After a Saturday evening watching a movie (The Hurt Locker) on our new TV, Brian was very enthusiastic about his purchase. "You know how people always say you need to see this show or that show at the movies?" Brian pointed out to Shelley, his voice rising at the end of the sentence. "Well" he continued "With this TV everything is just great!"
Shelley shrugged & even complained a bit that it's overwhelming brightness was giving her a small headache. These actions did nothing whatsoever to diminish Brian's enthusiasm.
The next day we did our usual Sunday morning walk to the park. Watched a troupe of dancers. Eyed various soap bubbles on the wind. Waved at small children. Talked to a fellow shih tzu owner. Met a friend. Had ice cream & lime tea. And last but not least went to the market to buy roast pig. On Monday we did our shopping, Brian took Fredi for her walk & Shelley make carrot cake as we were having company for dinner on Tuesday. Tuesday we walked downtown to the post office. Brian got a haircut ($3) & bought 3 pairs of socks ($6) and then we came home & spent most of the rest of the day prepping for our company, except for...you know...Brian & Fredi had a nap. Brian made chicken cacciatore with a side dish of fried mushrooms & zucchini. Shelley took the ingredients for caesar salad out of a bag & placed it artfully on plates. As per usual, we all ate too much, had a good time and enjoyed our evening.
Brian likes to explore the Ecuador Forums and often gets questions about Ecuador through that venue as well as through the blog. Below is an excerpt from an email he sent someone recently regarding crime in Ecuador:
"If you are following some of the expat forum sites you could become a little unsettled by reports of crime [in Ecuador]. Of course there is crime here but statistics indicate that all major crime categories incidents per 100,000 population are only 1/3 of those of the USA national average. We certainly don't feel any more threatened than we did in Vancouver, BC, our hometown. There seems to be more petty theft such as pickpocketing cameras and cellphones. We lost a camera that way and know folks who have had cellphones and laptops stolen. However prudent precautions have prevented any further incidents. We know a couple who had a rather nasty home invasion. They freely admit that they inadvertently made themselves a target. They have not given up on Ecuador though and are moving forward with their lives. Again, statistically speaking, you have less reason to fear for your safety here than almost anywhere in the US."
The morning was damp & dribbly Wednesday so Brian took Fredi out just for a quick walk and then later on we parted ways, leaving Fredi at home clean & dry. Shelley went to a stationery store to pick up some manila envelopes and Brian went to the hospital to visit a friend. Speaking of stationery stores, the other day we were talking with a friend about scotch tape. Shelley advised said friend that one had to go to a stationery store to find some. In Canada, you'd find tape at the grocery store, drug store, corner stores, department stores, etc. etc. Here in Ecuador a staple of most North American homes is actually somewhat hard to find. Also when we did find tape, it required a dispenser. We bought a dispenser and a couple of extra rolls of tape so we're all set for quite some time.
We were supposed to pick up our pieces at the framer's on Wednesday. We deferred the trip until Thursday figuring giving them an extra day might actually mean our pieces would be ready. Shelley had finally found the perfect picture for our kitchen wall, and we went to the artisan shop where she had seen it to pick it up first. It didn't open until 11 am, so we sat in the park for 20 minutes waiting. Brian tried to haggle on the price, but there was no budging. Still, we'd been looking for the perfect item for that spot on the wall for well over a year, and this was the first one that had caught Shelley's eye. We paid full price. Prideful of our purchase, we meandered the streets to the framers. We waited 15 minutes while they served a lady in front of us and then presented our receipt. After much telephoning and dithering about we were told it would take half an hour more for everything to be ready. We resignedly went off for a bite to eat. Brian had a burger and fries for $1.20 and Shelley had an aromatic tea. Arriving back at the framers, it was evident they were still working on our project. Hammering & tapping & much back and forth walking was heard from the workshop above. Several times a somewhat frantic individual came down & spoke with the lady serving us. While there wasn't arm waving, the tone indicated there should have been. The proprietress told us, demonstrating with her fingers close together, just a few more minutes. Another half an hour later, the workman proudly brought down our indigenous wall hanging. It looked fabulous!
With Brian sitting in the front seat and Shelley with her feet curled on the seat in the back, we just managed to get the framed wall hanging into a cab. Brian brought the drill out as soon as we got home and we kept our fingers crossed we wouldn't hit anything important. Our new painting, our wall hanging and the picture of our boat in its new frame are all hanging straight & aligned in the apartment and, they look great!
We're quite pleased with ourselves for some reason. Maybe Shelley feels the purchase of the bourgeois television has been redeemed by the art? Maybe Brian feels he's off the hook by buying something for Shelley that she really wanted? Maybe it just feels good to spend money you can afford? And in the end, perhaps it's just because the sun is shining?