Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Smells Like Gringo Spirit

Grab this related post Widget!
Part 3 of those three crazy days last week. Sometimes I fret about the song title references I use for blog post titles. Then I think, "Oh, well----------."

The day couldn’t have started out more normally. Cynthia and I had invited two of our “gal pals” over for lunch and an afternoon of bridge. Cynthia made homemade chicken salad and I went out on a limb with a never-tried-before avocado pie (turned out to be delicious—both thought it was key lime).

We’ve eaten and played cards for a bit when Julia’s cell phone rings. Uh, oh, two chairs she’s having made for her new apartment are ready and need to be delivered in the next half hour. Bummer. We’re having fun and not ready to quit, so we hastily decide to pack up the cards, the score sheet, and the wine and just move the party to her house.

We go downstairs, hail a cab, cram ourselves in and head to the other side of town. Julia scoots off to an ATM, and while she’s gone the delivery guys actually arrive on time (very unusual) so we have them bring up the chairs and wait until she returns and pays them.

All of us spend the next half hour or so rearranging her living room furniture. Thinking back I’m not certain Julia actually solicited the group’s decorating advice. Guess I’ll find out next time we visit-----------.

Wine is poured, cards are dealt, the bidding has started, and---damn, Julia’s phone rings again. This time a friend’s maid is stranded down the street because he can’t get home, but it just so happens that Bev, our other bridge buddy, had to give up her time with this same maid yesterday and would be thrilled to have her now, and-----. It’s beginning to seem like every time Julia gets a call we enter a new episode of the Twilight Zone.

Well, there’s only one thing to do, right? We pledge to remember who bid what, grab the wine once again, stick our dealt hands of cards in our back pockets, and off we go. It turns out Bev only lives about 4 blocks from Julia and the stranded maid is halfway between, so we swoop her up en route and hoof it over to Bev’s place. On the way we’re all laughing about this impromptu episode of “progressive bridge” and noting how in our former lives, unless we all lived on the same cul-de-sac (and probably not even then), this spontaneous craziness could have never happened.

At this point we’ve got nowhere left to go, thank goodness. The maid is cleaning, and we’re finally playing cards. Except Julia now realizes she needs to get to the Supermaxi before it closes. We finish a game, or a rubber (I don’t know how to keep score)---anyway, we finish something, then she’s off. By this time a simple afternoon of bridge at our house has remarkably found its third home—an imagined ending of maybe 5 o’clock has stretched to 8—and we’re starving. Julia claimed she was coming back after her grocery shopping but nobody's putting any bets on that. Bev somehow quickly rustles up a yummy dinner for the remaining three of us. The wine we’d been dragging around with us is long gone so we keep the party going with hers.

As we sit eating and chatting her buzzer rings. What?? Against all odds, Julia really has returned, bags of groceries in hand. She fixes herself a plate and we unanimously decide to forego further card playing. After more yakking and drinking we call it a day/night around 10. Cynthia and I share a taxi with Julia and her groceries, dropping her off on our way home.

On the ride back, I think about the free spirit all of us have shared that day. So many things went “wrong;” so many things could have “messed things up;” so many things might have been interpreted as “aggravating.” But, you know what, we had a fantastic time and it truly never occurred to any of us to complain or be negative.

Undoubtedly, we’ve changed.


Sapa Ynca said...

Hey Ed...can you share the avocado pie recipe? I have 16 trees and love key lime pie!

Deke said...

What a beatiful story, Edd. What a great day. What a great attitude. The changes we go through as expats are magnificent, aren't they?

To me, it's exactly what you wrote in your last post for Cuenca High Life: Once you go through these changes, once you're out here in the world, you can't go home again.

It's like being reborn -- and everything previous is a past life. And good riddance to it.