Half of us had a good day on Wednesday. Brian went to yet another cooking glass with 2 of our friends and enjoyed a bottle of wine and various appetizers. Shelley went to the periodontist. Her appointment was for 5:30 in the afternoon. The day seemed to go on forever. The periodontist was a very nice man with a pretty good grasp of English and he explained to Shelley that she had gum disease bad enough in 4 different spots that he should split the gum, clean under the gum and then stitch the gum back together. Doesn't that sound like fun!? Brian had this done several years ago and in the end it didn't do him any good as he had all but 3 of his teeth eventually removed. However, Shelley's willing to give it a try in the hopes of keeping all her own teeth. Brian meanwhile was sloshing back wine & good food. In Brian's class they had prepared 6 different hors d'oevres, all of which were delicious but Brian particularly liked a shrimp mixture on toast. Because Brian was concerned about Shelley and knew that she was upset about problems with her teeth, he left his cooking class as soon as possible and came home to offer empathy and support. Fredi, as usual, came out of her skin when both Shelley & Brian arrived home from their respective appointments.
At about 7 o'clock Thursday morning we all woke up to the bed shaking because we were experiencing an earthquake! Usually the shaking only lasts a couple of seconds, but this one went on for apparently 15 or 50 seconds according to 2 different reports; it felt like quite a long time. Various sites call it between a 6.9 and 7.2 quake. Cuenca was about 262 km from the epicentre. Nothing fell over in our apartment, Fredi was alert but not anxious and afterwards Shelley had a few more minutes of snoozing. Later Shelley thinks she found a couple more cracks in our walls (nothing serious).
We were planning on having dinner out at the La Mar Seafood Restaurant (Remigio Crespo 15-35 & Unidad Nacional) with another couple that evening, so we spent the day computering, reading and of course taking Fredi for a visit to the park. Fredi's made several friends at the park and it is nice in that she always introduces us to their owners as well. We've almost decided that the best people to practice our Spanish with are 5 year olds, although their parents, when they speak a little English, often join in the conversation. The La Mar Restaurant turned out to be a delightful surprise. Another couple we know had said that it was very good and also Brian asked the family he met in the park about the place and they said it was good, so we sat down and had a meal that completely exceeded our expectations. The seafood was beautifully prepared, the helpings were just the right size and the flavours were scrumptious. It's always fun to visit with friends and we had a terrific conversation to accompany the meal.
Since Brian's been taking the cooking classes, he's been campaigning for a food processor. We had looked in several stores but hadn't taken the plunge yet. Friday, being another coolish day, we decided to take a trip up to Coral Centro and see what they had in stock. Shelley went inside and looked around while Fredi & Brian sat outside. She came out and reported there was a nice Oster machine whereupon Brian went inside, looked around and eventually came back out with the Oster in hand. It's sort of got a blade like a helicopter don't you think?
Saturday dawned rainy, cold & miserable. Nevertheless, we had planned on taking a bit of a walk so Fredi could get her outing and we could just get out of the apartment. Shelley had washed the floors in the morning and managed to slip on the wet floor and sprain her wrist. It was quite painful but there was still mobility in the wrist so she took a couple of aspirin, put a tensor bandage on it and called it a day. A few days before she'd tripped in a pot hole on the sidewalk and small "s" sprained her ankle. "I keep hurting myself" she whined to Brian. "It's because of my stupid teeth!" Brian didn't see the correlation.
For our entertainment that afternoon we gave Fredi a bath and blow dry and then later on made a cheese roll. Shelley instructed on both jobs and Brian did the dirty work. Brian actually commented at one point: "This is fun!"
Brian's globe trotting friend Jan (formerly from Holland then Canada then Holland) is now living in Saudi Arabia, working on a high-speed rail project as one of their top engineers. From time to time, Jan'll send us pictures and we'll post some of them on the blog for interests sake. Jan tells us that quite often traffic circles will have "art" in the middle of them, as often do the traffic circles in Ecuador. Displayed on this blog is some of Saudi's art.