Hopping on a #19 bus headed east, we rode it to the small suburb village of San Joachin. We disembarked in the village and took a couple of pictures of the ubiquitous church and wandered around the dusty streets feeling quite foreign. Apparently, out of our "hood" (Cuenca), we are still tourists. Shelley asked Brian if he thought there'd be any cappuccino in San Joachin and in reply he simply shot her one of those looks. Getting back onto the #19 we thought we'd take it all the way to the end of the line the other way, but got off downtown and had that cappuccino instead.
On one of our neighbourhood walks we dropped into a place on Calle Mariscal Lamar behind the new apartment buildings called Taller de Alfareria Encalada Galeria where they've been doing clay work for generations. We, of course, asked if they had any fish plaques, but unfortunately they didn't. They generously gave us a tour through their home/factory where members of the family were busy building clay pots, etc. and their various wares were displayed throughout their beautiful home. By the time we'd trucked up to Av. de las Americas Shelley was ready for a cappuccino, so we dropped into Punto's for a 60 cent java and left with $20 worth of Christmas cake, rolled pork roast, peas, gravy & a mango chutney. We obviously can't be trusted. They had a wonderful looking buffet there ranging in price from $1.98 to $7 and we got hungry watching the plates being piled with goodies. All in all, we got enough food for 4 or more meals, so we didn't do too badly.
It's been a pretty bad couple of weeks for us. One of the children disowned us, repeated every past transgression in an e-mail and let us know how selfish we were to move to Ecuador. Another one got on the band wagon and gave us a blast as well. As all the children are full grown adults now and as we have yes, permanently moved to Ecuador, neither of us felt there was a lot within our control regarding the matter. However, that doesn't stop the aching feelings. We got Brian all happied up and took him to the specialist to finish his root canal, only to be told the specialist had decided to take the day off and the appointment would be rescheduled. (An Ecuador thing.) Having spent 2 days working up to the appointment and a sleepless night, the relief you'd think might be there for a cancelled appointment, wasn't. And...to top it all off...it'd gone back to being rainy for awhile. Suited our mood.
As it turned out, the root canal specialist had been in a motorcycle accident and had broken his shoulder. (We weren't the only ones having a bad week.) The rest of Brian's work would have to wait 7 days or so for healing. We're not sure how the specialist can be ready in a week, but we've been assured he will be. Instead, Brian went to the regular dentist to have his rotten tooth pulled. Shelley ventured to SuperMaxi to buy the fixings for chicken soup figuring Brian wouldn't be up to chewing food for a day or 2 and arrived back in the dentist's office just in time to hear Brian say, "So that's it?!"
The dentist advised after the root canal work was finished, he'd send Brian to yet another specialist, this time in periodontics because his remaining teeth were so sensitive and needed a deep clean. Brian was concerned about being without his bottom plate for a week or so while the new false tooth was fitted to it, but was told that procedure would take only about 2 hours.
Walking home Brian demonstrated to Shelley how he held his hands together in a white grip while the tooth was being pulled and counted 1,2,3,4,5 days until he had to have more work done. "It's just going to go on and on" he whined to Shelley.
"It always goes on and on with your teeth" Shelley answered. "Have I mentioned I hate your teeth?"
Six weeks ago we'd opened up a bank account with a bank in Cuenca. We deposited some cash and wrote a cheque on our Canadian account for another lump sum. We monitored our Canadian account over the internet to see when the lump sum was deducted. After six weeks it never was so we ventured to the local bank again. The young man that dealt with us had some limited English and we of course have our limited Spanish. We'd been charged $20.64 in service fees since we'd opened the account and had so far not used it at all. Turns out there was a $5 fee to get our banking card, and another $5.64 fee charged every six months for services and another $10 fee because the cheque we'd written wasn't valid.
"Not valid?!" Shelley questioned with some heat.
Shelley had written the cheque on their joint account to Brian and signed it. Brian, however, had not endorsed the back as it was a straight deposit and this isn't required for a straight deposit in Canada. It is, however, required in Ecuador.
"What about the $10 service charge?" we asked.
We were assured this would be refunded (we'll see) and Brian endorsed the cheque and we tried depositing it again.
We'd written to our Bank in Canada, told them we were in Ecuador and asked them the easiest way to transfer money to a bank account here. They wrote us back suggesting we drop into our nearest Canadian branch to arrange an electronic transfer.
"Are they stupid or do they expect that there's a branch of our bank just down the street in Cuenca?" Shelley asked of Brian.
Oh well...tomorrow is expat night...maybe we can go there and create some chaos. Frankly we're glad the week's almost over.