New Year's Day, which was Jan's last full day in Ecuador, we spent trying to find a restaurant that was open or a bus that was running. Very little was going on. Everywhere we walked there were the charred remains of dummies burned to put an end to 2008. In the end we had pizza at the Nice Cream restaurant near the main square which was fine with all of us.
"What are you doing up so early!?" Brian asked Shelley the next morning.
"Is he gone?" she asked twisting her head seeking shadows. "Can I walk around naked?"
Apparently there'd been a minor problem. The scheduled taxi picked them up at 5:30 a.m. and took them to the mini-bus station where there were no other customers and no mini-bus. The taxi driver offered to phone "some one" and raise hell but 5 minutes late, the mini-bus drove into the station, picked Jan up and drove away with him. Brian took the helpful taxi home.
We ventured downtown later (walking for a change as we couldn't always because of Jan's bad back) and tried to mail a package off to Shelley's daughters, but the post office was closed. We had a quiet cappuccino where we recapped Jan's visit. Jan is a smoker & we found it of interest that even though we have not smoked for almost a full year now, the urge was more frequent because we were living with a smoker. We never caved, however, and are proud of ourselves (it wasn't actually all that bad). That aside, it was great to have him as a guest and we really enjoyed his visit!
Later, Shelley finally managed to find the skirt she'd been looking for. We bussed back home for an early nap (and ran around naked some more). We'd both agreed we'd start our Spanish lessons again on Monday next (as we'd discontinued them during Jan's visit; why start today what you can put off until Monday).
Now a Word from our Sponsor: Jan brought us both beautiful silk dressing gowns from China! They are absolutely exquisite! They exhibit very fine needlework and are gorgeous! Here ~ see for yourself!
As we'd been invited to lunch on Sunday, we ventured up to Punto and bought a long cake to take with us. On the way home, cake balanced on our fingertips, we encountered yet another Parade. "By the time we stop seeing parades, it'll almost be time for Carnival" Brian commented.
On the longish bus ride to our friend's place (cake balanced on our knees), after looking at 5 cowboys and their horses marching down the street, after going through the public market area downtown and all the while listening to the salsa music blaring from the speakers on the bus, Shelley turned to Brian and said, "When we go back to Canada I can imagine everything would seem rather lifeless and dull". Brian agreed.
At our friend's place with 2 other couples and kids and the best pizza (home made) perhaps in Ecuador, we all enjoyed ourself and ate too much. We spent some time regaling each other with stories of house guests from our past, talked about diets and vegetarianism, teenaged kids, internet dating and the benefits of owning a Mac (what are the chances of every person sitting round a table being a Mac owner). We also managed to spread our new found knowledge about sweet corn needing 14+ hours of daylight and generally were well entertained.
1:03 in the morning, Brian wakes Shelley up by shoving the cell phone into her hand. "Why can't those girls figure out the time difference?" he asked her somewhat grumpily.
After reading a text from her youngest daughter, sitting up in bed and laboriously composing a text back to her (1) explaining it was 1:03 in the morning (2) advising she would take care of the favour asked first thing tomorrow, and (3) asking said daughter to send her an e-mail so the whole thing wouldn't seem like a dream the next day, Shelley then read for and hour and a half before dozing back to sleep.
Despite receiving no reminder e-mail from said daughter, Shelley remembered (how could she forget) the favour asked and took care of it first thing in the morning. Next we wandered off to SuperMaxi, the Post Office & our Ecuadorian bank, performing several chores before Brian was incapacitated again by his dental surgery scheduled for the next day.