An Indian Girl’s Guide to Ecuador

(A short, not-comprehensive-at-all, possibly biased list of things that
might help you thrive in Ecuador)


If you have two bottles of 100% pure Parachute coconut oil for your hair
in an environment that is 20℃ or less, and no access to a heat source, you
will have to buy very expensive extra virgin olive oil and pray that your
hair will not get frizzy.

When you tell people you are from India, they will ask you which
continent it is in.

The rupee-to-dollar exchange rate is very real and you will end up
spending ₹350 on a 20 minute taxi ride and ₹140 on a coffee that is
literally a sip.

When you put a bindi on your forehead, your neighbour’s dogs, who have
never barked or even given you a second glance, will start barking and
following you.

If you don’t eat meat, fish or eggs, you are not ‘normal’.

Adjusting to unspiced food will be difficult in the beginning but you
will come to enjoy it. Ironically, you will get so used to it that whenever
you eat Indian food, you will get diarrhea.

Aji will become your best friend.

The first time you make *Pav Bhaji*, you won’t realize that your host
family is not used to eating spicy food and put the usual amount. When they
take the first bite, they will start crying.

You probably won’t get the gringo tax because you have brown skin and
dark hair.

When you show your host family what a *saree* looks like, they will want
to wear it. You will be glad that you brought two *sarees* with you then.

You will try to explain things like *mehendi*, Hinduism, Hindu weddings,
arranged marriages, and the *sati* practice in broken Spanish using
Google Translate and fail.

Your host sister is having a baby and your host mom will ask you for
Indian names to name her granddaughter. Your heart will be full, and there
is nothing more you could ask for.