Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Fat Tuesday - Lean Offerings

It is so appropriate that today is Fat Tuesday. Last night we watched the Spanish movie Gordos. Not wanting our last days in Cuenca to Passover with regrets, we pushed ourselves out the door today. With plans to visit the Museo de los Metales, we were proud of ourselves getting out before noon.  When we spent the day with Mike and Howard, we visited the man erupting from the volcano, but the museo was closed.

Walking to the bus stop has become a no brainer, but we did notice less traffic than usual on the major road. Approaching the bus stop was eerie; there was not a soul there. Normalmente, there is a small crowd leering into the distance seeking out any sign of a bus. This was ominous. After 15 minutes, 10 longer than usual, we realized there were no buses.

Ron had the bright idea to see if there were any by the Mercado on the other side of the river. Following the river path, we wandered down to the high traffic and commercial area. Right across the street is a great bakery, so we dropped in to check out their offerings for our special dinner guests’ dessert tomorrow night. We are entertaining Mike and Howard if I ever remember to tell them what time to come over. Guys if you read this, come over at 6:30pm. ;  )

As good fortune would have it, the number 100 bus was running.
We took this into the city center, just barely when Ron decided we should get off. We walked four blocks in the same direction as the bus, so we could have enjoyed the ride a bit longer. Nevertheless, the streets were vacant; we walked blocks before seeing another human. I mentioned to Ron that this would be the perfect day for a mugging. There was no one around to hear you scream for help.

Naturally, the majority of those we ran into were other Gringos who looked as perplexed as we must have. There was nothing open; no restaurants were serving food, no retailers were pushing products, nada. Realizing the void around us was probably an omen that the museum would not be open our plans were derailed.

 Changing our strategy, we decided we would check on our coffee roaster; if he was open, we needed coffee. Eureka! We found him behind the counter, pulling a shot of espresso. With nowhere to rush off to, I enjoyed his pulled pork sandwich, though I would not classify it as ‘pulled’ pork. Ron had the red velvet cake. The couple at the next table started chatting. They were from California via Hawaii, but moved here three years ago. The wife was saying there are more cultural events for her to involve herself in than then there were in Hawaii. She did not say, but certainly, the cost of living is dramatically cheaper.

I spotted a woman at another table wearing a t-shirt with
Exit 102
Asbury Park,
New Jersey

My resistance only lasted three minutes before I went over to ask her if she was from Asbury Park. The look she gave me
had me wondering if my face was particularly ugly today. She grimaced, pulled out her shirt and said it refers to the BOSS. Well anyone who has grown up in the area knows the BOSS is Bruce Springsteen

It was the Exit 102 that threw me, because the last time I was on the NJ Parkway, there was no exit 102. The closest one to my former home and Asbury Park was 105. She was not the least bit friendly, so I explained that is my home area and walked back to our table.

Leaving the café, Ron suggested we walk home along the river since buses were in short supply. Most buses were off the grid, but taxis were prevalent. I agreed to walk knowing we could get a taxi at any time. 

We did in fact walk home along the river. My pedometer shows we covered 5.51 miles, but we did stop at the SuperMaxi for fixings for tomorrow’s dinner. By that point, I really was ready for a taxi, but the walk is only another ¼ of a mile from there, so we hoofed it. 

I had to Google the parkway exits when we arrived home and sure enough, there is an exit 102 now. It is just three miles from 105. 

So Cuenca, with almost everything closed, we did have a passover after all.

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