Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Sitting on our Laurels

One of the things we always do with new people to Cuenca is take them to Feria Libre. We met our Panama/Canadian friends at the market and took them for a quick tour: past the veggies piled high, past the puppies & kittens & geese & chicks & roosters & cuy, past the meat market with sausages & sides of beef & pork hanging from hooks & yellow chicken displayed on counter tops, past the chocolate in slabs & the sugar in huge solid rectangles, past the fish & the seafood & the pots & pans & the shoes & the spices & crowds & crowds of people. We bought 2 pounds of giant shrimp (prawns), peeled & deveined for $7 and one very large piece of tuna for $3 (enough for 3 servings). Walking along the river, we then took them back to our place and heated up the fried rice Brian had made the day before & cooked the tuna & prawns and had a bit of a feast with Punto cake with fruit & nuts for dessert. We talked about the differences between Panama and Cuenca & the things we miss (only from time to time) in Canada. We discouvered that one of our guests and Brian had gone to competing schools on Vancouver Island and had also been a live-aboard. It was a very pleasant morning and early afternoon. To demonstrate how much we enjoyed our outing and feast, please be advised that Brian actually missed his nap!

On our way downtown for our walk on Sunday we managed to get only sprinkled by a drop or two of rain, even though the sky was very grey when we started out. By the time we got to the park, however, and met several people there, and talked for a bit, the sprinkles had turned into something more. We headed for a restaurant for tea & coffee & agua and had a really nice chat together. Later on of course, Brian got his roast pig. We took a cab home as the buses weren't running down our street due to a bicycle race.

During the course of our conversation at the restaurant on Sunday, the "demented school master" was mentioned. One of the couples knew EXACTLY what was being talked about. "What is with that guy!?" they asked. We talked about flag waving & a sinister experiment to see how loud a National Anthem could be played ;-) and explained it was merely a part of the colourful local culture. We suggested they should think of him as a week-day alarm clock (7 to 7:30 am).

The following story was also imparted by Shelley and we were told it too should go into the blog:

Brian and Shelley were chattering the other day and Shelley mentioned to him that it seemed to be that he was irritating her more than usual the last couple of weeks. "What's with that?" Shelley asked.

Brian's instant reply was as follows: "It's because I don't have enough to do. If I had a helicopter we wouldn't bicker."

Shelley could only roll her eyes, flip her hair and leave the room.

Shopping on Monday as usual. We met one couple we knew in the store and chatted for awhile. Brian found out about yet another cooking class (he's taking one this Thursday) so the couple & Brian arranged to take another class together next week. Leaving the store we ran into someone else we know. Cuenca has a population of 467,000 (according to Wikipedia). It's not big nor small but it is nice to have that small town feeling when you run into people you know. Rarely in Vancouver did we happen upon friends except of course, down at the dock.

Upon arriving home Brian took Fredi for a visit to her dog friends at the park and Shelley make a cake. The recipe uses a cake mix, 1 pint of ice cream, 1 cup of water, 3 eggs & a greased & cocoa'd/floured bunt pan. Cook for 45+ minutes until toothpick comes out relatively clean. Shelley used chocolate for the mix & ice cream but you can use any flavours you want. It makes a delicious and super moist cake topped with whipped cream. Since she was in a flurry she also made seafood chowder & a baguette appetizer. The chowder was for dinner that evening but the cake & appetizers were made because (come on...guess) we were having guests on Tuesday for dinner.

It was a wet & soggy morning on Tuesday so Brian reluctantly took Fredi for her walk (reluctantly because Fredi gets damp & dirty on these kinds of days). We spent the rest of the day puttering & prepping for our guests that evening. We've now had everybody for dinner that we owed and then some. We've fulfilled all obligations & are now sitting on our laurels. You know something (?): laurels aren't as comfortable as some people would make them out to be. (Deep Aside: What exactly are laurels {Roman crowns?} & why would anyone want to sit on them?) In any case, Brian made the almost famous Dowager Chicken Curry with rice. We also served fruit on the side plus broccoli & cauliflower. It was a good group of people and we had a wonderful evening.


  1. I'm glad to have found your blog tonight. We are also from BC (Qualicum Beach) and hoping to spend some extended time in Ecuador with 8 of our 9 dc, on an adventure.

  2. Idiom: rest on (one's) laurels
    To rely on one's past achievements instead of working to maintain or advance one's status or reputation.

    You all deserve to rest on your laurels; who needs to advance one's status in Paradise?