|On the Road to Paute|
The thing to remember is that life is dynamic not static. Never think your move to Ecuador is an ending. It must always remain a new beginning.
It was time to take Fredi to the vet to get her nails clipped so we headed off to Remigio Crespo. First we stopped at the spice store to see, if by chance, they had any oyster sauce without MSG. We'd managed to find some in SuperMaxi awhile ago and bought several bottles but now that we're getting low SuperMaxi only has the kind with MSG. The spice store only had the MSG kind as well. We stopped at Fybeca to buy a young friend (under 5) a toy Shelley had spied in the window. "Look!" she told Brian. "That's really cool!" Then we finally headed down the street to the vet's office. Our vet was in, happy to see Fredi, and we practiced English & Spanish on each other while Fredi got her nails clipped. We also bought some Advantage because we'd used up the last package when we took our trip to the coast. The fleas are relatively scarce in Cuenca but fleas & tics can easily be found at the beach. (PS:- A couple of days later we were walking down Simon Bolivar and spotted a grocery store flying an Ecuadorian and a Chinese flag. We thought they might have oyster sauce without MSG and they did. As well they had Chinese liquor, crockery & noodles.)
Most of Wednesday felt like it took place on the bus. We met some friends at the bus station and then travelled to Paute to have lunch at Corvel. The trip is really only about 45 minutes and the cost is $0.75. After lunch we wandered around the town a bit but mostly walked to the bus station and caught a bus back to Cuenca. In the morning when we started, Cuenca was quite cool and Paute seemed quite warm but by the time we arrived back in Cuenca it was warm there too. It was actually a nice day, looking out the window at the new scenery and watching all the goings on at the side of the road.
Shelley's shoes were beginning to wear out and all her looking in the Chinese clothing & shoe stores resulted in nothing she liked. Most of the fine Ecuadorian shoe stores supply high heels & pointed toes. Thus, on Thursday, we headed off to Payless Shoes and paid close to Canadian prices for a perfectly fine pair of shoes that fit her. We then walked down to the Post Office for our monthly check in. There was nothing there. It's an odd thing, this living with virtually no mail. We then walked across town, down the long stairs to the river and caught a bus home. We'd been invited out for dinner that evening with a couple we haven't seen for ages, so of course we needed to get home in a reasonable time for Brian to have a good nap. He'd missed his nap entirely the day before and fell asleep in his chair (Shelley prodding him awake) all evening. We ended up having an absolutely lovely evening, helped along by 2 vodka martinis! We also met a delightful couple relatively new to Cuenca who instantly fell in love with Fredi. Fredi sneaked cheese appetizer from the coffee table while we were eating dinner and our hosts were lovely and gracious about it! The food was great (ask Fredi), the company was wonderful and we really enjoyed ourselves although as usual, Brian & Shelley couldn't decide whose turn it was to talk.
|Children in Traditional Costumes Dressed up for the Founding of Cuenca|
Over the next week there will be a myriad of events commemorating Cuenca's founding, including music and dance concerts, firework shows, jewelry, crafts and food fairs. Brian is planning on seeing Cuenca's Symphony Orchestra play Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture in the park Friday evening. We've been told they shoot off real cannons! As it's a bit too late for Shelley's comfort, she and Fredi will stay home and listen to the fireworks being shot off all over town. Friday during the day, we trudged around paying our bills and then went to Parque Calderon to await the appointed time to meet a couple of friends across the street for lunch. While waiting, some other friends came by and we chatted quite merrily for 15 minutes or so. Finally the people we'd arranged to meet for lunch arrived and we settled into sandwiches as well as catching up on all the gossip. It'd been awhile since we'd all been together so there was much to talk about. The fact was, we were "forced" to order a beer each after lunch just to give us an excuse to keep on keeping up. That evening, before Brian went out, there was a parade of probably just about all the emergency vehicles in Cuenca going down Doce de Abril with sirens blaring. Oblivious at first, we thought there must have been some terrible catastrophe before we realized it was just another display for Cuenca's birthday. Still later on in the evening, after Brian had returned home, he reported the Symphony was great, the fireworks stupendous and that he'd bumped into several people we know. By the way, the fireworks were set off right in the street in the heart of downtown Cuenca beside the Cathedral. Imagine any main intersection in North America where they set off a stupendous fireworks display! No doubt the Fire Marshall would shut it down immediately. Here, there seems to be an almost gleeful disregard for such regulations. It should be noted however, nothing untoward did happen because of the display.