Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Scrambled Ramblings

Apparently, we were not alone in thinking the downpour on Saturday was something exceptional. The Gringo Tree, an ex-pat newsletter reported on the damage that the rain caused, including having part of a street cave in, keeping three vehicles hostage. To see the pictures and the rest of the article, click here.

Sunday, the rain returned once again, but Ron braved the elements to attend mass. Staying home, I heard music, particularly cymbals. When I went out on the balcony, there was another parade passing by the cross street. This one included a number of Joseph and Mary dressed adults riding horses, while children dressed as shepherds went by on ponies and one donkey. Following them were flatbed trucks with more religiously costumed people. No one sang Don’t Rain on My Parade as they passed by. 

When the rain stopped, we charged out to get some groceries. As soon as we completed the deed, the skies opened up yet again. This time, both of us had hoods, but still no umbrellas, but we ran between the raindrops to a cozy apartment. Once home, we remembered the main reason for going out was for eggs. We did not put all our eggs in one basket; in fact, there were none.

Monday, we did a bit of laundry. What a treat to have full sized American washing machine and dryer. Our borrowed property owner had them imported. Our clothes have never encountered a dryer before, so we were wary about how well they would get along. Some items refused to be tumbled, so they dried on a hanger.    

One of our delights is the décor in the apartment where we are at now. Barbara, our exchange host is a painter. Gracing the walls are a few of her painting, which we are treasuring. As an artist, she also has great taste in her other artwork. Each day I go around taking in the images on the walls. It is like being in a mini-gallery. 

This prompted us to seek out some of the real galleries to look over art. On the way, we discovered a Spanish place for a quick snack. WE did not pay much attention to the sign outside offering the menu of the day for $3, so we ordered off the menu. When we entered, the place was almost empty, but within 20 minutes, people were sharing tables. Everyone it seemed started with a bowl of soup, then an entrée. Entrées usually always include a potato and rice. It was not until we left that we spotted the sign showing what we could have chosen.

Seeking out art galleries, we found one across the river, Almacén: Artes de la Tierra, but it was closed when we arrived. It was siesta break, so we waited in the back of the complex where we found very accommodating outdoor chairs with protective umbrellas waiting the 30 minutes for the shop to reopen. It was well worth the wait. If we lived here, I would be in financial trouble. The shopkeeper has some wonderful pieces. More than 10 jumped out at us begging to be released from the store.  

Crossing the street, we walked along the river in the opposite direction of where we have walked before hoping there would be another stairway up to the top of the hill. Be careful what you wish for, those steps are murder. 

Within the area, Mercado 10 de Agosto was just a short distance away.  After walking around for a bit checking out the meats and produce, we bought ground beef, sausages, and fruit. After a lot of meandering, we arrived home only to remember we did not buy eggs AGAIN! 

Ron has wanted coca tea, which helps with altitude adjustment. Our lovely Malena had taken us to multiple health food stores, but those that had it only had huge boxes. However, when we came home, there was a package of coca tea bags with a note from our downstairs neighbor, Pattie. She heard we wanted it and left some for us.

We have the positive benefits that one would associate with a commune, but with the privacy of having our own apartment. Feeling the camaraderie here is not something I have experienced in decades. 

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