Funny story: just three weeks ago in Panama City, we thought ruidoso (in Spanish) meant quiet or quietness…
We thought it meant quiet because earplugs are called torpedos de ruidoso.
So when we were in Panama City we thanked the Hotel Santana staff member for moving us to a room that was more ruidoso (thinking we were saying we appreciated a quieter room).
The lady laughed and left our more “ruidoso” room.
I’ll come back to that in a minute.
While we’ve been traveling, we’ve noticed central and South America are pretty noisy places.
Maybe it’s cultural, or maybe it’s the fact that we’ve been in big cities, but even being above the town in a less populated area in Boquete, there was always a dog barking at night and a rooster getting started at 3AM or earlier.
Being in a large city here in Quito, some of the noises are different – there’s always construction, always honking horns, and always a car alarm going off somewhere.
We’re also pretty close to the airport so we get the sounds of airplanes pretty frequently.
One thing to note: there are still roosters, even in the big city.
Which is why we are SO glad for our torpedos de Ruidoso – literally translated means torpedoes of noise (NOT torpedoes of quiet).
These are otherwise known as ear plugs.
When we were thanking the lady in Panama City, we were actually thanking her for moving us to a louder room (even though we intended to say thanks for a quieter room).
I can only assume that she figured it out and her laugh was at our feeble attempts at Spanish.
Oh, if she could hear us now.
Back to the earplugs…
Carrie was smart. Before we left in October 2009, she bought a box of 200 sets of earplugs from Amazon.
We’ve used them nearly every night here in Quito, on buses and in hotels all over central America, and in airplanes.
We’ve shared many of our sets of earplugs with fellow travelers, who have often thanked us profusely the next day.
If you’re even remotely a light sleeper, you will want ear plugs while you are traveling. We recommend that if you’re going to be traveling for any length of time, you buy a bunch of earplugs in advance.
They’re MUCH cheaper that way (we forgot them in Antigua and paid $3 for 2 sets, as opposed to $25 including shipping for 200 sets), and you can get some quality earplugs that will really block out noise effectively.
And for those keeping track:
ruido (roo ee doh) = noise
tranquila (train kee luh) = quiet