Tuesday, August 16, 2011
WELCOME TO THE NEIGHBORHOOD
NOTE TO READERS: Photos have nothing to do with this post..just odd ball ones I threw in.
When we first moved to this house, we were the only "Gringos" in a house in this area..oh yeah, there are condos a few blocks each way with other expats in there, but really, we felt like we were striking out into a new adventure in this neighborhood.
We are just a few blocks from what is known as the Puertas Del Sol neighborhood, or fondly called Gringo-landia by us expats. Randy & I were smug in our announcements that we were not quite over that far, and we were smack dab in the middle of locals.. with high hopes of making friends with them. Well we did make an acquaintance with two; but to be "friends" is stretching the truth a bit too much. We wave, and the ones that speak a bit of English try to speak a bit more with us, but the thoughts we had about our relationship with the neighbors has just not come be.. Probably because we have not pushed our Spanish to the level that we feel comfortable speaking with folks beyond a few pleasantries.. we start stumbling when we are trying to speak "off the cuff".
Well back to our smugness.. we are not smug any more.. we now have two fellow expats living right around the corner from us... in houses!
Manon, was staying here with us for a few weeks before she found her rental house; and because it needed massive renovations before she could move in, she moved to a hostel (Nuestra Residencia) right across the street from her house (how handy is that!) She has now moved in to her newly restored home, and has even had two big parties; one to thank those that helped her move in and one to just have fun!
Manon is a wonderful friend, great cook, and just a hoot to be around. We have exchanged keys, and we run back and forth at all hours of the night and day between houses, exchanging food, using the internet, household items, and whatever needs we think of .
Today, our housekeeper came over to meet with Manon so she could talk with her about cleaning her house. Well we could not get Manon to answer her phone.. I took the keys and we marched around the corner and I rang the bell long and loud several times before a sleepy "who is it" came over the intercom..(yes, some house have cool intercoms and electronic locks on their gates). We were buzzed in and Manon met us in all her morning glory, sleepy eyes..oh crud.. you have someone with you! Luckily Manon is as casual as I am, and she just laughed, and then hugged our sweet housekeeper. After some false starts and Google Translate I left them to get on with the house cleaning.
It is very wonderful to have that trust and comfort with folks that you would never have met if we had not moved to Cuenca!
Our second new neighbors are Joe and his son Joseph. They have also remodeled their rental, gotten a business license and now are serving dinners in their home. Its like a Supper Club, you have to be on a special email list to get invited.. and the dinners are always full, they can seat up to 40 guests. Their home is wonderful, the food is always fabulous, and both are amazing hosts. The last time we were there Joe played the Grand Piano, and Joseph sang a bit.. We all joined in and it was fun to hear everyone singing and see all the smiles as they enjoyed a wonderful evening.
Ok, so now we need some Twilight zone music... the funny story about these two neighbors is that they are both from the same state, lived across the river from each other, took bridge lessons from the same teacher.. and never met each other till they moved to Cuenca.. is that not freaky? There are many other stories like this that we have encountered since we have moved here. People have attended the same schools, never met till moving here; good friends in the states have said, hey a friend of ours is living down in Ecuador, their name is so and so... Yep you guessed it, the person living here in Cuenca, knows that person or is really good friends with them! Maybe I should change the music to "Is a small world after all"..
So as we welcome more and more folks to our neighborhood, I hope they don't think we are odd when we start to hum the twilight tune, or It's a small world, as we hear all the similarities that we have...
Posted by Karen Kimbler