The whole world for 2 dollars

August 9, 2007  
Topics: Ecuador

Which kind of shops exist the most in Cuenca? The first place would probably get kiosks selling mobile phone accessories. They also offer phone cards and phone “unlocking” services… Seems it is a big business here.

Almost every corner hosts an Internet Cafe ($0.50-$1.00). In my opinion, these settlements can easily win the third place in the competition of quantity.

new computer and no programs? do not worry, here you can get what you need...

new computer and no programs? do not worry, here you can get what you need...

So, what we have missed in the second position? Of course, we forgot the shops where for 2 dollars you can by the whole world. I am talking about DVD, CD and computer program shops. In one of those places I got an installation of Windows XP operating system with all registration codes for only 2 dollars. The same price goes for any other imaginable computer software. If you cannot find what you need in the shelf, ask for the catalog. You will be presented with a huge folder containing endless long lists of software screenshots. Some of these cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars in the “white market”. Just tell what you need and in the evening the disk will be prepared especially for you.

in town for $1,5 - $2


newest cinema hits included

To tell the truth, these shops make the best business by selling DVD movies and music CDs. For $1.5 one will find the newest and the oldest Hollywood and European DVD movies. The quality is equal to originals. I remember 5 years ago in China you could get DVDs for 1 dollar. The bad thing about them was that the film quality was really bad (recorded in a cinema or similar environment), with low quality sound, and disks usually scratched causing damage to DVD players. One in Ecuador can be happy – the pirats here count on quality as they respect their clients expectations…





copies of music and movies everywhere

Since we are going to stay in Ecuador for a couple of months, we bought 2 old computers. One of them, luckilly has a DVD player. Guess what, in the first weeks we caught the “movie-sickness”… Now we have about 10 movies in our shelf. So, if you will come to visit us, be ready for home-cinema! 🙂

Few days ago we had lunch in the vegetarian restaurant “Paradise” (here a big dish costs only $1.20, but that is another story…). There was a boy with a backpack wandering around the tables offering to buy movies from him. He pushed towards us the movie “Transporters”. Sorry, we don’t like such movies. I tried to be picky in order to get rid of that boy in a polite manner.

“We prefer more serious movies, like “Amellie” or the Italian movie “Life is beautiful”.
“Ok, wait a minute…”

He searched his backpack and presented 4 films: a silly commedy, two kind of discovery-channel documentaries and an unknown movie, which had something like pinocchio on its cover. The boy took these disks one by one into his palm and presented a professional review for each of the movies. Meanwhile I was thinking how much patience this boy will still have. I found critics for all of the films. Finally the boy left only 2 disks: a documentary about animals and the one with the pinocchio image. Actually, I was not sure if it is pinocchio. The figure did not have a very long nose. I was a bit confused.

I tried to make a brake, in other words, to change the topic: “would you like an apple”, I asked the boy? “Sure, I like them”, followed his answer… I gave him 2 apples. Another boy holding a socker ball in his hand approached our table. “What do you sell?”, I asked. “Oh, this is my younger brother…”, explained our young disk seller.

even very old Mexican classics

even very old Mexican classics

A little bit more of movie propaganda, plus my skepticism and finally only one single disk remained on the table. Uh, what a difficult job to be picky… I looked at that unknown pinocchio-non-pinocchio movie, and tried to continue my story “we do not like such movies… we enjoy to watch something where we have some thoughts after the story…” Well, it seems the boy caught my weakest point. He was pointing to the only disk left on the table and claimed, “this movie has a very beautiful message. ya ya ya ya…” Sorry, I did not really get that message after listening to him. But it seems he has good arguments for my skepticism…

We started to play a game. I was pushing the disk towards the boy, and he was doing the same towards me. I was searching for critics of the movie, and he was playing with my weakness – he was happy to announce that this especially selected movie has A MESSAGE!

Katja had fun, and I was loosing the battle: “How much does it cost?”
“Only one dollar.”
“Alright then, give me that movie…” – I lost… Let it be the boy’s gift for his patience and abilities to talk. I looked closer to the image on the cover. The figure looked more like a street cleaner, than pinocio…

“Where do you buy those movies?”, I wanted to know the secret of his business.
“Well, I work with the United States”, came the answer from our young businessman who would probably never reveal details of his business.

When we got home, I noticed that it is not a DVD, but an ordinary Compact Disk. I inserted the CD into our PC’s player. The movie appeared to be in Spanish, probably made in Latin America. Not very good quality. I told that boy before that if I will not like the story, he will have to change me the disk… But for now, let this movie get dusty on our shelf, and let’s wait for a depressive mood to watch it…