Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Unreal Expectations in Ecuador

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LaVON: I'll get a bite and go overboard.

[ Laughter ]

Just hang on tight.

NARRATOR: Andrew and LaVon have high expectations

for their hasty move to Ecuador.

LaVON: We expect something perfect

because everything on the Internet

said "live like a king or queen for $500."

-Here we are, guys. -Are you kidding me?

-Check it out. -Wow.

TOM: If they come down with expectations

that everything's going to be the same way

it was in California, then they'll be disappointed.

What is this here? This is interesting.

I just feel so isolated.

Oh, power's out.

All part of the fun.

[ Doorbell rings ]

LaVON: I was in the military for 26 years,

so we traveled and lived abroad.

But a few years ago I actually left active duty

and pursued a career in pharmaceutical sales,

north of downtown Los Angeles.

But at the same time I'm also in the Reserves,

so I'm burning both ends of the stick.


And Andrew works in outside sales,

so we both work in jobs where we're constantly in your car.

And the traffic, the congestion, it's just too much,

and we just didn't want that any more.

And that's when we decided, okay.

The kids moved out so it's a good time to maybe move on.

Stretch both arms out.

NARRATOR: Years as a military family made them comfortable

moving to parts unknown.

So when they read about Ecuador, it sounded too good to pass up.

Everything on the Internet said

"live like a king or queen for $500."

And Andrew's very frugal, so the $500

has stuck in Andrew's head.

I'm on the other hand not serious about the money

but Ecuador covers everything.

You have the mountains, you have the coast.

Their transportation system is impeccable.

You just don't need a car and of course you can really,

really stretch your dollar.

So after all of the research and everything,

we decide let's just go for it.

This is beautiful. Look at this, LaVon.

We're going to start out renting

because we're sort of coming here on a whim.

The biggest challenge is probably going to be

that we really don't know exactly

where we're going to land, what we're going to do.

But we've sort of decided on central coast.

We want to see what it has to offer.

We know everything won't be perfect,

but you know, I'm excited to live

where you can actually have a really good quality of life

and still be able to save some money.

How's your stay? How are you guys liking it so far?

-Oh, this place is awesome. -Yeah?

TOM: LaVon and Andrew are looking for a place where they can

really get a feel for the coast and living in Ecuador.

And I think renting makes a lot of sense really.

I mean, if you come down, it's nice to rent for a while,

make sure that you really like the place.

First of all, I want to keep our options open.

But really what's important to me

is that we have some outside space,

two bedroom, two baths.

I'd like to be on the second floor

versus the first floor.

-Okay. -For privacy.

And, Andrew, what about you? What are you looking for?

We've come to Ecuador based on Ecuador

being inexpensive to live.

So I want to kind of live true to that.


$500 has stuck in Andrew's head,

but I'm open to $1,000 a month.

Right, okay.

Andrew's just this kind of little tight wad

so we've got to loosen him up a little bit while we're here.

Right, right, right.

You can find rents down here

for a few hundred bucks a month,

and so the challenge is in finding a home depends on them.

If they've come down with expectations

that everything's going to be

the same way it was in California,

then they might feel disappointed

just because it's different. It is different.

As you notice, the area is still developing,

and so there is really good value out there,

but it depends, you know,

The balance between comfort and amenities and price.

LaVON: You want the beach in Malibu and Santa Monica

you're talking $10 million. -Right.

And it's mind boggling the price differential you have here.

It's incredible.

Yeah. So we could afford it here.

Right now we're going all the way out to La Boca,

which is kind of at the far southern end of San Jacinto,

right near the river.

Is that what Boca stands for?

Yeah, Boca is the mouth of the river.

This is kind of the more remote end of the spectrum.

-I can feel it. -But you know it's two bedroom,

one and a half baths, And it's $500 a month.

-Is that the Pacific Ocean? -This is incredible?

That's the Pacific Ocean right there.


Yeah, I mean, it's kind of removed, further away.

But it's just a few hundred bucks a month.

TOM: So it really meets Andrew's desire

to save some money and for LaVon,

you have a home all to yourself.

You know, you don't have to necessarily have neighbors.

You have more private space.

-Oh. -Oh, it's dark in here.

That's a little dark. Oh, power's out.


Sometimes that happens here after rain.

-All part of the fun. -Alright.

The downstairs is kind of your main living space.

You have your kitchen, little dining area.

LaVON: It's a nice size kitchen.

No island, but lots of space to chop up all the vegetables.

And you have that shoved right there, you can serve people.

So that's good.

Working go together, so that's good.

I'm loving this table work over here. Look at this.

Oh, my God, This must have been made locally, huh?

Yeah, just up the road there's some gentlemen

that build furniture. -That's beautiful, I love it.

And the two main bedrooms are in the back.

Okay. So they're both about the same size.

Yeah they're both the same size.

And again, it's the same type of simple wooden furniture

that was made by the same gentlemen down the road.

It's screaming Ecuador, you know.

It's beautiful.

The mangrove, the river, the ocean.

Just being able to see that view,

but more important having the privacy.

The price is an absolute slam dunk, but the distance.

Feels really isolated in the sense

that we will not have a car here in Ecuador.

Right. We decided we're not having a car.

TOM: Bada-bing, bada-boom. Here we are guys, check it out.

-Are you kidding me? -Wow.

-Look at this view. -Feeling it?

LaVON: Oh, wow. That is awesome.

This is half the world. Look at it. Right.

Yeah, you got a river over here and you have a mangrove reserve.


That's kind of why I wanted to show you this.

It's off the beaten path, but it's so beautiful

that it's worth taking a look.

You didn't disappoint, man.

This is incredible.

But I just feel so isolated.

It's just so far away from everything.

And, you know, remember we don't want a car.

So for us to walk all the way down there

to where I think a bus might stop.

Well, if you want to stay active,

this is about as active an environment as you can get.

My strategy is to show them a little bit of the spectrum

and let what they really like pulled out of that experience.

And so this is a really beautiful spot,

and I thought they might see that and just fall in love.

I feel like they like the natural part,

they like the beach,

but they're just not digging how remote it is.

NARRATOR: Pricey perfection pushes them apart.

Feels amazing.

I mean, sun on my face, you know, the ocean waves.

-But how much was this again? -$1,200 a month.

You see that might be an issue, Tom.


-How much? -Poco? Tambin.

What are we making?

-Oh, okay. -Alright.

That's looking nice.

ANDREW: I love cooking, but LaVon does most of the cooking.

She cooks better than me.

Right, but we do it together a lot of times.

-[ Speaking Spanish ] -Calamari?

You want to put some salt on that?

LaVON: I met Andrew 31 years ago at a party.

I was in the Navy at that time

and I was stationed in the Bay area.

And I went over to him and I was like,

"Oh, would you like to dance?" -Oh, boy.

So we started dancing, and by this time

it was like you know so hot in there you can't even breathe.


Walking in sync with each other

and you're breathing hard on each other.

Oh, okay, you know that's for a different show.

[ Laughs ]

Well, that's how we met, you know.

CHEF: [ Speaking Spanish ] Here comes the crab fat.

Yes, there you go.

ANDREW: Right in the inside. Don't squeeze too hard.

There's the hole. Whoops!

LaVON: We're no strangers to you know having people around us

that are older and elder, and our parents were older,

and you know, we just really took a look at life

and, you know, how it ends up.

And we thought, "Wow."

There's nothing golden about the golden years

sometimes, so maybe we should --

We've heard that so many time from so many people.

Right. So maybe we should set sail now

for a new world while we're young.

How do you say "Bon appetit" in Spanish?

-Buen provecho. -Buen provecho.

Buen provecho.

NARRATOR: So they set off to Ecuador,

with a dream of affordable luxury.

But they've discovered that low prices

means lots of compromise on location and amenities.

Why wait? You know we're healthy, young, energy.

-Living in the moment. -Living in the moment.

TOM: They want to take it slower, really soak it all in.

The hardest part right now comes down to deciding,

you know, what the quality of life they want to have is.

You know, you pay a little more, sometimes you get a little more.

And LaVon is the spender,

looking for kind of a happy medium,

But we'll just see if Andrew's desire to save some money

prevents that from happening.

So guys, this is a condo in San Clemente, Ecuador,

called Ensenada Pacifico.

-Is that the Pacific Ocean? -This is incredible.

That's the Pacific Ocean right there.

-Wow. -Beautiful.

Two bedroom, two bath.

And the price is $1,200 a month.

Ding, ding, that's Andrew's price.

That be a problem because if we want to be true

to the cost of living being much less,

so we want to make sure that we can stick to that as well.

TOM: It's more money than they wanted to spend,

but LaVon doesn't mind $1,000.

So it's only a little bit more to have access,

have newer things, have amenities,

but also be close to town.

This is the unit, guys, right here on the bottom right.

-Did he say "bottom right"? -Yeah, it's on the bottom floor.

Welcome to Ensenada Pacifico.

LaVON: Wow, welcome indeed!

I know you're looking for new things,

and so everything here is pretty much brand new.

It's just been furnished. The unit's brand new.

This is beautiful.

Yeah, we can move over here

into the dining area and the living room

and you get that room right out the front.

LaVON: Wow, what a great day on the beach.

This is awesome. No driving here.

Yeah, I know. No driving here.

It's the perfect view.

But at the same time, privacy is an issue.

I don't want neighbors walking by.

I want that privacy ideally from the second deck.

-Take a look at the master. -Alright.

Okay, I'll try to contain myself to see the room

before I go out to the beach.

Look at this, we can sit right here. Sit right here.

-Oh, look at this. -Just look out the window.

This is what you call waking up to the ocean.

Oh, my gosh. This is nice. -This is incredible.

And then this is your second bedroom.

-Another great sized room. -Yeah.

What is this here? This is interesting.

It's basically like a custom designed boat shelf.

Okay, you can wine glasses here.

Can you put the boat in the water, huh?

Set sail.

This feels really close to town,

so that's one of the big pluses for me.

The price, the price can be an issue

because you know you want to make sure

you're going to be able to live the dream for a long time

and not have to worry about the money.

But at the same time, what's important to me

is that we have the right place.

And if it means spending a couple of extra hundred dollars

more it's worth it at the end of the day, just to be happy.

Alright, no.

Oh, my goodness. This is beautiful.

-What can you say. -Wow.

TOM: So it sounds like you guys are feeling this here then.

I'm feeling it, but before we just move too far ahead,

I still like to be up one more deck

because say, for example,

if I want to open the window at night,

I'm not going to sleep with the window open at night.

You know, when you're asleep you don't want to stand up

and have somebody over you.

I just, I don't know. It's the privacy I'm after.

The privacy's not so much of a concern for me.

The most important thing is price.

So if the price is going to push her over the edge, good.

TOM: One of the nice things about being on the bottom floor

is you can just come out that gate,

walk right own and head right out to the beach.

And here we go.

And here's your commute to the beach.

You ready?

-No 405 here. -We're here.

-Not so bad, huh? -Not so bad at all.

So how are you guys feeling overall?

Is this kind of feeling like something that could work?

LaVON: Well, Tom, I'm looking out here and everything is simply

beautiful and I'm loving it. Good vibrations.

But, you know, to make this like the perfect world for me,

I'd really like to have a little bit more privacy

and that means being up at least one more deck, Thomas.

Well, to be honest with you, Tom,

I'm not a cheapskate but this whole Ecuador trip,

a lot of it had to do with the fact

that you could afford to live here.

So we want to try and stick to that

so that we don't blow it all.

We gave him a pretty big list,

but we've thought about this for a long time.

So it's important that we have the right place, you know,

as close to perfect as we can have it.

NARRATOR: Tom tries to combine price and privacy.

TOM: It's $900 a month.


And the unit's on the second floor.

It's a bit more private.

But I notice that it's a little bit further away from the beach.

ANDREW: You know what this reminds me of?

Back home in Jamaica.

LaVON: Oh yeah? Get a couple of pitahayas.

Pitahaya, alright. Gracias, senor.

Dollar for the papas, and 25 cents for four tomatoes.

Look at that, whole chicken.

-Wow. -Neck and feet on.

That's your pet.


She don't know how mad there what you're saying.


From as far back as I can remember,

I've always had that sense of adventure about me.

I think I was about six years old

and I had this vision of jumping on a train one day

and joining the circus and all this crazy stuff, you know.

And I was just aching at the opportunity

to get out there and see the world.

And that brought me to actually how I ended up

joining the military, because I knew it was

an opportunity to, you know, travel around the world

and sort of get paid while you're doing it.

So what do you call that beach?

-This is Bahia Beach. -Oh, Bahia.

See, from the road you would never see this.

You'd never see this. I would never see this.

-No, you can't see this. -Oh, my gosh.

MAN: Bahia hasn't dredged the harbor

so we can't get big cruisers in here,

but we do have sailboats coming in and out all the time.


And the water works here are just fantastic.

Oh, nice.

-Wow. -I like that.

After 26 years in the military we're no strangers to moving.

We're no strangers to moving.

And people, "How do you do it?"

And we ask people, "Well, how do you not do it?"

You know we stayed still in California

for a while when I left active duty.

But, you know, after so much time we just decided,

you know what? It's time to move on.

Let's flip the switch, let's go do something different.

NARRATOR: And something different means a move to Ecuador,

where they're discovering that her push for perfection

versus his thrifty ways have them at odds

over what to prioritize in a house.

We're going to come here and we want to, you know,

be as comfortable as we can so we can enjoy everything.

ANDREW: Yeah, and price, you know?

I want to make sure that we can stick to that as well.

This condo in Bahia is about 20,

30 minutes from San Clemente.

And I just want to show you guys

a little bit more developed area.

It seems like you like newer things.

You like amenities and conveniences,

and so Bahia really offers that.

I brought them to Bahia because it's a vibrant city.

I mean there's a lot going on.

There's places to walk round all over the place.

Everything's within walking distance,

but also it's quite an outstanding value.

I think that they'll meld pretty well with this town.

So this is the Ocean Bay Towers.

It's a two bedroom, two bath condo that's available for rent.

It's $900 a month, so it's, you know, well priced.

-Okay. -The unit's on the second floor.

Okay, perfect.

What they would call the first level out here.

What I notice that it's a little bit further away from the beach.

But it's walking distance to the whole Pacific Ocean

and an estuary, nice calm waters.

-Wow. -How does it feel?

It's great.

Kind of like a large great room,

and all these glass windows all along the front slide open.


And you can just let the breeze blow through.

Great light. Oh, I love the light.


You guys want to take a look at the kitchen?

-Let's go. -Alright.

ANDREW: This is a nice space.

Do you think you could do your scrambled eggs over there?

Oh yeah, that's right.

Make some good scrambled eggs there.

And this area right here, Tom, I like this.

You can have guests sitting here,

serve them right here, have the view behind you.

-Yeah. -You know, it's perfect.

Do you plan to entertain a lot?

We plan to entertain more. -Yeah?


Yeah, yeah. Yeah, well, you have the room for it.


Shall we take a look at the master bedroom?

Absolutely. Lead the way.

Oh, my gosh. Talk about waking up.

Oh, my goodness.

This is very unique.

You know, I don't think there's another building like this

that has this corner of windows.

You know how much I love rocking chairs.


She's a rocking chair fanatic.

And there's a second bedroom, too.

Wow, two great bedrooms.

You got a big window in the back.

Tons of light again.

You have your own rocking chair.

[ Laughs ] We can rock together.

LaVon is all about the rocking chairs.

I know, I love rocking chairs.

Alright. That should have been on the list.

I know, right.

From the moment you walk in the door, the energy is there.

The lights, the views are incredible.

It's surprisingly amazing.

Yeah, the fact that the entire front opens up

and you can get the breeze coming through.

It's really surprising, in a good way.

I like it.

TOM: This is the roof top terrace I was talking about.

-Wow, look at this. -My gosh!

Yeah, you got your pool, you got a hot tub.

-Wow. -And you have this huge view.

I mean, it's pretty wild how big this view is.

The rooftop deck is really nice,

but it's kind of high up.

ANDREW: Eight flights of stairs to get to it,

I can't see myself doing that every day.

But the energy is really good. I like that about that.

It's doing and hitting the mark

on some of the things that we asked Tom to show us.

The views of the ocean and the mountains,

so he's showing us what we asked to see.

ANDREW: But it has its drawbacks, you know.

You have to walk up the stairs to the roof.

There's no privacy on the roof.

Yeah, I'm concerned about your knee going up the stairs.

Yeah, you know, I have issues with my knee.

We need to be very comfortable with that because say we want

to spend a lot of time on the roof top deck.

Right, that's true.

So, got to keep it real.

TOM: Each home presents an outstanding value,

but it comes down to deciding you know

what life they want to have.

Each one wants to do something

a little bit different in terms of price,

private space, and in terms of amenities.

They need to find a happy medium,

but we'll just see if the differences

prevents that from happening or not.

You know our numbers, man. Right?

But this is where we're going to be comfortable,

it's where we're going to be happy.

You've got to love it at the end of the day.

The Pacific Ocean, the view.

Everything. Look at this. The view.

-Right, it's incredible. -Right.

Narrator: Andrew and LaVon are taking a leap of faith

and moving to Ecuador, sight unseen.

LaVON: We've been planning for a while now, so we're just like,

"Okay, let's just get there,

stop the planning, and just relax."

Let's enjoy, let's smell the roses.

NARRATOR: But before they can find those roses, they need a home.

-The San Jacinto house. -The San Jacinto house.

-Yeah. -Bada-bing, bada-boom.

TOM: Here we are guys.

-Are you kidding me? -Check it out.

-Wow, look at this view. -Wow.

-Oh, wow. That is awesome. -You feeling it?

This is half the world. Look at it.

You got a river over here, and you have a mangrove reserve.

It's a beautiful spot. -But I just feel so isolated.

It's just so far away from everything.

TOM: It's off the beaten path,

but it's so beautiful that it's worth taking a look.

You didn't disappoint man. This is incredible.

-San Clemente. -Welcome to Ensenada Pacifico.

LaVON: Wow, welcome indeed.

TOM: It's just been furnished.

The unit's brand new.

This is beautiful.

What a great day on the beach.

This is awesome.

No driving here, but I'd really like

to have a little bit more privacy.

ANDREW: I'm not a cheapskate but you know we came here,

this whole Ecuador trip a lot of it

had to do with the fact that you could afford to live here.

We want to kind of try to stick that so we don't blow it all.

Now, let's talk about what Bahia.

Okay, Bahia.

TOM: You have access to the whole Pacific Ocean.

Yeah, it's beautiful.

And an estuary, nice calm waters.

All these glass windows slide open.

Wow. Great light.

Oh, I love the light.

ANDREW: The rooftop, that was great.

However, eight flights of stairs to get to it.

I can't see myself doing that every day.

But the energy is really good. I like that about that.

We don't want the San Jacinto place.

You know what, we're not having a car.

So it's just too far.

-Yeah. -Gone.


Well, I tell you what. This is how I look at it.

You know I'm a numbers man, right?

One's $900. The other's $1,200. That's $300 more.


Bahia has a lot of things going for it.

The view is incredible.

The fact that you can open up the entire house

to the beautiful Pacific winds, that is a major plus for me.

But at the end of the day, I want to step out.

What floor was the rooftop deck on?

I think it was the ninth floor, right?


So the rooftop deck was great,

but in the end I'm not going to climb

nine flights of stairs every day.

Okay, let's go back to San Clemente.

On the other hand, I'm still having some,

oh, I want to be on the second floor

kind of feelings about it. -But?

But you know I get to be one step closer to the beach

and, you know, the pool was awesome.

I could just walk right there to the pool.

I don't have to go up to the top floor.

That's true.

So while I didn't have the privacy,

I wanted to have more freedom of movement.

But I'm concerned in how we -- we spend.

And you know I could possibly see cutting back maybe

or not using the air conditioner as much because utility,

I don't know, this is where we're going to be comfortable.

It's where we're going to be happy.

You've got to love it at the end of the day.

This is what we dreamed of, so let's go for it baby.

Let's just do it. -Right, let's go for it.

-San Clemente it is. -San Clemente.

-Alright. -Yeah.

How much is this?

[ Speaking Spanish ]

That's $1.25.

Definitely made the right decision about living here.

-Here. -Absolutely.

The biggest thing I was concerned about was privacy,

and we actually have that because we're the end unit.

And I just can't imagine what it would be like walking up

and down this beach every day and passing this place

and for somewhere else, you know, sacrificing

We'd be so mad. We'd be so mad.

We probably wouldn't be here because it would have been like,

"It's your fault, it's your fault."


This is just the perfect place to be to just chill

and enjoy being in the moment.

In the moment.

I mean, I threw away my watch

because time means nothing here any more.

It's just, it's timeless.

I mean, really because we argue sometimes,

it's like "It's Monday." "No, Andrew, it's Tuesday."

We've literally been two days off.

Right. We just don't know what day it is sometimes.

Not even kidding. Two days off.

Happens a lot.

So, yeah it's fantastic.

I mean, it couldn't be better.


The Description of Unreal Expectations in Ecuador