Monday, November 29, 2010

Just Everyday Stuff in Ecuador


OK…you just may have noticed that I’ve arbitrarily 
changed the look (once again) of my Blog. One other 
thing you may (or may not) have noticed is that I’ve 
restructured the the Blog "type lay-out" as…I’ve gotten 
wind of a couple of remarks stating that it was more 
“like a report” vs. a“story” I hope this is an easier 
and more enjoyable read. 

Also…I hope you all like…what you see!


Etapa just called and informed me in broken English…
that they could not connect my Internet for me and 
[for me] to come and pick-up my deposit. When asked 
why…they could not nor would not…explain. This is 
when I called Jose and I am now going to meet him at 
Etapa and try to get to the bottom of this!

Well the result of my (too late for Etapa) meeting with 
Jose re: this debacle was this…Being that he [Jose] will 
be out of town…until sometime in the middle of next 
week…I just need to cool my heels a bit longer. This said 
my next step would be getting my refund from Etapa and 
then meeting with an hombre from something called 
“Punta-net”…which according to Jose is “in all likely-
hood” better and less expensive than Etapa…and also 
with better speed.

This mi amigo’s remains to be seen. 

Anyway…realistically I’m probably looking at an 
Internet connection hopefully in the “very” beginning 
of Deciembre (December).

Today [Saturday] is (and I can only call it this) “prep-
day”as in getting ready for manana where everyone in 
Ecuador are “shut-ins”…as this is do to the forthcoming
Census taking exercise! 


I’m in pretty good shape as I went food shopping 
yesterday… went to the ATM this morning and just got 
back from the DVD store where I stocked up on three (3) 
movies at a buck apiece. That along with my Kindle and 
some planned cooking…I guessing I’ll make it through 
the next 12 hours A-OK!. Now if I had Internet…
well one can always dream…can’t one?

As for the rest of today…
at 2 p.m. there is a live performance by an American 
guitarist…at Kookaburra CafĂ© here in town that many 
expats are supposedly going too. Unfortunately… as it 
turned out…not many people came and they were lucky…
as the performance wasn’t very entertaining.  I did 
however get to meet a couple that are “soon-to-be” 
Expat Cuencano’s. So…the hour wasn’t a complete loss!

Anyway…after the debacle of Kookaburra (and keeping 
in mind the “shut-in” stuff for manana)…I stopped off at 
Raymipampa Restaurant for an early dinner and also took 
half home in a doggy-bag…for tomorrows “adventure” 
in mi apartemente! 

Well Sunday as in the day of the Census has arrived and 
my day of “State Imposed Shut-in”…has started. I look 
at this semi-imprisonment as a way to do some house-
keeping and just chillin’. Realistically…that’s all anyone 
can do. BTW…whether the Census taker comes early…
late…or not at all…is of no consequence…as the official 
ruling stands firm…i.e. one cannot leave their homes 
until 5 or 5:30 p.m. (nobody seems exactly sure as to...
the end time).

Before I forget…and this has nothing what-so-ever to 
do with all this official stuff…I feel I must answer my 
friend Don’s e-mail.

Under normal circumstance I would never address a 
personal e-mail in this Blog. However…the content 
may be of interest to others also. This is do to the fact 
that…I feel this response should be “timely” and also 
that (as you \now know) my wi-fi connection is hit ‘n 
miss! But first I need to back up a bit.

After…getting up early[ish] this Sunday morning…as 
usual I went to check my Internet (i.e. E-mail). Well I 
almost could not believe what I was seeing. This was…I 
not only had some mail (which is nothing unusual) but…
that I had [working] Internet (wi-fi)…which (not only 
active) was a lot stronger than normal).

Anyway…getting back to Don.
Don had commented in his last e-mail to me…about my 
latest Blog and how he couldn’t understand how…
accomplish this [blog] with so very infrequent Internet 
connections. Well Don (and anyone else who might be 
wondering)…it’s really quite simple. You see…all my 
“raw” Blogging is done off-line in “Microsoft Word”
Once complete and corrections made…I then “cut & paste” 
the “almost” finished Blog to my Blog website.

You’ll notice that I mentioned “almost” a moment ago. 
The reason for this…is simple. Even though I proofread 
the content…I still have to re-align my “new” Blog entry 
to fit the base parameters and…also too make some “last 
minute” corrections during my final read.

So…as you can see…not so simple after all. 

I hope that this answered your question!

Getting back to the Census...

They (the Census takers) were in-fact a…No Show. This 
at least (as far as I was concerned) was what I experienced. 
As for anyone else that I spoke to…they all had a Census 
taker at their door.

Do I care? Not really and this "not showing" of course does 
“not” surprise me in the least!

So…that’s it for now mi aqmigos y amigas. 

Once again I hope you like the new look and the new blog 
commentary structure :)

Ciao for Now 

Friday, November 26, 2010


Friday (Viernes)…19 Noviembre 2010

Filling in the “blanks”……..

Over the past “many” days I’ve been busy with [as I’m 
sure you can guess]…the Internet conundrum.

The Ecuadorian Bank account (necessary for the Internet
is now done! This being said…I just returned from the 
bank albeit…empty handed.

You see (and remember…this is Ecuador) today was the 
day that I was to pick-up my “debit” card…in which case 
I would then have ATM access. I would have also been 
sure my account was “live”. wasn’t!

Lo Siento (I’m Sorry) Senor…No “active” account…
No Debit card and…yes…yours truly has to return this 
coming Monday for said Debit Card and whatever else…
kind of papers await me.

Ahhh the joys of South American Customer Service (?)

So…now it’s about 11 a.m. and I am obliged to wait…
for the Etapa “installation hombre” who…hopefully will 
(a) Come…and (b) [keeping my fingers XX’d]…be 
successful at installing said internet.

Somehow...I have a feeling that…”IF” Etapa comes…
It’ll be late or…I’ll need to do a “do-over” on Monday 
(at the very least)!!!!!! Soooo… I wait!!!

Quick Note: Etapa…a “No Show”!

It’s now early Sunday (Domingo) a.m.

Luckily I picked-up another errant wi-fi signal which…
gave me about a half hours worth of connection and 
allowed me to send a couple of e-mails along with deleting 
a lot of crap.

Monday (Lunes)22 Noviembre 2010…a.m..


My Bank Acocount with Pichincha bank is now…after 
another 2 or so hours…”activated”…as are the Debit Card 
and Transfer card. These cards are necessary in order to 
make any intra-account transfers…don’t ask… 
’cause I have no use for it...but it’s something that 
one has to have” [????]. As for my Etapa (Internet
Installation…”manana”…we’ll see!!!! More later ….

If you’re keeping track of this idiocy
it’s now Wednesday (Miercoles)  and (believe it or not)…
Etapa (BTW that’s pronounces EEETAAPA) came about 
noon and left about 12:15.

Results…NADA!!!  ARGGGG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It seems that the phone number on the Etapa “Proof of 
Telephone Service” that I received from the owner…was 
“her” phone number. Thus No Installation! Anyway…
after I talked to not…“Un”…but “Dos” Amigo Cuencanos 
and…I guess after some behind the scenes negotiations… 
bottom line…el Dos Hombres from Etapa are due to come 
back manana…Thursday (Jueves)…A.K.A.…
(Si...Thanksgiving Day).

Now…Etapa “promised” to arrive at my door early a.m. 
I mentioned to mi amigo who had set-up this upcoming 
visit that…I had an early Turkey Dinner appointment and 
will have to leave by 1 p.m. His response (and in typical 
Sud (South) Americano style) told me to…just (marchar

I guess that means…if they don’t show by then…”they’ll” 
just have to reschedule me [perfecto] !!!!

Anyway…with luck…my Internet woes…will be a thing 
of the past come manana. Incidentally…I’ve had “some” 
luck in picking up some stray wi-fi signals over the past 
couple of days. This of course has enabled me to check 
some sites and do some e-mails. Unfortunately and 
because the stray signals are…shall we say…weakish…
this translated to a high incidence of “extremely low” 
Internet speeds…too low in fact to let me get SKYPE 
to actually work.  Isn’t “high tech” wonderful ???

BTW and before I forget…this coming Sunday is the day 
that the Republic of Ecuador does it’s Census. This occurs 
every ten (10) years. Now…the Census rules are thus:

Talk about “shutting down a country”…

One cannot leave their home from 8 am. until 5:30 p.m. 
This is supposed to ensure that “everyone” will be 
available to the Census taker (visitors included). The 
penalty...(as I understand it) is that a person ignoring this 
rule…will be apprehended and end up in jail for the next 
24 hours (I’m being quite serious here).  Furthermore 
(again as I understand it)…ALL streets will be CLOSED 
and enforced by the Police Force.

BTW…I got lucky as…my Cuencano friend gave me a 
“copy” of the six (6) page Census. Being that the Census is 
only in Espanol...he was nice enough to fill in the blanks 
for me. This way when the Census taker arrives…I just 
need to hand over the copy and he/she will just transpose 
the information…[I Hope] !!

Getting back to my previous police statement.

One should understand that the police force in Ecuador is a
“National Police Force”…one in which… police totting 
Automatic Weapons are not uncommon. No…it’s not a 
“police state”...but they Do Not fool around either! I’m just 
glad that this is a “once in a decade” exercise!

OK…enough of that!

Thursday (Jueves)…25 Noviembre, 2010

Another day…and more waiting for the Etapa Technicians. 
The big question…will they come before my self-imposed 
1 p.m. deadline or not. Actually will they come at all! 
It’s now just a bit past 9 a.m. and all I can do is wait it out!

OK…another day came and another day went. By 
1:30p.m. I called my friendly interpreter Jose and…to make 
a long story short…he called Etapa…cancelled the rest of 
the day and rescheduled per my instructions for next...
Monday (Lunes).

The reasoning behind this…is that I refuse to sit in my 
apartment for another L-O-N-G day...manana Friday 

So…si…still no Internet! Do you think I might be getting 
just a teeny bit crazy over this? Actually…I’m not…just a 
bit annoyed. But..hey…this is Ecuador! 

On a brighter note…I just returned from Thanksgiving 
Dinner at my newish friend Julia’s place. Nice folks all 
(we totaled 9 personas) and… wayyy too much food!

One needs to understand that this was somewhat special 
to me as I haven’t been to a “family-sized” Thanksgiving 
Dinner for…well…quite a number of years. In addition 
to the food was of course…was the other Expats present 
for said dinner and of also the good natured jabbering 
that went along with it (hey that’s a big part of this type 
dinner…right?And speaking of Turkey Day…

By the time you will read this…Thanksgiving will be a 
thing of the past. Sooo…this being the case…let me wish 
you all…a belated Happy Thanksgiving.

(OK folks…time to get out there and “walk it off”

Until next time…

Buenas Noches y Sonreir 
Good Night and Smile 

Monday, November 8, 2010


Wednesday (Miercoles)…3 Noviembre

Fiesta (Festival) is “finally” over and things are back to 
normal…well normal for Cuenca. Getting back to Fiesta 
one more time (uno mas tiempo)… on the last day and…
solely by accident…I met my friend Charlie in Carolina’s 
bookstore and…being that neither one of us had any 
plans and…being that we were a half block from the 
upper end of the “Escalante” (stairs)…we decided 
(especially since I haven’t absorbed the experience) to 
take in the last day of the “Fiesta Flea Market”. This 
market incidentally… had been going on for the 
duration of the holiday.

Now I really had no thought what-so-ever of buying 
anything…but as luck (?) would have it…I happened 
upon a stall that was selling…and I’m at a loss for the 
Ecuadorian word…”western” (sombrero?) type hats. 
One caught my eye and well…you can guess the 

If by some ridiculous chance you have not guessed…
well I did end up acquiring un sombrero. The hat in 
particular is all leather with very good workmanship 
and fits just right. The cost…asking price was $35.00…
agreed price after some friendly bantering ended at 
25.00 bucks!

Now for a little bit…the final price was bugging me a 
somewhat…as I remember seeing a decent hat in Corral 
Hypermarcado (large market akin to Target). However…
as I needed to do a bit of shopping in this store…
I expressly took a close look at the hat in question. 
The price…$2.95 [two dollars and ninety-five cents]. 
Yes…you read that right however…although it looked 
good…it was in deed of very poor quality and…made 
entirely of the "V" in vinyl. 
This knowledge…definitely took the “sting” out of my
previous uncertainty.

Friday (Viernes)…5 Noviembre

As for mi nuevo departemento (my new apartment)…the 
“dust has just about settled”. Everything is working but 
with one exception and that unfortunately is the Internet. 
Apparently…the building has wi-fi but… this is all 
private. So mi amigos…I’m left with one option…
that being…to get “my own” Internet directly into my 

Now getting this service in EC is “not” the same as 
you’d expect in the states (what a surprise...huh?). 
If I understand correctly…I first need to open a bank 
account as Etapa (the provider)…takes their monthly 
payment (around $28.00…for decent speed) directly 
from my new bank account (this by the way…is a 
good thing as it’s much easier this way). 
Unfortunately...I’ve been told that this process takes 
a “few” days (keep in mind that "a few days" here in 
Ecuador...well can mean just about "when-ever"!

Once this is done…I need to physically go to Etapa 
with the above bank proof of 
residency...[Cedula & Censo]…the deposit 
(see above) and a copy of utility bill from the 
“apartment owner”. Once “all” this is complete I 
will once again be joining the ranks of the 
“connected populace”. 

You can be certain that…an E-mail will be 
forthcoming regarding this little “new” adventures’ 

Sunday (Domingo)…7 Noviembre

”Greetings and Salutations”….

Buenos Dias…as it’s early Sunday morning and as I 
just finished a nice home-made…all-American breakfast…
thought I’d fill in some blanks concerning life in 
general…specifically in Cuenca. What brought me to 
this point…was the act of having breakfast with my 
friend “R” yesterday.The reasoning behind this…was 
due to happenstance within the place that we had said 
Desayano (Breakfast). The meal in of itself…
(excluding “R”s company) was nothing earth shattering 
or for that matter…. memorable. In fact…before 
started this “blog” entry…hard as I tried…and to no 
avail…could I remember what the meal consisted of.

No…what prompted this tale…happened post-meal.

You see…as we were leaving this little Colombian 
restaurante…both myself and ”R” (she speaks Espanol 
quite well)…struck up a conversation with the new 
owner (apparently he bought out the old owner…
due to said owners health situation…as he returned 
to Colombia for treatment). Anyway… this is when 
“it” actually sunk into my dense brain [after all this time 
in country]...that the “it”...I’m alluding to is…the subtle 
yet important differences between this country…and 
most likely all of South America…and the North 
American way of life.

At it’s most basic level…I’m talking about the simple 
(and polite) way of greeting…well “anyone”.

Getting back to my breakfast! After having a brief 
conversation with the new owner and while making 
some small talk…it was finally time to take leave.

Now…think about this...

In North America (especially the U.S.)one would 
pay the bill and…leave the premises. Actually (and 
I’m guilty of this too)…one may pay the bill and 
before leaving…(remember you already left a 
[probably too generous] tip)…proclaiming a sincere 
“thank you” to the wait-person etc…rather than the 
other way around. Weird…huh?

Here in Cuenca...just the opposite (and “zero” tip 
expected).But…I’ve sidestepped the real purpose of 
today’s “rant”. That is simply this…

“Day to Day Living and Then Some”

Here in the midst of South America…one expects 
propriety! What I’m referring to is the act of…either 
meeting someone on the street or entering a business 
etc. A friendly “Buenos Dias”…”Buenas Tardes” or 
“Buenas Noches” greeting would be exchanged…
depending on the time of day. This versus (if any at 
all) in the U.S. where “slang is king”…a greeting 
may sound something akin to this...
Hey…how are ye doin?…Nice to see ye!...Yo!... 
What’s happinin?...See ya!…Take Care!…or just a 
plain “nod” (with or without a smile). The list...
as one can imagine…can go on…and on...and on!

I just mentioned “on the street”! These “personal” 
greetings also extend too a “physical greeting” where 
hugs and…a sort of “cheek-to-cheek faux kiss” is 
exhibited. Incidentally…this greeting is “not” 
relegated to specific sexual rules. The greeting…is 
quite common between men and woman… 
woman and woman and “not so common but is in 
evidence” within two men greeting each other.

It should also be noted that a “hug” type greeting is…
while not a highly common occurrence…is 
acceptable. A hearty handshake between the male 
population is also common.

Now please keep in mind that all of the above are my 
own personal observations…i.e …
a fairly Nuevo (new) Gringo.

Earlier I mentioned “tipping”…or should I say the lack 
of it. Although things are changing a bit…leaving a tip 
in an Ecuadorian restaurant is “not” expected. 
However…leaving “small” loose change is appreciated. 
Unfortunately…and this I can only point to our [U.S.] 
upbringing… brain-washing…extravagance…
what-ever…as we not only tip “everywhere”…but over-
tipping is not uncommon in the states.

One thing that was drummed into my head by Expat 
articles as well as other Expats here in EC is that one 
does not “tip”!

That said...I can understand that there will be those of 
you who may come for a vacation and/or look-see”…
and bearing in mind your habitual tipping…
If you feel you must tip…then the “rule of thumb” 
is 10%...but keep in mind these few paragraphs…please!

One other item to keep in mind is the use of Half Dollar 
coins and/or One Dollar Coins are in “daily” use and 
are “very” commonplace…so be careful.

(a) tipping was and is “not” expected (especially 
Taxi Drivers). NOTE: …my own observation…
when it comes to cabs [and I don’t take them often]…
over the past year or so (I’m told)…quoted rates have 
increased somewhat do in large part to the drivers…
having had a taste of tips and …not getting said tips 
as a rule…have caused this mini-fare hike! It should 
also be noted that even though most cabs are licensed 
and metered…one would be hard-pressed to see 
evidence of “any” meter in “any” cab. I have actually 
seen a meter (in plain site)…one time and one time 
only and…obviously…not used!

One more item regarding “tipping”...

As many of you are aware…before my moving to 
Ecuador…yours truly…for three (3) years lived in 
Thailand where there is a saying which is…
“Same Same”. Personally…I have expanded on this 
saying to: “Same Same But Different”…which as 
you may have ascertained…refers to this countries 
“way of life”. That’s the rest of my...
“tipping” commentary. 

There are numerous Norte Americanos…who 
because of their “lack” of International travel…along 
with (in most casesa life’s worth of day to day 
living in their “familiar hometown environment”…
are so accustomed to tipping…well they can’t help 
themselves…as it’s almost second nature to them. 
The problem then (and again because of the 
Gringo’s general good nature) can become one of 
open resentment by "some" of the “host” countries 
population…”if” in fact expected tip 
does not materialize.

I’ve always tried to remember the tried and true..
 “Same Same but Different” adage…as it helps 
one remember that we’re...
“not in Kansas anymore”. 

Smile and the World is Brighter
Hasta Pronto 

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Viernes (Friday) 29 Octubre 2010

I’m actually starting this BLOG today…Friday (Viernes)…
but the preparations etc. have already begun. What I’m 
referring to is the fast approaching Cuenca Independence 
Day or as it’s called here… Indepencia de Cuenca.

The date for this impending 
holiday…is actuality taking 
place this coming Wednesday 
(Miercoles)…3 Noviembre. 
However this being Ecuador…
this holiday is actually preceded 
by another holiday…one in 
which is the previous day and 
falling on Tuesday (Martes)…
2 Noviembre. This holiday by 
the way…has the distinctive 
designation of being called 
Dia de los Muertos or...Day of 
the Dead.

The following is a direct quote…from my friend and writer 
Dixie Davie as it appeared in her newsletter and website…
www.retire-in-ecuador. com.

In the article…Dixie explains Dia de los Muertos as such: 
“celebrated with a belief that it is easy for the dead to come 
back to earth and visit their living relatives on this particular 
day. Altars are erected and piled with food, trinkets, 
wreaths and flowers. Breads, candies and cakes are made in 
the shapes of the bodies or other symbols. Sometimes the 
name of the dead person is inscribed on these edible 
mementos. The typical food for the day is “guaguas de 
*pan”…accompanied by a beverage called “colada morada”.
The foods have a remote origin in the Incas, who offered 
their gods their bodies and blood in sacrificial ceremonies”.

It is currently 2:30 pm and as I sit in my departemento 
(apartment)…I can clearly hear the loud…albeit muffled 
“sound checks”…along with some musica (?) already 
starting…so tonight should be…an experience to say the 
least. What will happen tonight and throughout the next 
five (5) days is …well I haven’t a clue. This…other than 
the fact that there will be “musica”…holiday food and 
partying to all hours…throughout Cuenca can only be put 
into so many words. Even these few words…”still”… 
would not…nor could not…describe what can only be 
experienced and…only by experiencing this town in 

Speaking of tonight or I should say the latter part of this 
afternoon and…in the middle of all the “holiday party 
build-up”…I will be picking up my new departemento 
keys and starting manana Sabado (Saturday)…yours truly 
will “start” my fast approaching move in earnest. 

Luckily…my new departemento is only about 3 blocks 
from my current location.  This incidentally allows me to 
basically move myself via my “rolling” luggage…of which 
I have “dos” (two) and will take place over this [yes…
moving during a holiday] weekend. Thank goodness for 
wheels and elevators.

Best Laid Plans”… Sabado (Saturday)

Well it’s Sabado (Saturday for all you gringos) and [my 
plan] was to meet Martha…my apartment finder…give 
the new place a once over…get the keys and start moving
in whatever I could manage by myself. The rest would 
wait until manana when my friend Gerard…who has 
kindly offered to help with the move…using his new car. 
This way…moving the somewhat larger and heavier items 
[well the few that I have] would hopefully be a breeze.

“This”…mi amigos’...proved to be the outcome…

The reality is that Martha ran into [some] difficulties. An 
hour became two (2) and ended up with a record…
seven(yes…“7”hours delay. 
By this time the start/stop/start/stop and so on…drew to 
a close and…well…all I can say is that these delays took 
their toll. Hence…by the time I finally did my 
“walk-through“ of the new apartment …I had already 
decided to forgo any moving today and just take 
advantage of Gerard’s [moving service] car and...
do it all manana.

So…here I sit with 95% of everything I own “packed 
and ready to go”… and…with “nowhere to go” until 
tomorrow a.m. Anyway manana is another day and…
hopefully one in which I will have accomplished 
the task at hand.

“Moving Day Has Arrived”… Domingo (Sunday)

Finally…all is “almost” done (well 99% anyway) and it 
is now 8;40 a.m. on Domingo (Sunday)…as I wait for 
mi amigo Gerard to arrive with his car to facilitate my 
move. Now… it’s just a little matter of loading the car…
unloading the car…loading the elevator…unloading 
the elevator (I’m sure you get the picture). 

OK…I don’t want you to think for un minuto that…
just because Gerard and his generous assistance got 
me moved that…that was that. It wasn’t…not by a 
long shot…as I still had to return to my now “old” 
departmento (apartment) and re-pack my now 
(once again) empty suitcases…repack the smaller 
“unmoved” items into said suitcases and make a couple 
of trips [on foot] to complete my move.

This done…now came the fun job of putting all my 
worldly belongings in their proper places. I won’t bore 
you with the details other than to say that…finding said 
places in some instances was no easy task. This process 
however did take some time and succeeded in…yes… 
obliterating whatever reserve strength I had left in this...
body of mine!

Work done…it was thankfully time to…”rest”. Now 
I’m not sure if I ever mentioned this before but…I am 
not the kind of person that can take any type of siesta. 
This however did not deter me in the least from trying… 
albeit as I “did” try but alas…this little venture of a nap 
was unsuccessful…though…I did get to relax.

 with the task of resting done…it was time to get 
ready for my dinner invitation at my friends’ Karen & 
Peters’ place. Keeping in mind that I’ve never been to 
their departemanto…what should have been an easy and 
short cab ride...of course…turned into an “adventurers” 
exercise in futility.

Please understand that in most cases Cuenca cab drivers 
know how to deliver you to where you want to go…but…
every once in awhile (as was the case today) the driver 
just doesn’t know “how” too get to ones desired 
destination. Also…keep in mind that there is a minor 
item to contend with in this situation…was our “inability” 
to connect verbally. Don’t ask me how…but someway…
somehow…apparently the gods were smiling on us…
I finally made it to my destination. 

Upon entering K & P’s departemento…I was 
“somewhat” prepared (do to previous conversations with 
Karen & Petefor the sight that awaited me. To say that 
it was large (by most Ecuadorian standards) would be a 
“gross understatement”. I guess one might call their place 
Ecuadorian modern. Roomy…airy and comfortable would 
be just a few words that come to mind.

The best part of the night (other than their warm and 
receptive companionship) was the sumptuous meal that 
Karen prepared. To try and tell you all about the meal 
would actually detract from the “overall delightful 
epicurean experience” I won’t…so there! 
I will however tell you that Karen baked some [huge] 
chicken breasts covered with fresh mushroom sauce and 
was sided with steamed broccoli and homemade rice pilaf. 
All this accompanied by some very good wine and great 
desert (one of which was Karen’s wonderful homemade 
Apple Cobbler along with my offering…as in Strawberry 
Short Cake). What a wonderful way to end a long…
but very satisfying day. 

Ohh…almost forgot…
all the food was organic and need I say…delicioso!

So…that mi amigos y amigas…is where things stand at 
the moment. Manana…this hombre needs to do a 
“major” food shopping en El Supermacado in which...
to replenish El Cocina (kitchen)…wish me luck!
Hasta Pronto...


It’s now Tuesday (Martes) evening (about 9:30 pm) and 
just had too include this tidbit. Actually…this is a 
“kind of” restaurant and “date” review mixed together…
as I had a very enjoyable dinner with a Mujer Norte 
Americano (North American Woman) whom at this point 
I’ll just identify as “R”.

The dinner took place at a restaurant called Tiesto’s 
which…is situated “within” the outer edge of Cuenca 
Centro. Now one needs to understand…I’ve been vying 
to sample Tiesto’s dinner fare since I’ve arrived in this 
beautiful place called Cuenca. The only problem and 
reason why I hadn’t gone until tonight was that… 
Tiesto’s is actually geared to parties of 2 or more. 
Now that’s not to say that “un persona” would not be 
served but…I for one…do not think a solo person would 
enjoy or…for that matter feel the ambience… friendliness 
and warmth that is Tiesto’s.

As for cost…to be fair…Tiesto’s rates “high” in the cost 
category. That said however…compared to a comparable 
restaurant in Any Hometown, U.S.A. and…considering a 
North American restaurant of equal quality that I found in 
Tiesto’s...well there’s “no contest”…Tiesto’s wins hands 
down…both in cost…quality and ambience!
The wonderful part of the Tiesto’s experience is…the 
array of various flavorful spice and flavor mixtures that 
one will find awaiting them on their table. This along 
with some absolutely…wonderful tasty and imaginative 
dishes…well if and when you ever find yourself in Cuenca…
Tiesto’s is a definite…“Do Not Miss” stopover!

On a personal note…my dinner date with “S”…well…
I feel very good about the evening. Now whether “S” 
feels the same…well…like I like to say…time will tell...

Ciao todo (all) for now…

*[translation of ”pan” is I’m guessing that...
  this holiday item is indeed a type of bread]