Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Things you don't think of if you own a car

Moving to Ecuador has been a wonderful journey these 1st 6 wks. There was a certain freedom in selling nearly all of our belongings in order to retire here.

Cuenca is a city of about 400,000+ people but feels much smaller in many ways.  Go out for breakfast and you will probably run into someone you have met. Attend a dance festival and you are sure to bump into some other ex-pats.  Walk into a hardware store and there you see another shopper -  the owner of the hosteria where you initially stayed/ He greets you like a beloved family member.

Transportation here is great -a bus ride costs $.25 and a taxi will take you clear across town for about $2. Getting a driver's license in Ecuador is challenging, especially if you are not fluent in Spanish.  In addition, it is a bit of culture shock to see how people drive here. Some examples are: stop signs are optional, there are few traffic lights, drivers play chicken when using the many roundabouts (rondelles), challenging big trucks and buses just for fun, pedestrians have no rights whatsoever.   Besides, it is nice not to have to pay car insurance, buy gasoline, keep up a vehicle, worry about when to replace the brakes. 

However, there are some consequences of not having a car I did not think through very well: 
*How do I get the ironing board home that I just bought?
*Its a great day to be out walking but oh, no!  A cloudburst in the Andes - they come in so FAST!  Wish I had not wandered so far from our apartment.
*Ah, that's a great desk for computer use,  I'll take it!.  It is where I'll write and do research or study Espanol.  The price is fantastic.  Oh, but wait!  I don't have my Subaru to drive it home!
*Mixing up some cookies is just be the ticket for afternoon tea.  Oh, I'm out of eggs!
*It will really help to have this step stool but I hope it will fit in a taxi!

Ah well - there are adjustments to any life change and this is a VERY big, exciting life change.  I'll learn new ways to transport things!

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