Sunday, July 27, 2014

Speed demons and spoiled brats

We had to go into PortoViejo on Thursday to pay PacifIcLink, the company whose been holding our container. We successfully got cash withdrawn and deposited into the correct bank account. We did some groceries and took the bus home, we'd been home about 10 minutes when I got an email from Flor. She needed another deposit to be made, this time to the company who owns the container, as insurance that once we get the container emptied we would send it back, this "insurance" costs $1000, and means we are getting back on the bus Friday. We decided to not let this get to us, what else did we have planned for Friday? Nothing, we can take another trip on the bus, adventure!

Banks don't open til 10am, so we didn't have to rush, had a leisurely breakfast and coffee on the porch. Made a smoothie for the road, and made sure we had our hats. While we were on the bus, I noticed something that I'd been wondering about. Every so often (couple of miles or so) the "ticket taker" hops out and punches a "time clock" machine thing. I thought it had something to do with amount of passengers, but on this ride I realized it was to track how fast the bus was driving.

The way I figured it out, was when the guy punched it, he read what it punched, frowned and shook his head at the driver. Normally the driver would roar off, but he sat and tried to wait. He's obviously antsy, because he couldnt sit still for long, but I could tell he was trying to drive slower on the next leg. When we were on the bus from Cuenca to Guayaquil Mike saw a sign that told passengers to report excess speed or letting too many people on the bus, so that helped in my determining what the time clock was for. Another mystery solved.

Even after I had decided taking the bus into the city again wasn't a big deal, the spoiled brat in me still thought it was a lot of effort to do some banking. Which got me thinking as we roared past houses, no shacks! These people are so content with their lot in life! I need to learn from them, ALL spoiled Americans should learn something from them. They don't live above their means, they don't complain about what they don't  have, they love life and have great outlooks. Kids play in the dirt because they want to, not because they have to. Teenagers are happy to have bikes, and getting a car at 16 is unheard of! Heck most families don't have cars. If it takes half a day to do some banking, so be it, and we made the best of it.

We had already done our groceries, so we decided that after our banking, we would wander around and see PortoViejo from the ground. We got off the bus and walked to the Supermaxi shopping center where the bank was, but when we got there the ATM would only give $100 at a time, that wasn't going to work, so we got a taxi for $1.50 to take us to the other bank ATM that would give $600 at a swipe. And wouldn't you know, we found a new one, right on the corner where we got off the bus! Good to know! It wasn't that far, so we walked back, deposited the money and decided we would try to hit downtown and see what we could find. Jumped into another taxi, for another $1.50 and asked for the "el centro mercado" he looked at us like we had four heads, but then said "el centro"? We said "si" and hoped that "el centro" really meant downtown like we thought, and it turned out it did.

There's a couple of streets that are closed to traffic, and the vendors are set up, I was shy to take pictures, but it looked like a flea market. Lots of fruits, vegs, meats, spices, plastics and clothing. We decided we didn't want to pack anything around, so we just wandered. Found this church, check out that tile work on the roof?!  We got our cell phones charged with minutes, and found some great stores to go back to if/when we get settled. 

Found the little place Wolf took us to for breakfast our very first day here, and had a great big glass of juice and a bolon. (Plantain dough with cheese mixed in) Yum!

Anyway, we had a great day wandering around PortoViejo, trying to not be brats anymore, slow down and simplify. If we didn't have to make this deposit it would mean we weren't making progress. I hope to have more news and some kind of time frame this week. We move into the new beach house on Wednesday, wow end of the month already! The adventure continues, slowly at times, and that's ok. 

One last thing, we saw this little guy in the road, I think he's "sleeping", and then the next day we saw this guy outside our bedroom window!

Stay tuned! You never know what we might run across! 

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