Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Tomorrow Means Maybe

It's 10:19 on Friday morning. There are two men cutting an even bigger hole in our kitchen ceiling. They brought a square of something white that they're going to fit into the bigger hole and then they're going to fiberglass it all shut. Tomorrow, they're coming back to paint! Brian has taken Fredi for her morning walk. Shelley hides in the back bedroom, playing with the computer, listening to the awful cutting noises emanating from the kitchen. There was a bit of a flurry at the beginning because we couldn't supply our own drop cloth. Brian finally pointed out to them that there were a bunch of boxes in the basement that could be cut up and used. This is, in fact, what they did. When they were finished they did an absolutely wonderful job of cleaning up too. We've lived with our hole so long, are we going to miss it? Na.

Speaking of our hole, we've been teased from time to time about spiders coming down from it. This, to our knowledge has never happened. However, the last few days we've been killing large spiders all over the apartment. They are not gargantuan, frighten the horses, Godzilla spiders, but they are about 3/4's of an inch across. Brian suspects they're coming in our open patio door. They may not frighten horses but do seem to intimidate small dogs as Fredi doesn't want to have anything to do with them. Normally, other than a large beetle spied on the street from time to time, we don't see many bugs in Cuenca. Note: we've killed 4 spiders in the last 3 days, so don't get concerned there's been a terrible invasion.

Well, Saturday morning we waited fruitlessly for the workmen to come back and paint the ceiling. We sort of knew in our heart of hearts that expecting them to arrive two days in a row was asking too much. Brian took Fredi for a short walk and Shelley stuck around just in case, but no one came. We had planned on going out Saturday evening to a birthday party soiree, so it wasn't important to us that we do anything special in the day time. Nevertheless, even knowing better, it's hard not to be somewhat disappointed.

It's important to remember, no one is trying to avoid an obligation; our hole was in fact eventually fixed and the painting will eventually be done. It's just that the system of making these types of appointments, preparing for them, making sure that the required supplies are on hand, etc. needs a little work, and then there's also the "yes" factor. Ecuadorians seem to be genetically incapable of saying no. "No" might happen, but face to face, faced with "no", it just doesn't take place. "After tomorrow" means sometime within the next month. "Two weeks" means about 6 weeks. "Tomorrow" means maybe, but certainly sometime. It's hard, having grown up in the North American culture, to make the changeover, but we're getting better each and every day. Retirement helps!

One of our blog friends just arrived in Cuenca, so we arranged to meet her downtown at the main square on our usual Sunday morning outing. Born in Ecuador, she has spent all of her teenage & adult life in the United States & her working life in New York City. We met her last summer when she was visiting Ecuador (to see her family) and found her absolutely facinating. She's currently (retired for awhile) living in Pennsylvania. She has a charming blog called looloo by the lake and is starting another blog called looloo in ecuador. We met and chatted and went for ice cream & tea and then took a walk up to a piece of real estate she's thinking of buying and then chatted some more and then went for lunch and... you know... chatted some more. In any case, she's here for a couple of months and then back to Pennsylvania & then she'll come back to Ecuador more or less permanently. (You know how it is: depending on how things go.)

There was some consternation about doing our shopping on Monday morning because there was a notice in our elevator that they'd be servicing it at about the time we'd get home. The thought of walking up 4 flights of stairs, at least twice, with loads of groceries didn't sit well. As it turned out however, we didn't have to. The elevator was working, at least until Brian came back with Fredi after her walk. He sat on the stool in our foyer and panted for awhile. Shelley guessed the elevator was down. We'd also managed to run into the developer for the building and advised the hole was fixed (!) but they hadn't shown up to paint it as promised. We were given a beatific smile and asked for our telephone number. Presumably we'll get a call letting us know when the painting will happen.

Shelley made rum cake and cut up sour fruit so she could lace it with sugar and it could sit in preparation for a fruit salad. We're having company for dinner on Tuesday and Brian's going to make our favourite chicken curry, so he thought a fruit salad accompanying it would go well. After Brian was up and at 'em (you know, after the operation) everyone and their dog had us over for dinner, so we're starting the reciprocal thing. It'll take us a while to catch up but there's fun in the doing so it's OK.

Now...it's hours later. Shelley is covered in chocolate & rum & white sugar up to her elbows. She's cleaned chocolate off of her slippers & shirt & rum from the counter...white sugar sticks on the counter tops E-V-E-R-Y-W-H-E-R-E. The rum cake only needs to settle now & Shelley needs a "time out".

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