Sunday, September 19, 2010

My Left Foot!

Yesterday I got on the bus to do some shopping at the “plastic store” (aka – Coral). I gave up my seat for an indigenous woman carrying a sack load of green bananas.

I inched my way to the back of the bus to signal the driver that I needed to get off (and hit the red button). All was fine until the bus came to an abrupt stop (a herd of goats crossed the street), and I had one foot on and one foot off the bus! “Please God,” I prayed, “don’t let the bus start again until my left foot follows my right foot!”

Too late.

My left foot followed, but without my shoe. Somewhere on bus #11 in Cuenca, Ecuador is a size 7-1/2 black sketcher shoe with Velcro straps. They were my favorite pair of walking shoes. Sigh. As the bus took off, I chased after it yelling, “Mi zapoto…mi zapoto, por favor!”

Do you think the bus stopped for my left foot?


I "strolled" across the street to Coral hoping that not a single soul saw this signora with one shoe on and one shoe off. At one point I thought about slipping off the right shoe, but that would have made me barefoot.

Not good.

After I arrived at Coral there were so many people (especially in the school section) that no one noticed I had one shoe off and one shoe on.

Not one person.

I made my way to the flower section where I found a mixed bouquet (total cost: $1.17). It’s the most inexpensive place to buy flowers that I have found in Cuenca, although a close second is SuperMaxi on Wednesdays (20 percent off). For some reason, the Coral flowers last for an entire week with a baby aspirin added to the water. My left foot agreed. I grabbed the flowers and “ran.”

When I was handed a shopping cart (push cart), I fell a little to the left. But thankfully my right foot held me in the upright position and “we” carried on.

As I wandered all three stories of Coral—pushing, pulling and carrying my cart up the stairs and down the elevator—I realized I could pretty much do well with only one “foot.” I bought paint supplies, food for the week, and cleaning items which came to a  total of $24.34 (yikes!).

As I headed for the checkout, I felt slightly relieved that no one had noticed that I had one shoe on and one shoe off. After I picked up my receipt, I headed out the sliding doors where the security guard noticed that I had a missing “zapato.” At that point, he offered to get me a taxi. He didn’t ask “why” or “how,” he just assumed I only had half a pair of shoes. It was a relief to get in the taxi and not the bus because—quite frankly—I was afraid of losing my right "foot."

Thankfully, I arrived home with three packages and a bouquet of flowers, at which point the security guard at our complex asked, “¿Donde está el zapato?” (while pointing to my left foot). I smiled gracefully and said, “Lo he perdido!” A strange look filled his face and then he picked up everything—without a word—and escorted me to my apartment.

I now have exactly 2-1/2 pairs of “zapotos” and I’m so very thankful to have my left foot!

Until next time…hasta luego!

Consuelo y Marco


Karen Kimbler said...

OMG, how funny. You are one brave woman. I would have tried to buy another pair of shoes immediately... or taken a taxi home immediately. I am still giggling! You are so lucky too that you have small feet. You can add to your shoe stash from the wonderful shoe stores here... expecially if you like those spikey heeled shoes! Me, I have massive feet. OH I am still giggling...

Connie Pombo said...

Oh Karen, guess what I'm doing today? Shoe shopping! I found a place (but can't remember exactly where "al centro"). The price was great and they were almost like "my left foot." Every day here is an adventure...(and now an excuse to buy a pair of shoes!). Yippee! We'll have to meet for coffee; let me know what works for you. Un abrazo forte

Anonymous said...

The practical virgo in me says that Mark should buy you another pair just like them while he is still in the States. Mary

Miguel-Angel-Aleman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Miguel-Angel-Aleman said...

Hello Connie. A million thanks for sharing your "Living and Retiring in Ecuador" adventures with all of us. You are an excellent writer and have a wonderful ability to speak from your heart. I am considering the possibility of moving to Cuenca and have learned a lot from your blogs. I practice sculpture, fine-art photography and digital imaging and would love to get your impressions regarding the vitality of the art scene in Cuenca. Un saludo cordial. Miguel Angel

Connie Pombo said...

Mary, I thought the same thing, but alas my hubby brought home a duvet comforter instead! ;-)

Miguel, thank you for your kind thoughts. As you know, Cuenca is the cultural capital of Cuenca where art abounds in all forms! I'm amazed--shocked really--at all the possibilities here. Your gift of photography will be a welcomed gift. There are many venues for you to display your art and your talents in Cuenca.

Un abrazo fuerte!

irene said...

Hi - My Husband and I are also thinking of moving to Cuenca -- he will be 55 in July - we want an adventure NOW. We are hoping to visit
Ecuador next fall - approx. a year from now the adventure begins! We are a little confused about the visas - do you pay once or every year? Can we get a residency visa with out Canada Pension- we can't get it for 10 years. I read and love your blog!

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