It's Monday evening at 6 pm and the power just went out. Brian yells from the front room "The power went out!" Shelley, in the computer room, yells back, "OK....I see that".
We don't know why.
"What are we going to do?" Brian asks.
"Play crib?" Shelley replies.
We didn't have time to decide before the power came back on.
More shoe shopping on Tuesday produced 1 pair of shoes for Shelley for $13. She bargained them down from $14. Brian was disgusted. He says Shelley doesn't bargain hard enough. Shelley explains she was hard put to find a pair of shoes under $100 in Canada. Brian asks "What's your point?"
We stopped discussing the matter.
Plans had been made to meet up with some "blog people" on Wednesday but it turned out one of them got sick and they decided to truncate their vacation...thus they didn't come to Cuenca. With things up in the air about what we should do, we decided to head off to Feria Libre and buy some chicken livers to make Fredi her treats. The weather has turned again. After several glorious days it's now rainy and cool out. Even poor Fredi shivers in the apartment. Shelley tried to talk Brian into getting Fredi a sweater for these types of days but Brian just wouldn't go for it. As it was, we barely made it to Feria Libre and back before the rains started and continued for most of the day.
Yet another blog couple had e-mailed us and we decided to meet them for lunch at Raymipampa on Thursday. We both put on our rain coats & took Fredi for a quick pee before we caught a cab downtown. The folks turned out to be really great people and we had a very nice lunch together. As they were from Edmonton, Alberta Canada they appreciated the fact that Cuenca was in the middle of its winter and it didn't take much convincing to let them know most of Cuenca's days were a lot better than what they had yet seen. They told us about their various adventures travelling around Ecuador and we gave them some tips & insights into the moving process and paperwork that is required should they decide to come back full time. After lunch we sat in the park and gabbed some more until it was time to part ways.
What kind of people move to Ecuador? Are they out of their tree? Were they world travellers? Are their finances so poor they didn't have a choice? Do they speak Spanish? Well...no one is really poor; although it certainly is cheaper to live in Ecuador than most of North America, they have residency requirements that preclude the really poor. There's blue collar, white collar & professionals. It is not a requirement that you have done a lot of travelling or speak Spanish but...you must be willing to adjust & actively live with new things surrounding you. You must have patience. A sense of humour is highly desirable as is a willingness to learn new things. You must be willing to "let go" of stuff & people & places. When we lived on the boat we'd always be carefull to tell people "it's not for everyone" and Ecuador is the same. To be absolutely honest, at this point we'd like to slam the door and advise that Ecuador is now full. We don't want to see it become "spoiled" and changed too much via rampant immigration...but change is inevitable and should be embraced and doesn't always mean the end of something good. Our advice is always to come down for several months and see how it suits you. If while you're down here you decide to come back to stay, contact a local lawyer regarding the current immigration rules. What kind of people move to Ecuador? The answer is all kinds.
That time of month seems to come so quickly but off we went again on another round of paying the bills. First to the Pago place to pay our cold water & electricity, next hop on a #28 bus to the ETAPA place downtown and pay our internet bill, next to the bank to pay our rent and lastly to a phone place to pick up a new pay-as-you-go card for the phone. Sometimes the line-up was short and easy and sometimes the line-up was long and interminable but we managed to make it through the whole procedure in a couple of hours and were home in plenty of time for Brian to have his nap.
With nothing special planned for Saturday, we headed down town just for the walk. We window shopped and managed to buy yet another blouse for Shelley plus a spoon holder for the kitchen counter. We stopped in at the CB Carolina bookstore and chatted with Carol & Lee for a bit. We ended up walking down to the broken bridge and decided at that point, since we were so close to the place, we'd stop in and get Brian a bunch of empanadas; which we did. After we picked up a dozen, which they packaged in a small box, we caught the bus and wafted the good smell of fresh baking throughout on our ride home.
Sunday we went down to the park, gabbed with people, picked up roast pig...you know, the usual. Monday we went shopping (more of the usual) and gabbed with a another couple we met in the store. At home again, Shelley made microwave cheesecake and a new cheese puff appetizer she's trying out as we're having company for dinner on Tuesday. PS: - We don't particularly recommend the cheese puffs (oh well). Tuesday we took Fredi for a couple of walks and mostly puttered around the house. Brian prepped vegetables for our dinner guests and we generally had a quiet day. That evening we had 3 people over for dinner (all 3 new to Ecuador). Brian cooked lomo fino (tenderloin steak) and roasted potatoes. We got to know each other a little better, ate too much and generally had a good time.