Friday, June 12, 2009

Some idea of costs

Rich and I have new haircuts... we decided to try a couple new places.

Lucy's, the salon downstairs, is the one Nancy tried on the recommendation of several neighbors and the sellers, and she will be back!

One of the best haircuts/color since Bibbo's in San Francisco, without the outrageous prices! Haircut/color at Lucy's = $43, plus tip. Add $15 for a deep conditioner (which I did since my hair was fried). French manicure, $5 (sure beats the Nordstrom prices, doesn't it). The shop is busy... about 5 chairs, with manicure/pedicure stations in the back. No formal appointments, just show up and wait (or you can call ahead). One of our neighbors goes to Lucy's twice a week... not sure for what, but we think she's maintaining her manicure and getting professional comb-outs. She always looks great.

Rich's new haircut was on recommendation from Fabian, our English-speaking taxi driver. He took Rich to his neighborhood and his cousin cut his hair... $2, plus tip. Rich looks great!

A 'set-lunch' at the restaurants is popular. You usually get juice, soup, a plate of rice and chicken or beef, and sometimes a dessert... about $1.50.

One of our faves for a set-lunch is Pincho's, a fun little hole in the wall across from the Museo Pomapungo on Calle Larga (x-street is Huayna Capac). When we were there, we had fresh-squeezed juice (tasted like pineapple/grapefruit), homemade potato soup, a plate of what we think was ground pork and rice and a banana for dessert. Lots of food and good.

Of course, you can spend more for other choices, if you'd like, but it's definitely cheaper to eat lunch in Cuenca than even Grants Pass. Even Burger King costs more than a set-lunch in Ecuador.

Note the plants on our porch!

We found a wonderful nursery, next to the rug shop across from SuperMaxi. 2 good size plants and handmade clay pots, $20. And, potting is included.

A shot of the nursery/greenhouse...Here are the nice ladies who work there, too.

Transportation is inexpensive. Taxi to downtown is about $1.50, buses are about 25 cents, we hear (we haven't been on a bus yet.)

Grocieries at SuperMaxi are about a quarter of the price from what we'd spend in the US. You can do even better at the other markets.

There are some things that are more expensive... US imports (where you buy a brand) and cars! Used cars hold their value so even used are expensive. Overall, it's cheaper to 'buy Ecuadorian'.

Labor is cheap... painters are $25 a day (for an excellent job!), for example.

Meds seem to be lots less expensive, too. Itch cream (that really works!) is a buck. Cold meds, several pills, was less than a buck. We haven't needed to buy refills on the perscriptions yet, but suspect they will be cheaper than the US, too. Doctor visit = $24/each. Our joint appt with the doctor was over an hour... such a deal! And, he's trained in the US and speaks English...

Concerts, with some pretty good artists, in the park.... free. Several museums are free, too. Entry to see the wonderful architecture and artifacts in the churches is usually free, unless there is a renovation fee (but that's small...)

I guess most everything in Ecuador is cheaper than the USA...

So, to our USA friends and family, if you want to save $ (and have a blast!), come on down!

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