Living in Ecuador Day 309- Bus survival

Wednesday, Nov 16, 2016

A gorgeous day in Cuenca and none of us wanted to miss it. We all walked along the Yanuncay river until we got to Solano, then we stopped in a place for a light lunch. I had a chicken empanada and it was good. Added some aji sauce with onions and I was set to go. All for a buck 60.

Our destination is Parque Paraiso and it was my intention to walk the 5 miles there. Since the day is so bright and sunny, the weather so nice and warm, I wore my flip flops. After a mile and a half I am getting blisters. Oh that’s right, it’s been seven months since I was on the coast and wore them regularly. My feet have gone soft in their pampered socks and shoes environment.

I flagged a taxi and we were all at the park in no time at all. There are a bunch of high school aged guys practicing football, not futbol mind you, but football…American style. Heidi is wanting to know where they will be playing.

The park isn’t crowded like it usually is when we are here on a Sunday, so we pretty much get to enjoy the whole 50 acres to ourselves. At the exercise equipment we all took a turn or two seeing how difficult each one was. None seemed that hard, but maybe after 5 or 10 minutes I wouldn’t feel that way.

Exercise in the park

Exercise in the park

Heidi and Michelle tried the “steering wheel” exercise machine. I think this one is for rotator cuff flexibility. All I can think of is “wax on, wax off”. Michelle tried to wax on, wax off from behind her back. She would have made Mr. Myagi proud.

Easton is leaving for the coast tomorrow and needs to buy his bus ticket. After we walked most of the areas of the park we headed to the bus terminal. Our taxi driver dropped us off across the street and in front of the terminal. This is a new one for me because we usually get dropped behind the terminal. When he pulled the taxi to the curb I asked him where we were because I didn’t recognize it from this side of the building.

With bus ticket in hand, our last stop is in El Centro for Easton to check on his phone repair. We are all having problems with our technology devices lately. Easton’s screen has been freezing up and there is nothing that seems to fix the problem. Mateo at SmartRepair is wiping and re-installing the operating system.

When we arrived Mateo gave Easton the phone and the touch screen was working. Mateo did say when the phone starts up it runs slow at first. We thanked him and headed for coffee and ice cream at Tutto Freddo.

While we were there Easton turned his phone off and on, and then the screen locked up again. After two more attempts of restarting the phone, the screen stayed frozen. Heidi and Michelle headed to Supermaxi for wine while Easton and I went to see Mateo and deal with the phone.

After being with Mateo for almost an hour nothing is fixing the problem. We left the phone with him to try some more things, and said we would check with him tomorrow. Easton and I headed to 12 de Abril to catch the bus home.

When our bus stopped at Feria Libre on our route home, probably 30 people got on. This means the aisle is packed two people wide. When our bus stop approached, Easton and I got out of our seats and began to move our way to the back exit door through the river of people in the aisle.

Easton was ahead of me and as I made my way back a very short indigenous woman with her traditional skirt and hat jumped from her aisle seat, cut me off, and got in front of me. She was carrying a bucket as well.

The bus pulls up to our stop and I am behind this old woman who is moving very slowly. As I make my way to the back we are 3 people wide in the narrow aisle and there is no way I can get around her.

When I’m almost to the exit door the old woman stops and sets her bucket down in front of her. I can’t move forward. I say “permissio” to pass. She doesn’t  move. Easton has made it off the bus and is looking at me through the open door. The woman is short enough I can almost jump over her but my foot would have landed in that damn bucket on the floor in front of her.

I ask again to pass but she doesn’t move. I thought she got out of her seat to get off at this stop, but since she stopped just short of the door I am mistaken. A woman next to the old woman can see I am trying to get off and says something to the four foot tall granny. The old woman doesn’t move.

I’m looking at Easton as the doors close and the bus pulls away headed to the next stop. Needless to say I am pissed. Not so much at the woman in front of me but for my own failure to get out of my seat and head to the back of the bus when I saw how many people were getting on at Feria Libre. It is the culture here; in a crowd it is every person for themselves.

The next bus stop is only two blocks away so it isn’t that big of a deal. When the doors open the old woman picks up her bucket and walks slowly down the steps, I mean s.l.o.w.l.y. and I was wondering if I would make it out in time before the doors closed on me again. Fortunately I was able to leap off the steps and around the old woman and her bucket.

I met Easton who had walked toward this stop to meet me. He couldn’t stop laughing.

Chau.

%d bloggers like this: