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Legal thoughts from Ecuador

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We're currently catching up on blogging, but our thought is to write posts in parallel: some catching up on the U.S. trip, some describing our time in Ecuador, and some just "fun" posts. Such as this one, which is probably more interesting to our lawyer readers.

Where art thou, Lysol?: After a week on the Encantada (about which much more later), my sandals, some of our clothing, and my luggage was a bit odorous. The clothing was easy to handle--launderias were thick on the ground near our hotel--but the luggage and sandals were a trickier matter. They could be cleaned, but some deodorizer was in order. My go-to tools for this would be Lysol or Febreze.

While the Ecuador supermarkets stock dozens of air fresheners in familiar brands (e.g., Glade), they didn't have Lysol or Febreze. This struck me as odd, because I had seen a Lysol advertisement on cable TV. When I saw the same advertisement later (playing on the widescreen at Red Hot Chili Peppers Mexican restaurant--great margaritas, FYI), even I could translate the fine print from the Spanish: only available in the U.S., Costa Rica, and Panama. I have no idea why this is true, but I assume it's some environmental or health concern.


Can I sue tort lawyers for having given me a false sense of security?: While aboard the Encantada, we ran out of soap. Fortunately, we had a port day on Santa Cruz the next day, so we were able to buy a bottle of Bath & Body Works shower gel. (The choices were limited--the port being somewhat designed to extract funds from tourists--and this was actually the least expensive thing we found.) We expected that this would last far longer than the Galapagos trip.

Unfortunately, the bottle was dropped in the shower. (No shame there: the Encantada is a small boat, and rocks considerably. Showering is a once-a-day challenge, especially if the boat is moving.) When it dropped, it brought home the fact that we are not in the United States: the bottle shattered.

I can't remember the last time I bought a consumer-grade bath product bottled in plastic that would break like glass, complete with sharpish edges. Fortunately I managed to collect the remainder of the soap into other containers we happened to be carrying, and what I saved lasted the remainder of the trip. Even better, no one was hurt by stepping or falling on the bottle. Still, it provided the legal equivalent of culture shock. There are places in the world where the consumer is not protected from nearly every consequence of his actions or errors!

Wanted: Senorita!: While wandering around Otavalo, we saw several shop windows adorned with signs saying "Wanted: a [young/unmarried] woman for position in bakery" or "Young men wanted to...." Obviously not something one sees in New York.

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Try exposing your bags and shoes to a few powerful hours of sunlight, supposing you have the opportunity to do that safely.

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