Saturday, August 30, 2008

Mish Mash

Up bright and early we met our young friend in downtown Cuenca to do battle with the sofa-bed shop. After standing on the street and coming up with a strategy, we all marched into Intense. There was some hand slapping on the table and several telephone calls (we suspect the woman in the shop didn't have the authority to negotiate) but in the end our sofa cama was delivered at noon at no extra charge to us.

"I feel somewhat redeemed" Brian said.
Shelley rolled her eyes.

At 3:00 p.m. our friend phoned and told us the patio furniture was on its way. "What happened yesterday?" Shelley asked. "Umm, oh" he said "they were busy?"

Sitting out on the balcony in our newly delivered chairs, listening to the river and looking at our view of the hills and the huge Ecuadorian sky Shelley said, "Now, this is why we came to Ecuador!"

Brian agreed.

"Now we need more plants for the patio" Shelley observed.

Brian smiled lazily and agreed again.

The next morning, still in her I'm-at-home-outfit-that-no-one-should-see-except-family (very colourful) Shelley answered a knock at the door to see her neighbour, her neighbour's husband, the building's security guard and another man in a suit all standing there. The woman could speak English and she explained haltingly that someone had broken into their apartment. They wanted the names of any "worker" that we had going through our apartment. Shelley explained about all the deliveries and then they advised whoever broke into their apartment had had a key. They felt it was someone who had worked in the building when it was being built.

Brian, in the shower, came scooting half way out into the hallway in his birthday suit, demanding to know what was going on. Quickly getting dressed he headed off downstairs to get the scoop. Apparently our neighbour noticed this morning some of her jewelry was missing, but the door to her apartment was still locked so it had to be someone with a key who had worked here during the construction of the building.

It was all very disturbing!

Later on, walking in downtown Cuenca, Shelley took a fantastic fall in the middle of the street, right in front of a bus. Brian and a young solider helped her up, and other than a scrape on her elbow and ankle and a pulled muscle she was fine. Ecuador is chock full of obstacles to carefree walking; broken sidewalks, little built-in humps in the middle of some roads, pot holes, construction everywhere. So, it's best to keep an eye out where you're walking! "I haven't taken a fall like that since I slid down the ramp at the marina in Gibsons" she commented to Brian. "I wanted to thank the solider but he disappeared." She spent the rest of the day wondering how big a bruise was going to develop on her hip. She may not be graceful but she sure can produce stunning bruises!

Meanwhile, Brian installed one of the two light fixtures we need. After an hour and a half of monkeying around, one was enough for today. Apartments not only do not come with fridge & stove, etc. they also do not come with bathroom mirrors or all of the light fixtures. This apparently is also common in Europe.

A lovely bruise did develop but Shelley was very pleased she didn't have to roll herself out of bed the next morning. We paid our utility bills & rent and bought 2 flowering plants for the patio. (We'll need a lot more to complement the space.) O'Bama & McCain have Brian somewhat hooked to the TV right now. We get CNN but it's an international format so it comes out of London & Hong Kong & New York. I don't think we'll see much Canadian content on it.

There's a big celebration in the downtown square for Jefferson Perez the Ecuadorian speed walker who's now won 2 Olympic medals. He's of an age where this Olympic will be his last but Ecuador is very proud of him! We're told, like everywhere else, Perez makes money from endorsements and that he has a lovely huge home here in Cuenca. He's from very humble beginnings so that inspires the people even more!

Friday evening had us entertaining the American couple we'd met at Ex-Pat night last week. They were appropriately enthusiastic about our apartment & its new furnishings and once again we had a lovely evening with them. We had dinner at El Jordan on Calle Larga. The menu had pretensions to being haute cuisine but the prices were reasonable (except for their wine list) and the food was quite tasty. They're going back to their place on the coast, so it'll be some time before we see them again.

"How come, when we're out with someone else, you always interrupt me when I'm talking?" Shelley asked of Brian.
"Like you don't do that to me!?" Brian retorted.
"That's different, you're bigger!" Shelley came back with an indisputable argument.

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