Very pleasant to the ear.




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