Saturday, August 21, 2010


We have been moving along with our daily chores of getting here and there, meeting with friends, finding our favorite movies "in English" and discovering new ways to say the same things we know in Spanish. During this time we have found out that Randys "secrect cigar lady" does not have real Cuban cigars. Darn.

Our landlord invited a couple of soon to be expats over for dinner and also invited Randy and I. We had a wonderful dinner of BBQ hamburgers from a local Ecuadorian restaurant... we are sold. They were very very good. And the prices start at 1.50! Anyway, our new aquaintence is a Cigar shop owner in the states. He accompanied Randy and our landlord to the cigar shop... The landlord knew of the "secret place" too! They were all dissaponted when they were shown that only real Cubans would have a date on the bottom of the box, as well as some other specific details on the bands.

Later in the week I caught up with Brennie and she took me back to the San Francisco Market and we met with her favorite vendor of sweaters. I was getting a bit depressed when I would try one on and then have to say,No... mas grande por favor... Our lady was a trooper, her has walls made of piles of sweaters, and she would look and look and then point to one she thought I would like the color before she would struggle to pull this sweater out to see if it was "mas grande". She finally decided she needed to go explore the wares of a neighbor and indicated she would be right back. Brennie not to be denied the glory kept at it and pointed to a few that were up high on the walls hanging on hangers. We found the stick used to unhook the hangers and were delighted to find a Mas Grande sweater in brown! Now there are no mirrors in these stalls so you are totally dependent on your eye and your friend to be honest about how you look. Remember there is also no return policy... our lady came back with another sweater but was delighted to see that we had found on that was perfect. Because Brennie had brought a customer to her she just said the price would be the same, $14. A beautiful wool handknitted sweater. I am so snuggly warm now... Thanks Brennie!
Notice the missing detail on the left pocket... oh well..

Earlier in the week we had tried to find these sweaters but due to holidays the store was closed. We did find a warm blanket. Alpaca with lovely alpaca designs on it. It now resides on our bed, but I got a photo of it before we put in on. We were happy to pay $22 for this blanket.

Our great landlord had our furniture restuffed! So our couches and chairs are very comfy now, but Randy has been missing his foot stools. We have been looking and with our limited Spanish and arm waving we have been striking out. As we went to Supermaxi we noticed foot stools in a store and thought we would try again. These were the perfect color and size. Randy valiently strode up to the fellow and spoke in very precise Spanish, Hola, Buenos Tardes and the fellow responded with HELLO... oh thank goodness!
This fellow spoke enough to understand that we were interested in the footstool and he said "Poof?" We pointed again and he said "Poof?" Oh huh... ok so I said in my cro-magnun Spanish. Comprar solomente Poof... oh the joys of communication! He understood! He then turned and enlisted his girlfriend who had stopped by to have lunch with him until these two silly Gringos invaded. Luckily the girlfriend knew more English and we were off to the races! As a very good friend of ours says... Long story short.. we got the one "Poof", all wrapped in saran wrap type stuff. They went so far as to run down the road and grab a taxi and negotiate the fare for us. I told Randy on the way home I think the girl just wanted us gone so they could eat lunch. But she was so sweet about it you couldnt help but want to squeeze her in thanks for all her help. Here is our "Poof" in its place of honor!

We have been adding a few homey touches to our apartment and its starting to feel more like home. Here is one that Randy found to add... imagine that...

Randy has been busy ordering a hand made humidor, stereo stand and speaker stands. I have been a bit disgruntled by it all as I have not gotten anything for me... well except the Randy listened to my list of wants and we went and purchased a printer for our computer. Hooray... it scans prints and copies!

We were happy to hear that our friends Clarke and Breenie will have their Visas and soon will travel to Quito to get their Cedulas. Of course this has sent Clarke into a fit to go get his Motorcycle. Randy is overwhelmed with desire as well and has decided to get one too. Friday they took, (dragged) both Brennie and I along to witness this great event... it took all day...At our first stop after about an hour Clarkes guy found two bikes of the color that they were interested in, on the other side of town. So off we went on the bus to go talk to them. Once we get there we have to wait for the specific person who was contacted from the other guy at the first place.  At this point Brennie and I head off to Corral to see if we can find a steamer for Randy. After a unfruitful search we return just about the time Clarke leaps to his feet shaking his Spanish translator saying some in a very upset tone. Brennie and I decide they really dont want us there so we head off to eat as we are both starving. They seem to think its all worked out and will be along soon.. Brennie and I eat, and wait and wait and call...nope not done yet.. so we get ice cream... and wait. Well they do finally show up and say that all was well in the world. They were able to come to terms without blows and deposits were made and receipts were given. So now they are assured that their motorycycle will be ready by Wednesday.
What Wednesday is yet to be determined.

I have gotten behind in some of the fun photos that I have taken so I will take the liberty to show you them now. Our favorite popcorn is the Organics brand found in the local Safeway in Washington. I was shocked and amazed to find it on the shelves of our local Supermaxi. It was quickly scooped up and placed in our basket.

Randy has had some problems with the stairs here in Cuenca due to his knee issues. We are happy to report that he is getting much better and has even taken the dreaded Escalante steps. This photo is not of the Escalante, but just as steep!

 And what is a blog with out some art? I thought this was a very thought provoking piece. As our daughter says, its a picture that no one understands.


  1. Karen,
    I found Cohiba in Quito last year along Amazonas avenue so while maybe not in Cuenca I am sure a quick trip to Quito will solve that. The boxes were sealed and I paid less than $100 for the complete boxes. Good luck and thanks for blogging!

  2. Uh oh...are they buying Yamahas? I bought a couple Yamahas and a Honda from Eljuri - have had TERRIBLE service and long long waiting times for parts. For example, I have been waiting for two months for a hand protector (a part that easily breaks in a fall and should be in stock as it is commonly broken)... My suggestion is look into buying a Kawasaki - I have had much better experience and service with Kawasaki in Ecuador than with Eljuri (which owns Yamaha, Honda and a chain of stores in Ecuador)...

    Kawasaki is opening a store in Cuenca soon. My advice is to buy the bike at Kawa in Quito. you will be better off in the long run.

    Court at Ecuador Freedom Bike Rental...

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.