Saturday, October 3, 2015

My New Beginning


It´s about time to write another post. I mean---I am on the jet that´s taking me to Ecuador. Well---not anymore.
But I was and I was writing while in flight and thinking.

It´s been three years since I left Cuenca after a three month visit. And I´m glad I did visit because I´m not going into an unknown. I know people who live in Cuenca. I´ve tasted the flavor of the city. I´m acquainted and that´s good because I´ve experienced the initial culture shock.

Small store owner in her mercado.
 
Back then I dealt with the problem by clubbing and by doing a lot of drinking and eating.
 
Not this time. For one, this time I´m carrying a permanent visa instead of a visa good for ninety days. I´m going into Ecuador this time with a grip and with a plan requiring commitment to achieve.

I´m renting a room for now at the Hostal Rosario on the street  Honorato Vasques. It´s tranquil here at the Hostal. The garden outside calms. I hear English, Spanish, Italian and French words being spoken outside. I met a woman here from Switzerland yesterday. Later I´ll find an apartment in which to live on a more permanent basis.


Garden at Hostal Rosario
It´s Saturday. Yesterday I took a taxi to the office of Gringo Visas. It´s part of the deal. The final part where Gringo Visas acts as a guide through the process to obtain the Ecuador cedula that is like a permit to live in the country. Every single comma was in place---no grammatical errors so to speak.
As a consequence no missteps occur. The Ecuadorian foreign ministry does enforce its codes to the strict letter of the law. I cannot say how much gratitude I feel. It has been a relief to have Gringo Visas working for me because I didn´t stress one time about the company making any serious mistake.
A young man who translates at the office escorted me to a bureau of immigration where an official stamped needed documents and presto---I´m good to go---scheduled to pick up the cedula Monday morning at the office of the Ministry of Foreign Relations.


On Street Mariano Cueva near Hostal Rosario
 

Ecuador and Cuenca---the personalities of these places fit well with my personality. I enjoy history and Ecuadorian history stems in part from ancient Inca days. I like to explore at garage sales and flea markets. The very streets of Cuenca are paved in old stone. Spain´s influence is evident in the many Catholic churches built hundreds of years ago--- ringing bells---displaying ornate antiquity.
 
Sky above Cuenca on Honorato Vasques

I like laughing as well and since I´ve been here, well, practically everywhere I´ve been with someone else we did a bit of good laughing---The banker at the ATM machine who helped with a debit card problem. My hosts at Hostal Rosario, who by the way wanted first my comfort and the rent later, content to wait and be relaxed until I had it to pay. Ecuador is going to take adjusting time; it will be great to adjust to something that´s going to be good.