Friday, January 16, 2009

Blah Blah Fredi Blah Fredi Blah Blah

One more time we ventured to the main square downtown to catch the Sunday 11 o'clock entertainment. Despite it drizzling rain the entertainment did go on. We neglected to get an Agenda for the month of January from the Tourist Board so we unfortunately can't tell you the name of the group, but they had drums, a base drum, bongo drums and a fair bit of other percussion which made for definite foot tapping entertainment. Fredi walked several blocks towards downtown and several blocks back home, so when we reached the apartment she flopped and slept with Brian for a couple of hours.

So far Fredi has not had an accident in the apartment. We know this is bound to happen eventually but she's a proper little girl and goes instantly we take her outside so, if she does have an accident, we're sure it'll be ultimately our fault. We ran into a somewhat eccentric ExPat, known for his hatred of the barking Ecuadorian dogs, and even he was enchanted by Fredi; this says an awful lot for her charms.

Monday is our shopping day, so we crated Fredi and listened to her whine for awhile and went off to do our grocery shopping. Needless to say, she was overjoyed to see us when we returned less than 2 hours later. She'd been a good girl and hadn't soiled her crate, but insisted on telling us of her trauma for several hours afterwards. To add insult to injury, we'd purchased puppy towels when we'd gone shopping, so it was now time for Fredi's first bath. Soaked to the skin and looking like the proverbial drowned rat, we wrapped her in her puppy towels and then give her a brisk rub down. Traumatized by the entire day, Fredi insisted on shivering like she'd been dunked in the Arctic Ocean. We finally wrapped her in a mohair shawl and Brian took her to bed for yet another nap. After nap time, all was forgotten & forgiven.

Tuesday we had a blog reader over for snacks and displayed what you could get in Ecuador for $300 a month. Brian was pricing apartments in Victoria Canada on the net the other day and there we'd probably pay around $1,600, which means in downtown Vancouver it'd be even more. Fredi once again was as good as gold and only displayed doggie "I-smell-people-food" tendencies once, by standing on her hind legs dancing, trying to get a look at the snack tray on the coffee table.

We're sorry. We're enamoured with our little dog and will be talking far too much about her, just like people with a brand new baby, for the next few weeks until it all settles down. Please bear with us!

The last visit to the dentist was very successful. Brian had his stitches removed without happy pills or anxiety ("He's the best Dentist I've ever met!" he exclaimed after his appointment, talking about the periodontist) and Shelley had her teeth cleaned and was given her usual strong teeth comment.

More Shih Tzu information: apparently they've been bred for hundreds of years to be lap dogs and if Fredi is a good example of her breed, they take their job very seriously. Their name derives from the last Empress of China whose name was Tzu Shih. They were also used as living water bottles (bed warmers) and their body temperature is a few degrees higher than ours. Fredi is a very quiet dog; the only time we've heard her high pitched yip was when we crated her. She never barks for attention or at strangers. The last time we had to go out without her instead of crating her we locked her in the bathroom with her crate, her chew stick & a couple of toys. Other than some heart rending but quiet whining, she seemed to settle down and patiently waited for us to get back. Her good manners continue to surprise us. When we're eating she goes under the table, curls around and has a lovely nap. The same is true when we're together on the computer or studying Spanish. She gets quite anxious if "the pack" gets separated (if one of us is in another room). She is very diplomatic about lap rights and seems to quite evenly distribute herself between the two of us. All in all (can you tell?) we're very pleased!

With our Canadian friends, off we went with Fredi to an evening at Sankt Florian on Calle Larga. She was a doll and slept quietly at our feet the entire time we were there (over 3 hours). Once again we have to comment on the luxury here of being able to socialize with Canadians. It must be something in the blood because it really is comfortable and satisfying. We all had a terrific meal but will warn that tax & tip are put on the price as extras for almost an additional 22%. Still, an incredible bargain when you compare it to a similar dining experience anywhere in North America. Sankt Florian does have a great lunch special for under $3, which includes soup, main course & dessert. Brian met the owner Heidi, who had previously owned the Cafe Austro, and there is a definite German influence to the menu. Surprise! Brian ordered filet mignon and it actually WAS filet mignon. Faithful readers will recall that Brian had tried filet mignon several times before here in Ecuador only to be served a very inferior cut of meat.

All around Cuenca you will find deep holes cut into the road or sidewalk right beside existing concrete telephone poles. We are guessing that they are going to "twin" the existing poles for a greater line carrying capacity but we'll have to wait and see. Sometimes the hole's rubble is left beside it, and it makes for an obstacle course walking down the street.


  1. Glad the dog is working out well. Thanks for the last paragraph. I couldn't IMAGINE why there were all those pictures of holes.

  2. Hi,
    We have a blender that's about to lose its gasket. I plan to make one - all you need is the old gasket for a pattern and a nice thick inner tube. Go to a tire shop and pick up a truck tire tube, use the old one as a pattern and craft knife or scissors to cut out the new one. Pick a nice flat area on the tube not the ridges, cut, wash and you should be good to go.

    Our blender has made it since 1972 bought originally to make frozen daquiris and still serves. ;-)