If you like, they’ll take care of everything for you here!

So good to see our own place again! After a nice holiday in Europe, we safely returned to Quito this week. It’s always exciting to return home after such a long absence, and to see how the house and the garden survived. Our lawn clearly suffered this time, and the low water level in our pond was also quite alarming.

It must have been very dry in Quito during the past couple of weeks. The warm summer wind blew lots of dust around. I hardly recognise my own car underneath the layer of dirt. The footprints of our cats on the windshield remind us we left our furry friends in charge of house-sitting.

When the first suitcases are unpacked and the washing machine has been set to work, I can no longer resist – that car really needs a scrub! Immediately. Luckily, there’s a well-equipped car wash a few minutes down the road. For less than ten dollars, they’ll make you feel like a royal: they wash, vacuum, polish and wax. The full treatment!

While three men are working on my hubcaps, I get myself a cup of coffee and a newspaper. Whether it’s the car wash, the shoeshiner or the pump attendant, you rarely have to strain yourself here. It starts as soon as you arrive at the airport, with boys waiting to assist with your suitcases. From picking them up at the baggage carousel to loading them into your car. If you like, they’ll take care of everything for you here!

The same is true when you go grocery shopping, for example. Forget about trying to find a coin for a trolley and having to load and unload all those bags yourself. It’s all done for you here. You’ll find a person (often a student) at every checkout, who sorts and packs your groceries and delivers them to your car for a small, voluntary fee. It is so normal here, that rejecting the service would almost be considered impolite.

And this VIP service isn’t just all around in our everyday life, I recognise it at work too. Quality inspectors visiting farms for example, are immediately assisted by nursery workers when they ask to see certain flowers. We’re never left trying to find our way through a pile of boxes. It’s efficient and convenient. It makes life here very comfortable and allows many people to make a bit of money at the same time!

Victor van Dijk,

Arae manager South America, FleuraMetz

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