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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Pumapungo, Car Update, Moan/Groan

To my new readers, WELCOME!.  To my faithful flock (oh brother...laying it on thick eh?) and the onesie-twosie readers, HELLO  AGAIN!!  Those who know me, are well aware I can have strong opinions, therefore you might not always find just pretty words about purty places here.  As with life, there is the good, bad, and ugly.  This blog is not one-sided.  That said, in this particular entry, you will find a little of all of it, the good, bad, and ugly.

Pumapungo Archaeological Park

For the past 80-some days, Cuenca has been the host of Bienal (bee en all) XI art exhibition in many venues around the city.  I and a friend of mine from Quito (Alexis) raced around some of the venues this past weekend.  One, in particular, closed at 2pm on Sunday.  We arrived.....at 2pm.   The guard graciously invited us to walk thru the Pumapungo Archaeological Park located behind the museum.   Though not part of the Bienal XI exhibition, it is a permanent park made up of archaeological ruins on land owned by the Banco Central (Central Bank) of Ecuador. 

I drive by PAP all the time and haven't been all that impressed with what I could see, as most of the ruins are no more than rock walls 2-3' high, presumably foundationss of former buildings.  Nothing all that exciting, at least not to ME.  But, to give due credit, they are of the city of Tomebamba, in the late 15th century for cripes sake, so it's not like you can expect them to be in their full former glory!!

However, what I DID enjoy was the 'arboretum' of plants, flowers, water, and bird sanctuary in the lower area.  Well worth the time to saunder along the pathways and take in the awesome varieties of cactus and other eye-catching plants and read the information plaques (albeit only in Spanish).  My favorite was the bird sanctuary filled with large colorful parrots, hawks, and other species.  Some even spoke!!   Ever talk to a parrot in Spanish?  "HOLA!!"

Enjoy the photos below.

Update on the Car Robbery

Two blog entries ago, I told you about my car being robbed, on Christmas Eve, of the computer 'brain' that operates many functions of the car, most importantly....the engine!!  A new computer costs over $2,000 and the electrical wire harness which had been cut, over $1,000.  The Chevy dealer had not been able to find a replacement part in all of Ecuador, primarily because my car is an automatic transmission and 98% of Grand Vitaras in EC are manual.   However, it appears they have located a replacment part in the US.

I did some searching of my own to possibly find a used one.   Friends of mine here in Cuenca read my blog and happened to mention to friends of theirs (native Cuencanans) of my situation.  Same thing had happened to them.  They (the Cuencanos) are a well-known family in the area and had contacts...they would see if they could find me one.    Word came back that a used one was found, believed to be the correct part for my car specs, and would cost $500.  Well, that's a HECK of a lot better than over $2,000!  I jokingly said to my friend...'What?  Is this family the Mafia for used parts in Cuenca?'.  He jokingly replied that I'm probably buying back my OWN part!!!  Well, it ended up the part was already spoken for.  Oh well, we tried.   

With that, I authorized the Chevy dealer to go ahead with fixing my car with new parts that they found in the USA.  Or, I thought I did.  

I sent the email the day I left for my USA trip-that-never-happened.  A week later, I asked for an update.  They said they never received my email.  UGH!!   I checked and double-checked my email and saw nothing wrong.  Finally....ooops....I realized I omitted one letter.   Dang it....just lost 7 days for nothing.  So, I re-sent it and re-started my waiting and, as of today January 31, no word (though I've asked for an update 3 times).  I've been going through car-withdrawal ever since December 25th.   Back to taxi's.

Response to a Readers' Comment

I have received a lot of wonderful compliments from people all over the planet.  They enjoy the humor, they appreciate the information ahead of their own travels to EC, they feel the pain of the UGHS.   Once in awhile I get not-so-great comments...the ones that tell you to 'go back where you came from' or bash me for something I said.    I'd like to respond to one in particular.


Hmmmm....where do I start?
  • Yes, I should have parked my car inside my gate, and I regret that I didn't.   But:
    • what about the thousands of people who don't HAVE a garage or inside parking and have to park on the street?  Are they all at fault too should their car be (or has been) robbed?
    • what if the space inside my walls was taken...with another car of visitors or roomate...or debris from construction/remodelling underway?
    • why is the victim getting blamed?  I was blamed by police for not parking my car at home when my car was broken into in Quito.   My home is CUENCA!!!  I was blamed by the hotel for not parking my car in FRONT of the hotel where a bloodshot-eyed guard could keep tabs on it.  I parked it 75 feet away on the corner in full view because there was NO space in front of the hotel.   75 ft made THAT much difference?????
    • What about holding CRIMINALS ACCOUNTABLE and STOPPING CRIME instead of putting all the blame on the victim???   Bassackwards if you ask me.
  • Excusethehelloutame, but:
    •  I have travelled to/from at least 16 countries in my life and never once have I ever needed anything other than a valid Passport. 
    •  I clearly stated that I consulted with my attorney as to what was needed for me to travel outside EC AND be able to return.   My attorney, who SPECIALIZES in EC immigration documentation, reassured me many times, that all I needed for legal travel was the proper EC residency Visa stamp in my passport, which I got in late December.  I SPECIFICALLY waited 9 months for this validation BEFORE making any plans to travel and only once I received it, did I go ahead and make plans to go to the USA.  So, why should I doubt my attorney who SPECIALIZES in this?  As far as I was concerned, I did my due diligence and didn't go willy-nilly into planning this trip. 
    • Why should I go to immigrations and ask the same question...especially when there is typically so many bureacratic inconsistencies in EC???
      • case in point the EC Consulate in San Francisco has different policies/procedures than the EC Consulate in Washington DC...but they are both representing requirements of the SAME country!!!.
  • I am NOT putting Ecuadorians down.   I don't know where you're getting that.  I may be critiquing the way some things are done here.  I also applaud many of the things they do here.  So what?  They are simply MY observations, MY experiences which is what this blog is all about.  Just like my profile says "I'll be recapping some of my day-to-day experiences (and mishaps) to highlight what it's like to live here."   I take issue with a lot of things in the US, too, but I'm not writing about my experiences in the USA am I?  It is human nature to observe the different ways of doing things and living life, whether it be in Russia, New Zealand, Wyoming, Britain, Abu Dabi, or Cucamonga.  If I make note of something I (emphasis on 'I') believe could be done better (ie; ordering important government supplies BEFORE they run out versus WHEN they run out) I am noting something that is HUMAN-related, not ethnic or nationality-related.
  • You don't know me.  Hmmm...WAAAAIT....maybe you do!!!!  MOM!!!   Did you write that comment!!!???   Well, just in case it wasn't my Mom, let me tell you about me.  I'm a Capricorn.   If that doesn't say it all, my profession in the past 30+ years was as a Business Analyst.  Anyone who knows me, knows I analyze everything to death.  I research, analyze, create spreadsheets, dot my i's, cross my t's, weigh the pro's and con's, consult, and examine what-if's before I decide which bathroom I'm going to use to take a shit!!!  (shouldn't it really be GIVE a shit?).    And, you know what?   After all that, sometimes 'shit happens'.

Yours truly.  Hmmm....looks like I need a Just for Men color touchup on the beard!!!

Alexis at one of the art exhibits.   He is 5ft 6".  Look at how tall the geraniums get here!!!

An Eagle....but not the American kind.  Eagle Hawk.

This dude turned his back on me just as I snapped the shot.  GRRRR

A house on the arboretum grounds....but who's?


  1. Enjoyed your post. We are coming from the US in 4 months and really need to hear the pros and cons you experience to give us a taste of reality rather than be dissapointed by all the IL hype we read. There is good and no so good things about every country, so keep your stories coming, please!

  2. Love your blog - keep it up! I like it that you are so frank and funny about living here.
    If you are ever in Olon/Montanita, please look us up! Our phone is 09-217-2051.
    Would love to meet you in person one of these days!

  3. I agree with your comment about your detail and analysis work....God knows, I worked with you for 18 years! Mollie

  4. The photo of the tower-like building in the Pumapungo ruins is not someone's house as you thought. It holds the public bathrooms. Pretty classy, eh?


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About Me

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Palma, Mallorca, Spain
This is all about my transition from an American lifestyle and culture to my newest adventure, life in Spain, in the city of Palma on the island of Mallorca in the middle of the Mediterranean sea!! I moved from the USA to Cuenca, Ecuador, South America and lived there for 7 years before moving here to Spain in early 2018. To read about my adventures in Ecuador, check out my other blog "Ahhh Cuenca!!". I'll be recapping some of my day-to-day experiences (and mishaps) to highlight what it's like to live in Europe....across the pond.

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