Monday, Jan 9, 2016
Today is a day to get some “chores” done. Heidi and I headed outside in the sunshine (yay!) and got on the bus headed to El Centro. At the bus stop it seemed we waited longer than usual, but maybe that’s my imagination. What surprised me when it showed up is how full the bus is at 12:30 pm in the afternoon. It usually isn’t this crowded.
Heidi and I got on and stood in the aisle at the very front of the bus because the aisle itself was full and we couldn’t move to the back. Standing on a bus in Ecuador is like being on a ride at Disneyland. The bus jumps forward from a complete stop throwing you backwards, then slams on its brakes tossing you forwards. The turns and curves are worse. If you don’t hang on with two hands it is very probable you end up in someone’s lap or on the floor.
When the bus reached Feria Libre several people exited and one seat was available for Heidi. I was able to make it to “the cage”, which is a square area surrounded by railings on three sides that people can stand in lieu of seats being there. More people got on this bus than got off, so we were still packed.
The bus zoomed down 12 de Abril toward Solano, entering and exiting the roundabouts along the way with the speed and precision of a driver on the Indy 500 track. People in the aisle fell into us in “the cage” but everyone remained standing. Even sitting down is rough as you can see the back of Heidi’s head and her hands hanging onto the seat in front of her.
In no time at all we were at our stop on Solano and pushed through the crowd toward the exit doors. I was ahead of Heidi and tried to stand in the doors so they wouldn’t close before she made her way out. Whew! We made it.
Heidi is on the hunt for almond flour and coconut flour. She found a natural foods store on Hermano Miguel about 3 blocks up from Calle Large we are going to check out. The store had the coconut flour but no almond flour, or harina de almendras as we asked for in Spanish.
Almonds are not grown in Ecuador and because it is an import, they are very expensive. The woman in the store said they don’t carry almond flour because it runs about $9 dollars for 200 gm, which is a lot for so little.
Next stop was the bank to pay for our health insurance. When I was here last time I grabbed extra deposit slips and brought them home. Today I have the two slips filled out, one for me and the other for Heidi, all ready to go. When I walked in there was no line, so I went right to the cashier and told her I needed to pay my IESS, handed her my slips, my money and she processed it through.
While I was in the bank, Heidi went to the cheese store next door and picked up a block of really hard cheese. It is supposed to be good but I think it kinda smells like dirty socks…not sure it’s me or the cheese though. 😉
Last stop is the Mercado to get more avocados and bacon. As we are walking southward down the street I started to head into the first entrance of the Mercado where the meat aisle begins. Heidi wanted to go into the second entrance further down. She said the place we buy the bacon is closer to that end and she doesn’t have to walk down the whole meat aisle. I told her she was missing out on all the sights and smells that the meat aisle offers. She wasn’t having it…but I have to put up with her stinky cheese??
When we finished getting what we needed it was time to trek back to our bus stop and head home. I was ready to do this but as I looked at the sky I thought we may get caught walking in some rain. Our sunny day was gone. A taxi was just passing by and I flagged it. The driver stopped and within a short time we were back at nuestra casa. Just in the nick of time too. Within minutes the afternoon rains of Cuenca began.