Thursday, June 20, 2013

American Licensed Psychologist living in Quito.

Hello everyone.  I would like to introduce to everyone in the expat community an American Psychologist who is now living in Quito.  He has been in the country for a few months and decided to open up his services to local expats here.  His name is Dr. William I. Perry and and his license number is #PSY10384.

He offers Online Therapy for help with Alcoholism, Drug Addictions, Anxiety, Depression
Internet Therapy Sessions via Skype.  If you struggle with any of these problems and are seeking help it wouldn't be a bad idea to contact him directly through his website .

I just thought I would spread the word since there are so few working professionals here in Ecuador.

Unrelated to my posting but I thought you all might enjoy this little skyline snapshot I grabbed of Quito.


Sunday, June 16, 2013

Quito Traffic "Que Bestia!"

I promised in the beginning I would keep it real, upfront, and honest throughout all of my blog posts.  So as promised I am here to tell you one of Quito's ugliest and most brutal realities.


This is where you will spend a ton of your time if you live in Quito

I mean it is really bad.  Absolutely horrible.  This is being typed from the hands of a Los Angeles native driver, so that in it self should say a lot.  But seriously, my 10 mile commute is actually an hour and a half at a minimum. 

The miniature version of "streets" you find in certain sections of the city, plus the street lights that are green for a whole 1.8 seconds on major intersections, multiplied by the over abundance of mid sized and large SUV's here in Quito, only begins to describe this mess.  (massive run on sentence I know)

Everyday congestion in the city of Quito

If you must drive here, You will find these many little caveats or unwritten rules helpful:

  • It is perfectly OK to be all the way in the right lane on a 3 lane road, then suddenly make a left turn without using your signal.  This works both ways. 
  • It is also perfectly acceptable to park in the middle of the street to send a text message, make a phone call, or even get out to buy some street food.  
  • If you own a motorcycle you are allowed to drive pretty much anywhere you can make your bike go, even down stairs.    
  • Running a red light is perfectly OK after sunset or on Sunday, however the concept of what "Right on red" is has not caught on yet, even though it is actually legal here. 
  • Buses are above the law and actually gain 50 points for every car they run into.  Blue buses have diplomatic immunity.
  • People will beep at the people in front of them to go when the light is still red, even if it is a police officer in front of them.
  • The space between the two lanes on the road is actually another lane, if your car can fit.   
By following these unwritten laws, you will survive driving here in Quito.  Good luck. 


Monday, June 10, 2013

Getting my Cedula.

Hello everyone.  It has been quite a while since I have posted.  Only because I have been extremely busy piecing together my new life here.  I finally got my Ecuadorian "Cedula" which is great, considering how complicated it can be to go through that process.  I was ready with my perfect "carpeta" with all my apostilled and translated documents they needed to properly process my Ecuadorian ID card.  Well, it turns out when I got my Visa, one of the required papers for my Cedula had my last name as "Bruner Ii" instead of "Bruner II", which made the whole process a nightmare.  The Registro Civil wouldn't take my paperwork and they made me go back to the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores to have my name corrected.

When I got to the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores they told me it was impossible to change it, then printed out an email they wrote internally stating this.  I had to go back to the Registro Civil with this paper, which proved to be helpful... for now.

So I keep shuffling through the endless lines getting passed back and forth to different cubicles and windows until finally I land in the area where they are supposed to take my photo for my ID card.  When I sit down with my approved paperwork, the lady decides to review the papers one more time.  Just my luck.  When she looks at my paperwork she notices that they put my middle name where my last name was supposed to be on the paperwork.  Not a big deal right?  OH YES.  Big deal here in Ecuador.  Every paper has to be perfect.  She told me she could not process my Cedula until this was fixed.  My face and eyes turned into an inferno and I nearly turned into the Human Torch hearing this.  I was close to exploding.  I looked at her computer screen and said, "Can't you just type it into your computer correctly?", in Spanish.  She responded "That is impossible" and rudely told me to go.  She must have really been proud of her position of authority.  I saw clearly on her computer screen she could type whatever name she wanted.  I realized it was pointless to fight so I went home in defeat, then went back the next day to the Registro Civil to fix the same stupid piece of paper again.

Turning Point:

When I arrived at the Registro Civil the next day, I had an epiphany.  When they made my original document they could not make my name "Bruner II" because their system was set up to automatically capitalize the first letter of each name and make every letter afterwards lower cased.  As a result, my name became "Bruner Ii".  With this discovery, I decided not only will I get my Cedula TODAY, but I will also teach the girl behind the counter a little trick so the next "II" that tries to enter this country won't have to go through the hell I went through.

It is simple actually.  In most fonts a capital I looks exactly like a lower case L, so my solution was to make my "II" by having the clerk on the other side type "Il".  It took a lot of convincing and humbling to the kind girl on the other side but she finally tried it and it worked like a charm.  She cracked a thankful smile and I was happy to make her day as she did mine.  She also corrected the other error on the document and returned it to me to submit again.

I returned to the Registro Civil with renewed vigor and energy, along with positive thoughts, which paid off dearly.  Not only was the document corrected right, but in the same morning the Registro Civil decided they no longer needed 1,000,000 pieces of paper to hand out a Cedula.  They were going "Paperless".  My paperwork (what was left of it) was finally approved and my photo was taken.  I was able to pick up my Cedula 3 days later.  It was a hard fought battle but I remain VICTORIOUS.  I would never wish my experience upon anyone, but I have also heard of worse experiences.  The moral of the story is, if you can afford it, get a facilitator to handle these type of matters on your behalf.

Wish me luck... My driver's license is next.