Friday, July 24, 2009

Hodge Podge

As July and August in Cuenca are considered the windy months, it seems logical that on many street corners & traffic circles throughout town they're selling kites. We've mentioned before that Ecuadorians are masters at seizing the moment and opening up small kiosks etc selling whatever is appropriate to the season. We all donned our raincoats and walked around the neighbourhood admiring the various kite set-ups and dodging rain drops. Brian is mildly complaining about the altitude and being somewhat short of breath but Shelley figures it's just that he didn't keep up his walking exercise the week he was away and he's gotten a bit out of shape.

On our way downtown to stop in at the Post Office we ran across a tinsmith's shop at 7-49 Calle Coronel Talbot, just around the corner from the Modern Art Museum. The fellow in there gave us a demonstration of his art; showing us how the various designs are made in the metal and how the metal is cut and folded. It was all rather serendipitous and wonderful.

While Brian was away Shelley set up a dinner with two friends and we ventured over to their lovely apartment for a wonderful meal. They have a cat. Fredi didn't notice the cat for a couple of hours as the cat had judiciously slipped away to the spare bedroom upon our arrival. Fredi enjoyed herself exploring the new surroundings, eating cat food and tearing apart a cute little toy tipped with feathers at one end. Shortly after we'd sat down to eat dinner, the cat ventured from the bedroom. Fredi sharp barked twice and took off like a whirling dervish after this beast that was sauntering across the floor. The cat did a 180, roared into the spare bedroom and jumped up on a special stool that looked out the window. Shelley put Fredi's leash on and kept her close after that. There was no hope that she wouldn't try everything she could to get a better look at this wondrous beast. This was Fredi's first cat encounter.

Meanwhile, the humans solved the problems of the world, put politics, religion & the culinary arts in their proper places and generally had a delightful evening.

If it seems that we're forever going to the dentist, it's because we are. We figure dental visits alone go a long way to supporting our retirement in Ecuador; the costs would be so much higher in Canada. In any case, off we went again for Brian's regular 3 month and Shelley's scheduled 6 month cleaning. Turns out Shelley's the one that had to come back after the initial appointment this time. Her gums have receded in 3 places to the point where the dentist feels a filling should be placed over the gap between tooth and root. This condition, ironically enough, is caused by brushing. Turns out the cleaning for Shelley and the filling in the 3 places will cost total $139. We don't know how much this would have cost in Canada but we're figuring at least $500 if not more. What would we do with ourselves if we weren't constantly trekking off to the dentist?

The next morning, while walking Shelley to the dentist for her second appointment, we ran into a couple of bicyclers with a Canadian flag and a fleur de lis Quebec flag flapping over their back wheel. We stopped and talked to the couple for a few minutes. They were young, very fit, very friendly and pleased to see a fellow Canadian. We gave them directions to Loja and wished them well. We should have but we never did ask them where they started from and how far they were going. We certainly wish them well! Just before we parted company we exchanged cards. You can read about their adventures on their website

Shelley's appointment at the dentist went well. The entire procedure took about 30 minutes and now the roots of those 3 teeth are protected and it generally looks better. Whereas it was sensitive to cold & hot before, covering it with filling will solve that. Prior to the appointment, however, she complained to Brian that after living with him for a decade and a half, she now got somewhat anxious before a dentist appointment. He pretended not to understand where she was coming from.

Friday was Brian's brother's Celebration of LIfe. We woke up thinking of him and spent time thinking of family throughout the day; some good ~ some bad thoughts; you know how it is.

It turned out to be a pretty stressful day. (These are not supposed to happen to us; we're retired!) We had to fax some documents to our bank in Canada and as easy as this sounds, it ended up being a semi-nightmare where we couldn't confirm that documents had in fact been faxed and later on still we sent out an email that was not responded to. Yet another different email was sent to our investment manager and yet another incomprehensible email was received back. Shelley ended up phoning Canada and that relieved some of the stress. Later on, she had one of the Nicorettes Brian brought back from Canada. It helped.

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