Upon disembarking from the bus, Fredi knew immediately where we were at. It's one of 3 places in the city where we can get away with unleashing Fredi and letting her go. She wiggled in Shelley's arms, showing high excitement until we walked across the road and hit the park's grass. Off the leash she tore in 237 different directions all at once. Now shih tzu's dogs are not noted for their smiling face. They have no snout, like poodles & german shepards, and more often than not have a very serious, concerned look on their face. In the park however, Fredi is giantly and obviously overjoyed. There are people that could watch this unbounded happiness and not feel better themselves but Brian & Shelley are not part of that clan. In any case, we walked around the park, met up with several people and a dog or two, introduced ourselves and ventured on. We also sat on a rock & watched the sights and a little further on sat on a log watching the world go by. All in all and generally we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
Time for another down day, we simply took a walk in the neighbourhood on Thursday, dropped into La Europa and had cappuccino, enjoyed the weather & kept our eye out for a place that sold small poinsettias. So far we haven't found one. (We go through this every year and every year we eventually find one.) Friday was going to be more of the same but some blog friends telephoned to let us know they were in town and had chili powder & currants for us. (By the way, we're all stocked up on chili powder & currants now!) We met them downtown for lunch, provided them with a city map, gave them some pointers, heard parts of their stories & in the end directed them to the indigenous sweater etc. market and crafts place in el centro. We're going to try and meet them for supper again before they leave.
Aside: While sitting in the restaurant, the woman beside Shelley started to look around a tiny bit anxiously like she'd lost something. When Shelley inquired, the woman said she was looking for her sweater. She asked her husband and he too was sweaterless. "You must have left it on the bench in the park" we told her. "Go look." Her immediate response was to say it'd be gone by then. Brian rose from his seat and peered out the window. "No, it's there" he said. The blue one, right?" She rushed from her seat, out the door and across the street to the park and picked up her sweater. Upon arriving back she was very pleased and it set an exceptionably good note for Cuenca. "Your cell phone would have been gone though" Shelley cautioned the woman and we all laughed.
Brian went down for his nap as soon as we got home because he was off to the opera that evening, the Barber of Seville. Again, this event was free, the only requirement being that you picked up your tickets ahead of time. He had arranged to have dinner with a couple of friends and then on to the opera. The theatre was completely full and apparently had been for all four days of performances. The Cuenca symphony, as usual was first class, and the principals in the opera came from Argentina & Ecuador and the quality of the performance was very good. So Brian arrived home all abuzz with news and fresh impressions of the theatre event, took Fredi for her much later than usual evening walk & then we all settled into bed.
It had come into Shelley's head that she wanted to get a Christmas centre piece for our dining room table. So, we locked Fredi in the bedroom and caught the bus up to Coral Centro & SuperStock. We stopped in at Coral Centro first and wandered around the store. While there were Christmas items dotted throughout the store, there didn't seem to be any central place where decorations & Christmas accessories were being sold. Off we went down the street to SuperStock and they did in fact have a good Christmas centre. We looked at faux trees & angels, cloth Santas, ceramic Santas & felt Santas. Shelley stood in front of a display of baskets and paper poinsettias, her hands on her hips, her head tilted for so long, Brian asked her if she was alright. We walked past creche scenes & baroque jesters, snowmen of all shapes & sizes and candle displays from modest to ostentatious. They had fine Christmas dinner sets & plastic serving plates, pillow covers & lights, garlands & tree skirts. In the end, Shelley got a headache and we ended up leaving the store without buying anything. It was a hot day and back on the bus going home we were both pretty quiet. Looking out the window at a stop, Shelley spotted a woman with a small kitten in a plastic bag, only its head sticking out. "Kitten in a bag, kitten in a bag" she said out loud. Upon arriving home, Fredi was of course overjoyed to see us. Brian took her out for a walk while Shelley stood in the dining room and looked at the table. After a while she shrugged and walked away.
PLEASE NOTE: Kitten in a Bag is the last Posting for Planet Irony. "Planet Irony" speaks to all the machinations moving from Canada to Ecuador. It talks about the good, the bad & the ugly, and takes us through our day to day life for about 3 years (2008 - 2010).