January 06, 2012

We've Found a Few More Big Bugs in Cuenca and ANOTHER Tarantula Spider in our House!

We've seen some weird big beetle bugs and some huge moths and another tarantula in the house crawling around in the dining room. Where did he come from? How many more tarantulas will we see in the house! Still not that many mosquitoes though.

January 03, 2012

We Built a Couch Table for the Living Room

In this video the boys built a couch table to go behind the couch. We have also built another couch and this time we videotaped the whole thing, step by step for those of you who might be interested in building your own furniture. This video will be coming soon, so be on the lookout for it.

January 02, 2012

Dentists in Cuenca Ecuador

Frank in the dental chair

Doing research for our new eBook the DIY Cuenca Landing Guide, Frank and I have stumbled upon some wonderful dental offices. We have checked out several dentists throughout Cuenca for cleanliness, prices, and standard of dental work and equipment. 

As you know, doing research such as this takes time and knowing a little bit of Spanish. Most of the times when researching for good dentists we also have to sit and wait to talk with the dentist so we can talk with him or her about the dental procedures they do and prices and such. 

The other day we walked into a sparkling clean, bright and cheery dental office with the friendliest people and with the biggest smiles we have ever seen—we felt so welcome and we think you will too.

After we asked prices and were told that having your teeth cleaned was only $5 more than the last dentist we talked to, plus the atmosphere was more inviting and the staff so friendly, Frank and I decided to make an appointment to have our teeth cleaned. They did a thorough (45 minutes each) job using top of the line equipment and dental instruments. 

After the teeth cleaning procedure was over, we then asked prices for all the common dental work procedures from getting a cavity filled to getting dental plates, bridges and root canals. We were so impressed with the quality of care, staff and atmosphere at this dental office we both made appointments with her to have some small cavities filled and a couple teeth pulled.  

You will find the prices for most dental work in the DIY Cuenca Landing Guide. We do not list specific dentists in the guide but we do list prices for popular dental procedures in the guide for you to use as a guide when looking for a dentist. 

Be looking out for all the particulars of our dental research in the up and coming DIY Cuenca Landing Guide ebook. This ebook ALL about Cuenca is packed full of reliable information from important contacts to how to find a good rental in Cuenca.  

We know the DIY Cuenca Landing guide will make your visit or move to Cuenca easier, more fulfilling and less stressful, and a lot less expensive! 

If you have dental work that needs to be done and you’re moving to Cuenca, you might just want to put it off and get your dental work done here and save hundreds and possibly thousands of dollars! 

BTW, thank you to all of our readers who have suggested things that they would like to see in the DIY Cuenca guide book. Everyone's suggestions have been important to us. We will be adding them to the guide book, if we haven't already listed them. 

January 01, 2012

Prices in Ecuador are NOT What is Listed

It’s kind of funny and annoying at the same time. In Ecuador you have to be very careful when you shop. The reason being is many items ring up different than what the price says. This issue is not surprising but it is annoying, and many times different means paying more for something.

Almost every time we go shopping, no matter where at, we have had to let the cash register attendant know that we did not want an item because it rang up for more than what it said on the price tag below the item.  We explain a couple of our personal experiences below. 

Now we’re not sure if you’re like us when you go shopping, but we look at prices. When a can of Ecuadorian white tuna says $1.22 we expect to pay $1.22 at the cash register but when it rings up as $1.49 we question it every time. Now this takes time, especially when you’re shopping in Coral because it is almost always busy at Coral unless it is early in the morning. Most of the time, because of time constraints, if an item rings up higher than what the price actually says we simply leave the item and don’t buy it. 

To some of you folks reading this you may be thinking the difference does not seem to be that much, but over time the difference does add up and if you’re not diligent it can and will add $5 to $10 dollars more on your weekly shopping bill, and even up to $40 more on your monthly shopping bill.  Some folks may not care about that too much but $40 can go a lot further here on food than in North America. 

For weeks the price of 15 organic brown eggs at Coral were showing $1.80 as the price below the eggs. We are pretty diligent and check the price below items carefully when shopping.  We make sure it is the same exact item by referencing the number on the product and the number on the price sticker below it. Here is what kept transpiring for weeks every time we shopped for the $1.80 eggs. 

We get to the check out the eggs ring up as $2.43 again. Umm nope, that is not the price. We wait and wait to have someone go back and check the price. She comes back and says in Spanish, “Yes, that’s the price, but the computer says $2.43 so we have to sell the eggs for that price. Frank puts on a big smile and tells them in his best Spanish (we’re sure he has an accent though) “Oh, ok, well forget it then, we don’t want the eggs at that price”. We leave the eggs sitting there on the counter, again, for like the tenth time. 

We go shopping quite frequently and this went on for some time with the eggs. We're very easy going people and do not complain but rather "show". We're not trying to be difficult; we just want to buy the food at the price it says on the item, not for what it rings up for at the cash register.

One day, about two weeks later, after doing this every time we went shopping, the eggs finally rang up as they appear on the price below them, $1.80, and we gave them a big friendly smile and told them “gracias over and over again and bought the eggs. This happened when we first got here, and to this day the eggs now always ring up as what the price says. A Coral employee must have changed the price "in the computer system" and all it took was probably less than a minute to do so. Now if they would just do the rest of the food products, that would be great!

We think that more people need to balk at higher price difference even if it is only $0.20 cents more. We do this because it is the only way to get the prices right. $0.20 cents or $30 at the end of the month won’t break you but it is the principle of the thing. 

In one store that we frequent often, Frank literally takes the store manager to the actual price of the item and shows her that the price is not what it is ringing up as, and she gives us the lower price every time. Doing this takes her away from her normal duties as manager, which helps them to realize they need to do some reorganization in their store.

Sometimes, if we really need a particular item and we don’t have time to go anywhere else, we relent, but not without balking, and go ahead and buy the item. This happened with some paint brushes that we needed that we were buying at “True Value Hardware”. The price was $0.75 each but wouldn’t you know it, they rang up as $0.98 cents each. But the boys were building me a new table for the living room and we needed them for staining so we bought the brushes. 

This kind of thing happens to us often at the cash register and we usually let the attendant know about the price discrepancy; sometimes we buy the item, but mostly we don’t.  This is a problem in all stores, even Supermaxi grocery store so it is probably not going away any time soon. 

Consumers can help to remedy this problem by letting the store know that the price below the item on the tag is showing a different price. It is up to you if you still want to buy the item or not, but if more people would take the time to let the store know their register prices do not reflect the item price, it may start to get them more organized from within.

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