Thursday, September 24, 2009

Doggies & Demonstrations

Coquita, Fredi's friend from the coast, was in town and we were invited over to the place she was staying for dinner. Arriving at their door and before knocking, Shelley removed Fredi's leash so that Fredi would be free immediately to greet Coco. This was a good thing because they were VERY VERY enthusiastic about seeing each other. They played rough & hard for the first 45 minutes and then began to take little breaks, panting madly, between their romps. Coco is a bit bigger than Fredi and her humans were concerned she might overpower Fredi but every time Coco stopped playing it only took about 10 seconds and Fredi was back at her, tempting her to new heights. The humans had covered their chairs and couches with blankets so neither of the animals could do any damage. Chasing each other up onto a love seat and then down & up onto a couch and then down & then up onto another love seat and then down & then tearing around into the kitchen & into the patio was 8 seconds of play. Towards the end of the evening they seemed to slow down just a bit and the next morning Brian commented that "Fredi seems a little stiff". We had to brush her hair quite thoroughly to remove doggy spit and when we took her for her daily walk the next day she was somewhat subdued. We'd say the puppies had a very good time! By the way, the humans had a good time too!

"You know if we were on the boat in Vancouver, we'd be into hunker-down mode this time of the year. We'd have had our summer vacation and had done all the work on the boat and be quite content to sit in the semi-dark and watch TV" Shelley commented to Brian. "Do you know what I mean?" she asked. "Do you think we're happy to be quiet these days out of habit?"

"Well" Brian answered "I spent 67 July and Augusts rushing around doing summer things and right about now I'd be appreciating the last days of summer because next Wednesday in Vancouver it'll start to rain and it'll keep on raining until next May. It'd take more than a year to get out of that rhythm, so 'yes' I do understand what you mean."

We spent the rest of the day just being quiet and enjoying it.

Armed with the model number of Brian's Philishave electric razor, we trooped downtown to the store that sold replacement blades and went through the process of asking for them again. This time we were advised they didn't have the set for Brian's particular model number. However, they did tell us that an order was in and we should come back in 2 weeks.

"That's good" Brian said "At least they've got an order in."

Shelley looked glum.

"What?!" Brian asked. "What?!"

"It's Ecuador" Shelley replied. "We heard that 'come back in 2 weeks' thing too many times. It's something they say when they don't know what's happening."

"Well" Brian said ever the Pollyanna "We'll just pop by whenever we're in the neighbourhood and eventually they'll have them."

A bunch of us decided to eat at a comida tipica restaurant for dinner where they serve open-grilled pork & chicken with boiled corn, beans & cheese. The restaurant had been highly recommended as one of the best of it's kind in Cuenca. While the company was great and we all had a good time, the meal was a bit plain for North American tastes. The meat, cut thinly, was dry and saltier than we're used to. The vegetables were fresh & good but nothing different than what one would cook at home. All in all, it was a restaurant that presented food to the Ecuadorian palate and like any local comfort food, it's fabulous if you're raised with it. At the end of the evening, we came home with Fredi while the rest of our friends ventured on in a quest for ice cream.

Fredi had been particularly good so we decided to take her to the new "free walk" place we'd discovered behind the bank/museum along Doce de Abril. We took the bus to the foot of the bank/museum's fence and walked along the river. Fredi free ran to her hearts content.

We've been told that in that park you can find every tree that grows in Ecuador. At one point we even saw a couple of llamas and possibly a baby. They were too far away, however, to get a really good picture.

Brian picked up a empanada at a tienda that advertised Chilean empanadas and later when he ate it he commented that "it was special! It was similar to a really good chicken pie. The pastry was light and fluffy and the filling was seasoned to perfection. It came accompanied with a salsa of fresh cut hot peppers. Mmmm Mmm Good!"

On our way to the path we noticed that the bus took a different route, completely by-passing the University along Doce de Abril. When we got to Solano on our way home, we saw students further down the street throwing projectiles at the Police. We crossed the bridge to the other side of the river and Brian asked a couple of school kids "Esta un demostracion para los estudiantes?"

The kid answered "Si".

Brian then asked "Esta seguro en este lago del Rio?"

The young man indicated that yes, indeed it was safe on this side of the river. Nevertheless we saw several young men with bricks in their pockets and picking up rocks and stones as they walked along.

All was well as we left the demonstration behind.

At one point we saw workers in the river, piling stones and wire mesh, it seemed like they were working to divert the river's flow.

We ended up walking all the way home because the buses weren't travelling along Doce de Abril due to the demonstration. Despite being somewhat peaked, we arrived home a bit exhilarated from our walk.

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