Sunday, Nov 6, 2016

I made it into El Centro today. Chase, Heidi, and I caught the bus and got off at Solano and 12 de Abril. There were still many vendors set up selling their wares. It looks like a giant Arts Festival lining the streets and filling the plazas.

I enjoy looking at the things for sale, but I do not want “things”. Something happened to me when we sold everything we owned moving here. Things we had bought and collected over many years; things we used and things we didn’t; things we cherished and things that had no meaning, all of it was sold or given away.

Now when I look at “things” I just get a feeling of encumbrance and weight, something in my life that I do not want again. Because of this, I don’t make a good customer for all the entrepreneurs and artisans filling these tents. I do however still like food, so those vendors have the best shot with me. 😉

Fair during Cuenca Independence celebration

Fair during Cuenca Independence celebration

When we walked up the stairs into El Centro it was a typical Sunday, everything was closed. I wanted lunch and as I looked at all the closed corrugated steel doors covering the restaurant entrances, I knew our options are going to be limited.

We walked by the Wind Horse Cafe and it was open. I’ve never been here since being in Cuenca. I get the sense it is sort of a gringo hangout. We went in and the few tables in the place were full. There was a small round table on the landing of the stair case that would work for us. The food was ok, but nothing I feel necessary to come back again to have.

We walked along the Tomebamba and looked at the many vendors selling their things. An indigenous woman was walking the busy sidewalk selling small, carved out wooden dish-type things with a picture painted on the inside of them. Heidi stopped to look.

I kept walking a bit more, then stopped to wait for Heidi. I watched her talking to the woman and I thought for sure was going to buy what this woman was selling. I watched her leave the conversation without purchasing anything.

We continued to walk and look at more things along the row of vendor tents when the woman was back at Heidi’s side. She put her wooden dish in front of Heidi again. Oh boy.

Heidi stopped but I kept walking. This time Heidi bought it. I asked her why we needed this “thing” and she told me that she likes “things” that make her think of places we have been. Points to the persistent woman.

Personally, I believe Heidi just feels bad saying “no” to people who she perceives are struggling and trying to do better for themselves. Points for Heidi. I guess this thing is our newest Ecuador “souvenir”.

Heidi's dish "thing"

Heidi’s dish “thing”

When we finished looking at all the many colorful, and sometimes actually interesting, products for sale, we headed to Supermaxi to buy groceries. I don’t like grocery shopping either, but as I said, I do like to eat. 🙂 We filled our cart, paid, and waited for a taxi. It was a big grocery day and I was thankful when a taxi stopped to load us up and bring us home.

By the way, it didn’t rain today…that’s a good thing. 😉