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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Day to Day Life

More ramblings, no particular subject to focus on, just what transpires in my day to day life.
  • Locked myself out of the property once AGAIN.  I was beckoned to my perimeter wall door by somone who was honking their horn repeatedly (a common, and annoying, occurence here).  I was not happy.  My car was blocking their ability to back out of their driveway.  I informed them instead of honking their horn, next time ring my #!@%^ doorbell!!  While I was hastily moving my car, the perimeter door slammed shut and I had nothing but my car keys.  GRRRR!!!  I wasn't about to call the locksmith again.  So, I sheepishly knocked on the neighbors gate and asked their kid if they had an escalera (ladder).  They came back with a 6' ladder.  My wall is 8'.   Standing on the TOP of the ladder (not the last step, the TOP), I crawled spreadeagle onto the top of my wall, not knowing if I would be breaking any of the red clay tiles.  I hate jumping down from things, fearing I will twist my ankle or something, so I slid over the other side and hung on as long as I could then dropped and fell on my ass in my muddy planters.  Nuf said.
  • Speaking of getting locked out, ever get locked IN your shower??  I did.  How can that happen?  Well, my shower door is not the magnet kind.  It has a latch on both sides that you flip to engage the door.  Apparently, after I got in the shower, the outside handle wasn't fully flipped to the disengaged position and fell back to the engaged position, locking me IN my shower.   I felt like I was in a Lucy episode.  I stood there dumbfounded wondering how the heck I was going to get out aside from climbing atop the 6' glass enclosure, not knowing if it would break or if I would slip and smash my head against the tile, or who knows what.  That had to be my last resort.  I reached for a towel hanging on a nearby hook and kept swinging it back and forth against the latch on the other side of the glass door and after about 10 minutes of various techniques, I was finally able to move the latch and free myself.  ARRRGGHHH!!!
  • SCREEECH!!!  180 turnabout here.  Wanna know what gas prices are here?  $1.48 a gallon for regular, $2.10 for Super.   Need I say more?
  • Took my car to a detailer the other day.  My car is red and it has had it's share of sunbeating.   Costs:  Car hand wash, vacuum, steam clean engine, pressure wash undercarriage, armor-all treatment dash/tires…$8.50.  Hand wax, $5.   Oil change + filter $26.50.  Total $40.
  • My 3-week old Electrolux vaccuum cleaner went on the fritz.  Took it in for repair.  For some reason, the motor works fine OUT of the unit, but once IN the unit, it doesn't.  The guy at the shop, Milton, completely cleaned the unit inside and out.  But, he said we should take it to the warranty repair shop.  He drove me to the warranty place and coordinated the work order, then drove me back.   On the way, though, he stopped by his place because he 'forgot his books'.  On the way, we were having a nice chat in mixed English and Spanish.  Eventually, he handed me one of his booklets and turned to the English page, which I read, and realized he was a Jehovah's Witness.  First the Mormon's show up at my house, now this!!!  But, he didn't pressure me or go on and on.  We just left it at that introduction.  I asked him how much I owed him for cleaning my unit and his time/travel, etc.    Nada.  Zilch.  Zero.
  • Ya know when you buy chicken back in the States, how you get the gizzards stuffed inside in a little bag?  Well, here you get the whole works. The HEAD and the FEET.   Geezlaweeze, I don't wanna look at the face of some chicken who just got their head lobbed off!!!  And, I don't want some feet bobbing around in my chicken soup!!!
  • You reeeeeeeally have to have patience when you shop here.  In the States, everything is about how fast, how efficient, save time, lean processes, etc.   Not here.  You find yourself going cross-eyed thinking about how seemingly ridiculously inefficient things are here.  BUT....people have JOBS here.   Our unemployment rate is about 5.1%.  Here's some examples:
    • Drive into a parking lot such as at a mall, and a security guard will push the button for you and give the you the ticket it spits out.  When you leave, you hand the security guard that same ticket and he opens the gate.   No payment.  Just paper being exchanged.  That's his job...give a ticket, take a ticket, give a ticket, take a ticket.
    • God forbid you buy anything in a box, because when you check out, the cashier opens the box and inspects the contents.  For example, let's say you bought a ceiling light.  They open the box, pull out the stuffings, examine the glass shade and show you it's not broken, they check to see if all the screws are there, and if bulbs are included, they open up each one and check to make sure they're not broken.  Today I bought a Black and Decker weedwhacker.  They actually got an electrical cord from display, plugged it in, and operated the weedwhacker in the store!
    • Here's the real clincher.   In the States, if you want some screws, you go to Home Depot and there they are in vast bins for you to take however many you want, jot down the # on a plastic bag, etc and go check out.   OH NOOOOO...not here.   Screws are kept BEHIND THE COUNTER.   You have to ask for them.  They bring out a board with all the hardware attached to it and you pick which one you want and how many.  The clerk then goes in back and gets those 23 two-inch pan-head screws you want, counting them out in front of you, then puts them in a container, then the container in a plastic bag and SEALS the bag with a bag-sealer machine (like you use to seal meals in).  Then, you go to the cashier who takes scissors to cut the bag open to get the priced contents out to ring up and throws away the previously sealed bag!!!   Good grief...you'd think I was buying an ounce of GOLD!!!!!!  Meanwhile, I about ready to choke somebody.  But, that person who had to fill my order for 23 screws?  She has a job.  And, all those cashiers needed to perform all those seemingly inefficient tasks for all the customers?  They have a job.
  • Okay, while on shopping.   Those shopping carts?  NEVER leave the store.  In fact, they never make it past the check-out cashier.  They purposely make the cashier kiosks narrow enough that the carts can't pass through.  Here's whatcha do.  Get a cart.  Shop.  Go to the cashier and unload your cart onto the belt.  Leave the cart behind for someone to gather up and put back at Step #1.  (He has a job).  At the end of the checkout belt is a 'special' cart used for transporting the paid for items out of the store and to your taxi or car, that is, if you don't simply hand carry your bags.  Boys (usually) bag up your items and roll the cart to your taxi and car and load your car and you tip them (usually .50 cents).  They have a job. 
  • Okay, I'll stay on the topic of shopping.   Carrying a bag from a previous shopping stop?  Have a knapsack?  STOP!!!  A security guy at the entrance to the store will direct you to the nearby stand of lockers where you can toss your items in a locker and lock it up (free) while you shop.  The only bags allowed past the entrance is reasonably sized purses.  Then, when you're done at that store, you simply retrieve your personals from the locker and make your exit.  That guy has a job.
  • Oh....gotta throw this in....all those (usually young) people who have those seemingly dull, fruitless, mind-dumbing jobs?  They look at you with detest in their eyes, bored out of their minds, would rather be anywhere but there, and give you a look like you are interfering with their lives, RIGHT?   WRONG.  They are polite, greet you with a smile, say Good Morning or Good Afternoon or Good Evening as appropriate and say Thank You.  Nuf said.
  • Last, but not least.  The weather was gorgeous today.  Sunny with lots of clouds passing through.  Felt like 80 degrees, but who knows what the thermometer really read.  No rain.  Planted some new cactus plants I found ($1.50 each).  Life is swell.

1 comment:

  1. Well, since you invited me to comment...That was a real McGyver thing you did with the towel and the shower door lock. I pride myself on figuring things out, so I REALLY appreciated your little Psycho shower episode! You're a funny dude. From reading your blogs since you started, to this point, I'm thinking you write just like you think and talk. Gotta love it!

    ReplyDelete

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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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