Featured Post

Monday, September 9, 2013

What We Have and What We Don't Have

WHEW!!  I'm waaaay late in getting another post out to y'all.  Saw wee.

I think it's about time for another list of pseudo-observations and maybe even a tiny dose of my (MY!!) opinion tossed in.   In fact, I'll mix it up a bit so some reader's blood pressure doesn't get too high before a pressure relief valve kicks in.


First a disclaimer.  These are not 101%, black and white, all or none, no-exception statements.  These are 'generalities'.  If I were to say "I never go to Walmart" I mean it would be RARE you'll find me in a Walmart.  It doesn't mean never Never NEVER in my entire life time have I or will I EVER step foot in a Walmart!!!  (unlike my Ex who pretty much held me to the latter...thus now being my EX!!!).

What we DO have:

  • Graffiti
  • Kids walk home from school by themselves
  • Kids play in their yards, empty lots, and streets unattended
  • Dogs running amok
  • KFC, Burger King, Pizza Hut, and soon...ugh...McDonalds
  • School kids in uniforms
  • Young people respect their elders
  • Doctors who give you their home phone #
  • Playgrounds with zip-lines for kids
  • Families that gather for meals...home-cooked from scratch
  • Elderly/pregnant/disabled go to the front of the line or have dedicated lines set aside for them
  • $1.48 a gallon gas
What we DON'T have:
  • Homeless sleeping under bridges, on park benches, under stairwells, in park bushes
  • Gangs (remember my disclaimer!)
  • Drug addicts, drug-ladened themed parties, needle exchange programs
  • Every other driver talking on their cells
  • When a financial institution goes down, the rich that get reimbursed first.  (More like it's the poor, disabled, elderly, and people with low balances).
  • Beggars asking for something for nothing
  • Coffee addiction
  • Veterans with cardboard signs wanting handouts as if being a Veteran obligates you to fork over
  • Junk mail
  • Newspapers 2 inches thick (more like 15 pages)
  • Frivolous lawsuits
  • Attorneys beckoning you to call them if you were in an accident, no matter if you were hurt or not, no matter whether it was your fault or not
  • Gun toting society
  • People telling kids not to talk to strangers
  • Pet shelters
  • Programs for spay/neuter
  • Jack in the Box, Daves, Taco Bell, Carls Jr, All you Can Eat Buffets
  • Lean Cuisine, Healthy Choice, Weight Watchers, and Swansons frozen dinners
  • Cops in souped up cars
  • Car-chases
  • General aviation airports
  • Limousines
  • Cars with huge gas-guzzling engines
  • Gigantic SUV's, 4x4's that never touch a dirt road, or trucks that require you to pole-vault to get in
  • 127 ounce Big Gulps
  • Cash-back at check-out counters
What we DO have:
  • Requirement that all citizens MUST vote
  • 2-3 month long presidential election campaign
  • Discounts for paying property taxes early
  • Neighborhood hardware stores, bakeries, and mom/pop groceries
  • 50% discount on busses, airfare for senior citizens
  • Sales Tax reimbursement for senior citizens
  • Mormons and Jehovahs Witnesses knocking on your door
  • Gay marriage (albeit a different name)
  • Dollar coins (and we love em)
  • 8.0% paid on gov’t insured CD’s (the decimal on the right of the number vs the left)
  • Attendants who fill your car with gas
  • Employees who take your groceries to your car
  • Strangers who say 'Good Morning' 'Good Afternoon', 'Good Evening' to you even though you may not have even made eye contact with them
  • Civic projects that get done in quick-time, not bogged down in lawsuits and NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) attitudes
  • Young people who WANT to work at fast food restaurants, hotels, street cleaning, laborers, etc
  • People washing their clothes and bedding in the rivers
  • Cows and chickens in regular neighborhoods
  • Zona de Tolerance where prostitution is legal
  • Free civic performances (ie; Symphony)
What we DON'T have:
  • Costco (darn it)
  • Clothes for larger-sized people, people over 5’10
  • Shoes larger than 10 ½
  • Parking lots riddled with abandoned shopping carts
  • 57 parking slots for (the supposed) handicapped in front of every store
  • Handicapped placards in car windows, not necessarily belonging to the handicapped
  • On-shore global ‘partners’ who ‘help’ us do our jobs (aka ‘outsourcing’)
  • A lot of use of credit
  • Buy 10 get the 11th free coffee, haircut, car wash, manicure, donuts, puppies punch-cards
  • Personalized license plates
  • Double wides
  • Single wides
  • Triple wides
  • Manufactured houses
  • Camping trailers
  • Motorhomes
  • Express lanes
  • Amber alerts
  • Christmas tree lots
  • Mass shootings
  • Hollyweird
  • Wars
  • Vente double mocha, two and ½ pumps of chocolate, non-fat, 13 cubes of French spring-water ice, ½ packet Splenda, stirred not shaken in a bio-diversity cup, decaf, wrapped in a cozy
  • Alleys
  • Sea of homes all with red-tiled roofs, and their colors range between white, off white, beige, tan, creme and when you visit your neighbor you know where the bathroom is because it's the same layout as your house.
  • Hummers
  • School kids competing with one another over the label of the clothes they wear or the gadgets they use
  • Dishwashers and garbage disposals in homes
  • Clothes dryers in many homes
  • Traffic jammed freeways
  • Underground gas lines
  • Parking meters
  • Hamburger helper
  • Outrageous medical costs/premiums
  • 10-minute doctor appts (more like 45)
  • Prescriptions required to purchase medication
  • Starbucks
  • Foreigners demanding we speak their language, signs in their language, documents in their language, take down our religious images because they're not religious, etc
  • $5 gas
  • Endless barrage of commercials telling us we need to take this or that pill....but, if we do....we may die from cancer or heart attack, get phlebitis, lose a limb, may need a new kidney, or not be able to get it up anymore
  • Real estate for sale lockboxes or signposts with flyers
  • MLS
  • Escrow companies
  • Appraisal companies
  • Inspection companies
  • Year-long political campaigns
  • Terrorists
  • OSHA
  • The Kardashians
  • Highway rest stops
  • Ice, snow, hurricanes, tornadoes
  • Hand sanitizer every 50' in the halls of buildings everywhere
  • Walmart
  • Attorneys that charge $500 an hour
  • Car dealer shop rates starting at $120 an hour (more like $25)
  • 20% tipping, tipping at the drycleaner, ice cream stand, quikimart, gynecologist, etc.  Debates whether the tip should be on the total bill, the bill minus the sales tax, double the tax, or the bill minus cocktails.
  • Candy/soda vending machines
  • Credit scores
  • Two 1/2 Men
  • Built-in heating systems in houses
  • Double-pane thermal windows
  • I-pod, I-pad., I-phone, I-book, I-shit for every person in the house
  • Flat-screen tv in every room of the house
  • Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem, Weight Watchers
  • Slurpees

Enjoy the photos, though they have absolutely NOTHING to do with the context of this post!!!


Street performer juggling for tips.  Not just sticking his hand out expecting something for nothing...actually EARNING his income!

My neighbor kids creating their own fun in the empty lot next door.  First, a crude wooden ladder, then add a few more sticks of wood to climb higher, then tie a rope around a limb and the other end to a tire and VOILA....a fun swing!!!
I bought an Ion-Cleanse detoxifying thingie you soak your feet in and all kinds of toxins get sucked out (see earlier blog entry).  With the purchase, I got this handy-dandy pop-up sauna for FREE!!!  A $135 value (yeah, right).

One of my favorite roses in my garden.

The cupped petals are interesting on this rose in my garden.

I could never get Calla Lilies to grow back home in the Seattle area.  Here, mine are dang near 4 feet tall!!!
Some of my neighbors 'The Waddlers'

Yet another old bridge I find so charming.

I have 3 hummingbird feeders outside my kitchen window and they are kept hummin!!

Meet 'Marcelo', a new little shit I adopted a few months ago.

I forgot how true the phrase 'curious cat' is.  Look atop the kitchen cabinets.

They all have their own dishes and they know which one is who's.  That's RIGHT....I TRAIN THEM!!

GRACIE!!!   This is about Marcelo...not YOU!!!   Now get outa my blog!!!

And now, a word from our Sponsor (me)


  1. I just can't wait to get there Dano. Two more years. I hope they fly by soon. Fed up with the rest of the world, looking for a simple living.

  2. One thing you forgot in the DON"T have here column is.....an attitude of entitlement! And, one thing for the DO column is.....too many gringos who come here totally unprepared for the reality of living here

  3. Another "Don't Have": High Medical Costs!
    The U.S. places #2 in health-care cost per capita at $8,608, while Ecuador ranks #42 at $332. Switzerland has the highest cost per capita at $9,121.
    When health care costs are calculated as a percentage of GDP per capita, the United States is the worst at 17.2%, followed by Greece and the Netherlands at 13.0%. Ecuador only spends 6.1% of its GDP per capita on health care.
    Do you mind emailing me at vargha@nc.rr.com?
    I want to send you a note that is not posted online.
    Tar Heel Thanks!

  4. Wow, Dano! What a l-o-n-g FUN list! Bet you've been accumulating these ideas for quite a while ... thank you for pulling them together. You certainly give lots of specifics about the high life quality in Cuenca. Thank you!

    -- Your Fans, Chuck & Betsy

  5. I just love everything you write... Makes me homesick :-)

  6. Love these...your great!
    Thanks a bunch...very helpful
    plan to move to Cuenca in 8 months
    Yes, running away!


Wanna leave a comment? PLEASE DO!!

It's not very intuitive, so let me help you...
1. Write your comment
2. From the list of Comment As, just select Anonymous
3. If you want me to know who you are, simply type your name inside the comment box, at the end.
4. Press the Publish button
5. Click the box I'm Not a Robot
6. Press the Publish button again
7. If a 'test question' comes up, answer it and press the button
8. If you passed the 'test question' press Publish

About Me

My photo
Palma, Mallorca, Spain
This is all about my transition from an American lifestyle and culture to my newest adventure, life in Spain, in the city of Palma on the island of Mallorca in the middle of the Mediterranean sea!! I moved from the USA to Cuenca, Ecuador, South America and lived there for 7 years before moving here to Spain in early 2018. To read about my adventures in Ecuador, check out my other blog "Ahhh Cuenca!!". I'll be recapping some of my day-to-day experiences (and mishaps) to highlight what it's like to live in Europe....across the pond.

Total Views