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Greetings, Amerika! Check out the business diversity in Ecuador

Posted 9/13/16

Happy anniversary! As I write this, today, Sept. 6, is the fifth anniversary of us losing our home and possessions in the flood waters of Tropical Storm Lee. 

If the floodgate that is under Route 230 in Lower Swatara Township had not been …

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Greetings, Amerika! Check out the business diversity in Ecuador

Posted

Happy anniversary! As I write this, today, Sept. 6, is the fifth anniversary of us losing our home and possessions in the flood waters of Tropical Storm Lee. 

If the floodgate that is under Route 230 in Lower Swatara Township had not been closed and locked, thus allowing the water to back up and inundate our residence for eight days, we might not be enjoying our new life here in Cuenca, Ecuador. 

But to be fair, thanks also to the various governments’ oppressive taxes that provided the additional impetus for us to make the move.

Hope you enjoyed a great Union Day weekend. The last time I was back in Middletown was two years ago when I returned to participate in the big Union Day fast pitch softball tournament in Elkland. 

When I returned to M-town in 2014, the streets were torn up and there was but a handful of businesses in town. Has that changed? Has that improved? I was thinking about the small business situation in your town when we walked outside of our apartment today. I looked around and saw so many stores, shops, eateries, etc. close to where we live and was curious.

So Olga and I decided to walk one block in each direction from our apartment, (that is, north, south, east and west for the geographically challenged), and make a note of the businesses. I was astounded at the list we compiled which I will share with you. First, across the street from where we live is a market that would be kind of like Saturday’s Market on steroids. It is one block wide by one block long. Here goes with the other stores, shops and businesses within one block:

• Animal feed stores, 4

• Architect, 1

• Auto supplies, 2

• Bank, 1

• Bakeries, 3

• Beauticians, barber, 5

• Bulk nuts, spices, 2

• Business copier sales, 1

• Car repair, 1

• Cellphones, electronics (sales and service), 5

• Christian book store, 1

• Construction distributors, 2

• Copy stores, 2

• Cosmetics, 3

• Credit union, 1

• Dance school, 1

• Day care center, 1

• Dentists, 3

• Doctors, 2

• Eateries, 20

• General stores, 6

• Hardware, 2

• Health drinks, juice, nutrition, supplements, 6

• Interior décor, 1

• Internet cafés, 3

• Jewelry, 1

• Laundromat, 1

• Lawyers, 2

• Locksmiths, key makers, 3

• Machine shops, 2

• Medical clinic, 1

• Mini-markets, 21

• Music, video, 3

• Newspaper stand, 1

• Parking lots, 2

• Peanut butter manufacturing, 1

• Pharmacies, 4

• Physical therapist, 1

• Plant store, 1

• Purse, backpack store, 1

• Real estate, 2

• Seafood, 4

• Seamstress, 1

• Shoes, 1

• Shoe repair, clothing alteration, 4

• Shoe shine stand, 1

• Small appliance repair, 2

• Specialty blender sales and service, 1

• Specialized dairy products, 1

• Sporting goods, clothes, 3

• Stationery, office supplies, 2

• Stores that sell things made of plastic, 3

• Tailor, 1

• Taxi stands, 2

• Thrift stores, 2

• Travel agencies, 2

• Trophies, 4

I kid you not, all within one block – and this does not include all the various street vendors. We live nine blocks from center city. I can’t begin to relate all the retail venues that are in the center of the city and beyond.

Another interesting aspect of business here which one would not see in the USSA, (Uninformed Socialist Slaves of Amerika) – many businesses selling the same type of product are located near each other. 

For example: we were walking on one of the main streets and within two blocks saw 11 different auto parts stores. Within two blocks there are four major appliance/major electronic stores. 

Most appliance stores also sell motorcycles. The biggest sports retailer downtown also sells plumbing fixtures and supplies. Restaurants are very close to one another. Retailing here is definitely a different ball game.

And speaking of anniversaries, our 11th wedding anniversary will be in less than a month. Can you imagine being married to me for 11 years? OK, keep your comments clean and to yourselves!

Until later from beautiful Cuenca ...

Eddy the Expat

Ed O’Connor, a former resident of Middletown and Lower Swatara Township, is an expatriate living in Cuenca, Ecuador.