Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Cuenca, Ecuador

We arrived in Cuenca Saturday night at 8:00. We then took a taxi to our apartment. The ride is just a few minutes; maybe ten minutes. Our landlady greeted us at the apartment building, and after we dropped our extra heavy luggage, she walked with us to a nearby store, Tia, to buy some breakfast items. This included instant coffee, which they seem to adore here, yogurt, bananas, spoons, and Doritos. Malena, our landlady said that gringos love Doritos. When we got back home we unpacked our suitcases. This was a great feeling. We had been living out of our suitcases for the previous eleven days. We were in bed at about 2:00am. 

Our first night was spent sleeping on the floor, well almost.  Malena let us borrow a mattress from a vacant furnished apartment in the building. Our first full day here was Sunday. Things are slow in Cuenca on Sunday's. But, that did not slow us down!  We walked three miles to one of the local malls and ate lunch before starting our shopping spree.  After lunch we went to Coral.  Coral is like a super Wal-Mart but even larger. The place was packed with people. The locals shop on the weekends. I think we will shop only on weekdays. It was a mad-house!  However, it was fun to see the locals and to explore new products that are not found in the USA.  After the shopping spree we did not walk the three miles back. We hailed a taxi and loaded up our purchases, with the assistance of a Coral employee.  Yes, they carry the items to your car! The trunk was packed and we had to put a few items in the back seat with us. The rest of the day was spent unpacking the coffee pot, toaster oven, etc and then we swept and mopped the apartment. We have no furniture yet so Malena said for us to take a table from the rooftop and use it until we purchased our furniture. It's a small, round, outdoor cafe table 

Yesterday, Monday, Malena took us shopping.  First stop, a TV. We were able to find a Samsung 46" Smart TV like we had in Atlanta. Malena negotiated the price for us and saved us $1,000.00!!!!  We love Malena!  Next stop, mattresses. We purchased two mattresses, pillows, and sheet sets. Again, thanks to Malena, we received a discount on our purchases. Next stop, furniture shopping.  WOW! The furniture store had exactly what we wanted. Took some pics for future reference. Next stop, lunch.  Malena's Aunt owns a restaurant, Willboj's. We had the typical Ecuador almuerzo lunch which consists of soup, mote, rice, popcorn, meat or pasta dish, salad, tea, and dessert. How much you ask? $2.50 per person. I was full. Even left a little on my plate. Next stop, a few more furniture shops. Then, we finally settled on the furniture we wanted. So, we purchased a dining room table and chairs, sofa, bedroom set, and entertainment center. When we returned to the apartment Malena took us to the roof and introduced us to the former tenants of our apartment, Bill and Barb from Minneapolis. They moved up two floors. Bill and Barb have a couple visiting them for a month. It appears that the couple have never travelled overseas. They seemed to be relaxed and having a good time. Afterwards, we went to dinner, Mexican, and then to Tia and bought some breakfast items. When we got home we noticed on the egg carton a notation stating that the yolks are orange, not yellow.  We did not eat them this morning. 

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