Monday, December 15, 2008

The Dutchman Cometh

Without visits to the dentist looming over him (and his stomach feeling much better) Brian perked up considerably. We resumed our daily outings and Shelley's cabin fever disappeared. Still awaiting word from Vilcabamba, our Christmas plans remained up in the air except for the anticipation of our friend arriving from Holland.

"Jan must be going nuts by now. He's been working 80 hour weeks to get everything under control for his month's holiday."

Brian Skyped with Jan and got the final itinerary information. From wheels up in Amsterdam to wheels down in Cuenca at 9:00 a.m., it'd be 16 hours. Add to that 3 hours to get to the airport & mess around in the terminal in Amsterdam. Not one of those lucky ones who sleeps easily while travelling, we all figured Jan'd need a nap upon arrival.

The day before Jan was due to arrive we finally got the money the bank machine hadn't given us re-deposited back into our account. We're not sure at this point, but think it's been about 6 weeks. We'd almost mentally written the money off but were very pleased to see it back where it belonged in our account. Never, never, never again will we take money from the bank machine after hours!

Some More Things we have yet to see in Ecuador:

• Cooking Cocoa
• Graham Crackers or Crumbs
• Cast Iron Frying Pans
• A Wok

Up bright and early to get our chores done, the phone rang and it was Jan advising he was sitting in the airport in Guayaquil. He'd arrived with 85 minutes to spare between flights but it had taken 55 minutes to get through customs. "It was like watching paint dry" he told Brian. He was relieved he was sitting in the waiting room awaiting his TAME flight.

When it was time to leave to pick Jan up, Brian came into the den to say goodbye to Shelley who was doing her morning ablutions on the computer. "You know our whole reality is going to change for the next 2 weeks, don't you?" he asked.

"I love you too" she replied.

Brian & Jan were back before Shelley had finished her chores. We gabbed for 2 or 3 hours and then both the guys had a nap. Then we gabbed some more. Then we went for a walk. Then we gabbed and ate supper and then we gabbed some more and finally we went to bed. By that time we'd straightened out most world affairs and were working on the cure for cancer.

Enthusing over the Sunday morning concerts in the main square downtown, we took Jan to the Park and sat around until they announced the act would not go on. "It's an Ecuador thing." By that time we'd run into several people we knew and after introductions all around, again we gabbed for awhile. As we're under obligation to take Jan on all the high tourist points, off we went to the main People's market downtown to look at fruits & vegetables. Next we ventured to Doce de Abril to wander through the high end artisan mini-mall and enjoyed an upscale cappuccino sitting in the open courtyard under an umberella. The weather was great until late afternoon when we'd set out for a bite to eat. Coming home after dinner we talked about taking a cab instead of the bus to avoid the rain, but a bus came by before a cab did.

Up earlier than usual the next day, we took Jan to SuperMaxi & Sukasa to get a bit of a taste of Ecuadorian shopping. He wore us both out. This was wonderful, that was terrible, why do they do it this way, why don't they do it that way, and on and on. Brian told Jan he was stressing him out and Jan smiled his sweetest smile and told us, "I'm having fun!"

What can you say?

We've been invited to a bit of a pre-Christmas do (potluck) and Jan volunteered to make his world famous chicken wings. All necessary ingredients were, of course, not available, so much time was spent seeking equivalencies. He also offered to make his gourmet spaghetti (have we mentioned that Jan & Brian have a life long competitive thing going?) so fresh ingredients were bought for that delicacy as well.

Arriving home 2 Ecuadorian workmen asked if they could come in and look at the ceiling problem that's been ongoing since we moved into the apartment. There's a leak in the kitchen ceiling whenever we have biblical rain. Their work today entailed cutting a 3 foot hole in the ceiling, making a disgusting mess throughout the kitchen, and peering up between floors seeking the leak. Shelley encouraged Brian & Jan to go out for awhile while the workmen peered and she cleaned up the revolting mess. After the workmen were gone & the mess was cleaned up, she put her feet up and had a good long sigh.


  1. Is that a real tree or a draping on a pole?

  2. It's a draping on a tree. A real cut tree wouldn't last 3 days in this weather!