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Sunday, February 27, 2011

My First Week

The first week in Cuenca, not as a tourist, but as a new resident (albeit in a hostal temporarily).  Each day I had breakfast at the hostals ‘cafeteria’.  It’s a floor below and built out from the building so you’re sort of hovering over the riverbank.  With the walls and ceiling all of glass, I had an awesome view.  The standard breakfast served in hotels around here is coffee, juice, large roll, butter/jam, and two eggs.   Breakfast is included in my room rate. 

In these older buildings, water pressure can be hit or miss.  Also, there is no such thing as natural gas piped into buildings from the city’s infrastructure like back in the US of A.  99% of the source of gas, actually propane, comes from tanks stashed under the kitchen counter or a closet somewhere.  So, if you happen to run out of gas, you run out of hot water.  A good indicator that the tank has run dry is when you get a cold shower.   Sometimes I got a nice steady flow, other times the water barely fell out of the showerhead where I had to really contort my body to wash off the soap.   Oh, the soap ‘bars’ they give you are about 1 1/2 inches long, by ¾ inch wide, by 1/8th inch thick.  Shampoo is in little plastic rip-open packets. 

While on the subject of hotel amenities, sheets here (and in the residences) are, at best, 100 thread count and the ones on my hostal bed cover only the top of the bed and tucked in at each end….not fitted.   I knew all this from my previous trip, so I wisely bought sheets in the US and brought them down with me.  Most ex-pats do this along with many other things they either can’t find here or are of lesser quality than they are used to. 

Ex-pats tend to participate in a network of other ex-pats to learn some of the pro’s and con’s, where to go, avoid previous pitfalls, etc etc as well as tap into the ability to ask other ex-pats who are traveling to/from the states to bring some of their favorite stuff down with them.  For example, if a friend from Seattle was coming to visit me, I might ask them to stuff a few things in their suitcases that I miss having or can’t get here (like my favorite Costco tennis shoes).

Hmmm…I was going to tell you about my first week here but I seemed to have sauntered off course.   Ok…next blog.

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About Me

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Cuenca, Azuay, Ecuador
This is all about my transition from an American lifestyle and culture to my newest adventure, life in Cuenca and greater Ecuador. I'll be recapping some of my day-to-day experiences (and mishaps) to highlight what it's like to live here.

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