Saturday, April 7, 2012

Spare change?

Grab this related post Widget!
Apparently I've touched a nerve from the number of emails I've received about my last post regarding new Cuenca discoveries. Rather than answer them all individually I'm going to allow myself the indulgence of responding to everybody at once here.

The public bathrooms are on the La Esquina side of Calle Larga after you climb the Gran Esclinata and head west (up the hill). That's the good news. The inconclusive news is I don't know exactly where the cartridge refill joint and change place are located.

Why? Well, in the case of the cartridges, ours don't need refilling yet so until they do I haven't bothered with details other than knowing that such an establishment exists. For now anything more is just useless information fighting for space in the diminishing memory vault of my mind.

We learned that the change place requires a passport or cedula for transactions. As of this writing we have neither. Our censos were confiscated by the immigration peeps when we returned from the States a couple of weeks ago. Not that they would have helped--they expired at the end of January. And our passports are in Quito being stamped with our newly approved retirement visa. Like the cartridges, we can't use the service right now so I'm happy enough to know I will soon be able to eliminate our ongoing change aggravation.

Maybe somebody else living here can post a reply filling in the blanks I created. Otherwise I'll let everybody know when I know.

PS. Here's a little "today" story. Cynthia's bedside lamp appeared to blow out the plug last night when she turned it on. To make sure what was going on I plugged it into another outlet awhile ago. All the power in the apartment promptly disappeared. We're about to go to the grocery store because our refrigerator is so empty it looks like we're about to go on a trip.


Easter Saturday. Our landlord of course isn't here, and because the power's out we have no internet, so I can't pull up Google Translate to try and call him (he speaks less English than I do Spanish). I call our friends in the next building to ask if I can use their computer to at least try to call and communicate with him. Sure.

My buddy mentioned that his maintenance guy is bilingual and suggested maybe we could ask him to make the call. Great idea. He calls. No answer. We call his sister. No answer.


Let me back up and explain why I couldn't just open our fuse box and flip the errant switch. We actually have such a box, but it only controls individual circuits. The main breaker is in a master box with everyone else's outside the building secured with a padlock.

I ask the maintenance man if he'll walk over to my building and speak with the family who lives in the basement and keeps the common areas clean. I have zero faith that they actually have a key to the lock but I'm out of options. Before asking them I point out the box and we notice that the lock is----unlocked.

We open the door, see the thrown breaker, reset it. I go upstairs to check. Yep, all is well in the world again. Hooray!!

One might ask why the padlock wasn't secured. A better question is why I assumed it would be locked. This is, after all, Ecuador, where the expected doesn't always happen, and the obvious is sometimes----not.

Off to the store!!

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