Posted by: standing_baba | September 17, 2009

UPDATE: Tumbaco, Ecuador

UPDATE: The feeling is universal. You’ve just returned from a relaxing vacation—a summer of lazy pool days, a short tropical get-away, a long weekend at the lake—only to find your home sweet home a bit different than you left it. Bills spill from the mailbox, the Aloe Vera bottle is empty, your laundry is dirty, bread moldy, milk curdled, and the dog shat in the most unusual places. It’s hard to sleep Sunday night—your to-do list smirks from the desktop of some unlit room, waiting. Yes, the real world is patient like cement.

Ecuador says hello

Ecuador says hello

After 10 incredible days traveling Ecuador with my friend Genest, my to-do list also waits. Risking deportation and the latest waterboard techniques (well, taxation anyway), Genest smuggled me electronics purchased in the United States to sell here in Ecuador. (The government heavily taxes foreign-made goods, making products sometimes twice as costly). Through Trevor Inc. Ecuadorians will get fair-priced products and my travel expenses will be kept in check. Everyone wins. Except the government.

Guayasamin's Paintings of Quito

Guayasamin's Paintings of Quito

Now I have iPod Nanos out my ears and a MacBook to sell before I can head south toward Peru. Game plan? Flyers at private universities, posts on Ecuador’s eBay equivalent, Mercadolibre, alliances with Shawarma stand owners (they know everyone!), and good old fashioned salesmanship. I’ll spent the next week—hopefully less—talking to anyone and everyone who may be interested. If all goes well I’ll recuperate almost half my travel expenses to date.

My Delivery

My Delivery

Genest also delivered several books I ordered online and shipped to her home. I’ve already finished two and exchanged them for two more with a friendly British chap in Quito. Life of Pi is an excellent read. Highly recommended. The yellow dry bag is to make my SLR digital camera more accessible (attached to bike trailer) so I can take spontaneous photos without having to rummage through Bob’s insides. The business cards are to spread the word: Me, Bob, and Surly are on the road. Thank you, bro. Lastly, the iPod Classic is mine. After passing through Colombia without music, I’ll once again have a soundtrack to my life, happily deaf to my outloud sung songs. I’m thinking Crystal Method, Gorillaz, and raw punk for uphill energy, maybe Opera on the downcurve. My friend Andy Rowell swears Pavoratti and Farinelli bring you closer to God when skiing the Rockies….

Nora, Maxime, and Diego---Casa de Ciclista Crew

Nora, Maxime, and Diego---Casa de Ciclista Crew

Until iPods are sold I’ll stay at a Casa de Ciclistas in Tumbaco, 15 kilometers outside Quito, the same place I left Bob and Surly during my mini-vacation with Genest. Honestly, I feel like part of a family here. In the near future a post will be dedicated to Santiago, my bike-loving Ecuadorian father, his lovely wife and daughters, and his cozy estate that so many cyclists have called home. I may continue south with Maxime and Nora, two French bikers also staying at the Casa de Ciclistas. We’ve been talking Amazon instead of Sierra, but in true Latin fashion routes and dates are still undecided.

Wheeling and dealing smuggled Apple gear will be my priority for the next week. Since my business plan includes internet, I’ll do my best to post some updates, maybe poetry if inspired. In the meantime, I dumped some new photos into my Flickr account. Soon I will label them with background information and anecdotes, of which there are many.

I hope everyone is well.


  1. Keep me (us) posted on the apple products. I’m very interested in how that turns out.

    • Terry, I owe you a mail. Trust me, it’s been on my mind. The sales have been frustrating, unfortunately. Tonight I’m 99% sure I’ll sell my computer. I’m going to the negotations table with a university student and his father. The father talks like a lawyer on the phone. Should be fun. The iPods, on the other hand, have been hit and miss. I’ve sold two; I have seven left. Ecuadorians I’m finding are very trendy, always wanting the newest product at the lowest price. The 5th generation iPod Nano is coming soon, and its arrival like red tide for my sales. I’m going to write a post about what I’ve learned after I sell all my goods.

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