Monday, June 14, 2010

Our First Night In Cuenca

After we settled in yesterday afternoon, we spent some time talking to Jenny and Chris, the gracious owners and hosts of the cafe and rental that we are staying in. It was interesting to to hear of their remodeling adventures and how they have adjusted to Cuenca life. We learned a lot in the short time that we talked to them and I am sure we will have remodeling war stories to share with them as well.

For instance we learned that a lot of the building materials over here are not of the same quality we see in the States, therefore repairs are an ongoing thing. Some of the more common materials such as teak and granite are a fraction of what it would cost you in the States.

Apparently when you hire laborers they do not come with their own tools, you are expected to provide everything from saws and drills to paint brushes and drop cloths. Also the laborers are not always familiar with the tools that we are accustomed to and therefore resulting in a lot of tool repairs.

Rod did ask  Jenny and Chris what they thought about the price that was paid for our property and they were quite quick to tell us we had gotten a good deal. I know this was always a question in the back of our minds as Ecuador doesn’t have any comparisons like we do in the U.S. People just pretty much put whatever price they want on their property. This will be a learning adventure for sure and I am quite confident that the information Chris and Jenny provided will be invaluable.

After a nice chat, we decided to go look at the property. We didn’t have keys yet, but we wanted to look at the outside and get our bearings as to where things were located in relation to the house. The first thing we discovered when viewing the outside of the house is that there was at least one exterior wall that did not need repair (Yippee! ) The next thing we discovered is that our favorite restaurant, Tiesto’s is on the same street as our house and only a block and a half away. This could be trouble.

We also walked to the local market which is only half a block away and did a quick walk through. Like the market we visited in February, this market is much the same with fruits and vegetables and grains stacked high. It will be a job just to learn all of the different types of produce that we don’t even recognize. There was also the typical meat and fish stalls, but since there is no refrigeration I don’t think I will be buying meat at this market.

We decided to grab a quick dinner as Tiestos was closed and we were famished. We visited a cafe that we had been to on the first trip and ordered our food. Rod ordered a cheese sandwich with fries and I ordered a salmon dish. The menu was not in English, so we spun the wheel and took a chance. Rod’s sandwich came out first with chips. He was disappointed, but to tired to ask for his french fries. Then my plate came out with two slices of french bread toasted and some sort of salsa. I didn’t see any salmon so I pointed to the dish and asked the waiter salmon? He shook his head yes and we left it at that. I was thinking I would have to order something else as this was not going to fill me up.

About 5 minutes later the waiter came back with a plate of beautiful salmon and a heaping bowl of french fries. That’s more like it. Apparently timing is not of the upmost importance when serving food like it is in the U.S. The salmon was absolutely delicious, it had some sort of pineapple salsa on it and some steamed veggies on the side. Rod’s sandwich was...well a cheese sandwich. While we were at the cafe we met an exchange student who noticed our non existent Spanish and introduced herself.

She was from the States as well and was staying with a family in Cuenca until August. We each shared our stories of Cuenca with each other and enjoyed conversation for a short while as she was waiting on her ride. A nice ending to a wonderful day, but we are both exhausted and look forward to a good nights sleep.

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