Sunday, February 20, 2011


AKA .... Thing that I don't miss.

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That is my former ride.
I do miss it.
But hey ........ 3 out of 4 isn't bad.

Life is sweet,

Saturday, February 12, 2011




Randy and I went to get our motorcycle licenses the other day. In order to get one you must:

- Provide a boat load of documentation

- Provide your blood type

- Some other stuff too ..... including $$$$

- But no test has to be taken.

We were told to come back in 15 days because they are out of the paper forms they print the licenses on.


Brennie and I are looking at getting driver’s licenses. In order to get a license, you must:

- Provide a boat load of documentation

- Take a driving course ....... about $180 each

- Pass the multiple choice test at the end of the course ( it is in spanish)

- Pass another multiple choice test at the motor vehicle place ....... Spanish again.

- Provide your blood type

- And other stuff too


You can buy a bank of multiple choice questions on the street ........ right outside the govt offices. Theoretically the questions for the real test are taken form the test bank. so, at $1.50, why not. I translated the first 10 questions myself and this is what I got. I am skeptical.

1. When passing on a blind curve:

a) use caution.

b) signal your presence by honking horn.

c) gag any gringos as their screams are annoying.

d) handcuff gringos as it is annoying when they grab hold of things.

2. It is necessary to stop at which one (1) of the following red lights:

a) while making left turn from southbound Unidad Nacional to west bound Tres de Noviembre.

b) Taxi cab with passenger

c) If you are one of the first 4 cars through intersection after light turns red

d) If you are the fifth car at the intersection after light turns red

3. When entering a one way street while driving a car

a) You must always go in the direction indicated

b) You may go in the ‘wrong’ direction; but no more than a block

c) You may go the ‘wrong’ way for up to 3 blocks if you are driving on the sidewalk

d) The one way signs are a gag put up by university art students

4. When entering a one way street while riding a motorcycle

a) The one way signs were originally put up by religious crazies. They all pointed up. They were subsequently changed to point left by godless communists.

b) You may go in the ‘wrong’ direction; but no more than a block

c) You may go the ‘wrong’ way for up to 3 blocks if you are on the sidewalk

d) You must always go in the direction indicated

5. If you hit a pedestrian while driving a car:

a) The pedestrian is liable for all damages to the car

b) The pedestrian has a right of way

c) Honk horn before impact

d) The $40 fine can be paid in 20 equal installments

6. Why should you wash your car within 30 minutes of hitting a pedestrian or bicyclist.

a) It is easier to wash off the blood while it is still wet.

b) Tissue and blood on the bumper attract stray dogs.

c) Tissue and blood start smelling if the car is left in the sun

d) All of the above

7. A rectangular sign on a busy street with ’30 k/hr’ written on it, means:

a) nothing

b) nothing

c) nothing

d) nothing

8. While merging with other traffic in a traffic circle, the right of way goes to

a) the vehicle approaching from the left

b) driver with the biggest vehicle

c) driver with the biggest balls

d) any two of the above will work

9. When approaching or in a snarled traffic jam

a) sound horn

b) sound horn repeatedly

c) all bets are off

d) drive on sidewalk if possible

10. Honking your horn:

a) Cheaper than using brakes

b) Used only in emergency or to warn of danger

c) There is a reason the horn button is in a handy place

d) Horn trumps brakes every time.

See you on the Road.

Life is sweet,


Sunday, February 6, 2011

Another Parade?

Lots of Parades. LOTS.

It seems that since the Christmas holidays, that the church a block away has had a parade every Sunday. I am baffled.

Here is what I do know.

The parade is ALWAYS led by a clown. I did manage to get a pic of the clown ..... from behiind. Why it is led by the clown is a mystery to me. I am glad that my son is not here. He was terrified by the movie "IT' when he was younger. (Yeah I told him not to watch it ..... but what do I know, right?). I think that he is still scared by clowns. I gave him the movie "IT" a couple years ago as a joke. Well, at least I thought it was funny. I also sent it to him while he was in Americorps. Once again, I was the only one to see the humor.

Following the clown appears to be Mary and Joseph. Sorry no pic.

After Mary and Joseph ...... well, it seem that just about anything goes. From what I could tell, today we had princesses, roman soldiers and senoritas.

I AM NOT RIDICULING OR MAKING FUN. I think the parades are very cool. They have music, drums and loud exploding things. I love them ...... I just don't understand them. I am a dumb-ass.

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A couple hours later...........

Today must be '2-fer Sunday'.

When I got back from the Mercado (pears, broccoli, carrots, avos, etc.) there was another parade going by the old homestead. I was pretty late for it so I only got 3 picks.

This parade was 'floats'. One of the floats has a whole roasted pig on it ....... the first pic. Seen that a few times too. You just gotta love it here. The pork here is great! Well, not when I cook it ...... but when you get it at the Mercado it is fabulous. A little disturbing at first because it is the whole pig laying there ....... all roasted up with their little heads attached.

Can you see the piggy in the pic above?
Oinky. Oinky.

Life is sweet,

Wednesday, February 2, 2011




Yep we live in the Andes Mountains. So fabulous that those cool chocolate mints were named after them.

Check out info on the Andes here ......

We don't live in the highest part of the Andes (thank god) or on a mountain peak (more thanks). But, sometimes I forget that our city of Cuenca is in a valley at 8,000+ ft elevation. Surrounded by mountains. I have begun to take the beauty of my adopted city for granted.

My little buddy Randy and I went for a moto ride out of town the other day. As I was on the hilltops (ridgetop?), I could see mountain ridge after mountain ridge. One after another. With valleys in between. Blew me away. Woke me up.

I couldn't actually see the valleys between the ridges. Duh. I assume there were valleys. What else would there be? Probably rivers in the valleys, too. I am sure that the conspiracy nutbag fringe is convinced that there is some evil plot between the ridges and caves in the mountains full of more unspeakable evil. Oopsie. Got sidetracked.

Anyway, I am just glad that I had my camera so that I could share a picture.

Life is sweet,