Thursday, Nov 10, 2016

I left the house for my 9:30 am appointment to get my phone fixed. I had about a half hour so I wasn’t rushed for time as I waited at the bus stop near my house. I usually take the #7 to El Centro. It drops me off on 12 de Abril and I walk up the many stairs into El Centro from there.

Another bus drives by my stop too. It’s the #17. This is the bus I take back to my house, and it drops me off two blocks away. I’ve never taken this bus into El Centro because I usually don’t have the time to not know for sure where I will end up at.

The #17 came by my stop and I decided to get on it. I learned it followed the same route as the #7, except at Remigio Crespo it turned right, then turned left at Loja and went into El Centro itself. It’s first stop was in front of the mercado on Calle Large, then it continued down that street.

I guess if I am ever feeling lazy and don’t want to walk up the many steps into El Centro I could take the #17. It drives up that big hill. At any rate I jumped off the bus and walked to SmartRepair to get my phone fixed.

Mateo showed up at 9:45 am and I left my phone with him. He told me there was a chance that when he opened the phone up the back could crack. I asked if the front screen was at any risk of breaking and he told me no. Ok, then go for it. He told me to come back at 2 pm.

I headed back to my house jumping on the #17 to get me home. The bus fare is 25 cents. Early in my bus riding experience I noticed something. Sometimes people would get on the bus, then stand at the front and take the bus fare from other people getting on.

At first I thought this was some sort of scam between the driver and the person taking the fares. Later I learned that if someone does not have a quarter but instead used a 50 cent piece or a dollar coin, they wait as others get on and take the fare for their change. So far I have always had correct change and never needed to do this.

Today I got to be a real local Ecuadorian bus rider. I only had a 50 cent piece. I put it in the machine and then stood near the door waiting for the next person to get on so I could get my change from them. In short order a man got on and I put my hand out in front of him, said “cambio por favor”, and he handed me his 25 cent bus fare. I headed to my seat happy I participated in this of form of local commerce exchange.

Heidi, Chase, and I went back to El Centro about 2 pm. Chase stopped by the dermatologist for a follow up visit but the doctor is on vacation. I guess he didn’t know he would be on vacation when the follow up appointment was scheduled. Weird.

We had lunch at Taj Mahal. I am starting to get addicted to chicken Shawarmas. When we finished we went to get my phone. Guess what? The part doesn’t fit. Evidently the correct size phone port is not available here.

Chase is going to the states next week. Maybe he can bring me one back.