Something for the ladies…

If you are looking into moving to Manta, or your husbands are, I’m sure you have been hearing all about the affordable real estate located on breathtaking beaches and vistas around the area. I’m sure you have been getting earfuls of how cheap the food is, how easy transportation is, and how Ecuador is the leading exporter of this and that and then about that time we all start hearing womp womp womp…

I’d like to tell you from a ladies point of view that it is much more exciting. Yes we all want to live on the beach with a gorgeous view and an endless pool, I don’t think that idea is bothering us, but we want to know that when we get here there is going to be… you know… girl stuff.

Here’s what I’m getting at.  In the states we can go to almost any strip mall and sit down in a nail salon and dish out $50 for a manicure and $30 for a pedicure…easy. We can also splurge once or twice a year for a facial, bite our nails as we decide if dying our hair is worth the $80+ chair fee, and talk ourselves out of the Swedish massage because we just can’t justify an hours worth of comfort for the murderous price. I cringe thinking about how many times I’ve hit the ATM before an appointment and then realize at the end of my short-lived moment of luxury that I am going to have to make a trip back before I can even go to the grocery store.

So while the boys are talking about investment growth rates and deep sea fishing, you and I can go live the good life and get some pampering. Here in Manta we girls recognize we are spoiled with inexpensive beauty treatments at our fingertips. Our super clean, colorful, and pretty fingertips to lay it on thick. I frequent an American style salon called Fancy Nails, where it cost me $15 to have both a spa style manicure and pedicure with massage chairs and all. And when I say all I mean imported OPI tools and polishes, a glass of wine, coffee, or tea, and delicate finger pastries and goodies. We also all know that in the States that French Tips or cute designs can cost an extra $1 per finger at most places, but not here! I pathetically admit that it takes me most of my session to decide on which fun colors and design combinations I want to try for the week.

And that’s just nails! Haircuts, including styling start at $6. Dye jobs typically start at $15 and go upward the longer your hairs is, but are typically half of what you would pay in the states. Facial treatments and estheticians services are more bang for your buck scenarios here and are not for the faint of heart. A facial is around $20 for an hour long session and the types of treatments make up a list longer than Santa’s. Massages are a standard $20 per hour to have a masseuse come to your condo and $46 to go to the spa in the ritziest hotel in Manta. Basically for a third of the price of a massage in the states, a masseuse will come to you so you can keep drooling on your pillow long after they are gone.

So while moving to a new country with a different language, strange food, and crazy cab drivers can seem daunting there are some more glamorous perks to help assimilate you into the laidback and affordable lifestyle you are seeking.