Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Sometimes Cooking is a Challenge

I believe that: 
- humans tend to be creatures of habit.
- there is comfort and security reverting to the familiar.
- eating habits are a perfect example of an acquired taste.
- a lot of us are most comfortable eating what we grew up with.
- many gringo expats really miss some of the food we grew up with.
- there is a very good reason we are all familiar with the term 'comfort food'.

I know that:
- a lot of food and spice items are muled down here by friends, family, and even total strangers.
- it is no coincidence that the answer to the "is there anything we can bring you?" question is often something for the pantry.

- sometimes you really must adapt .......   'make do' even where your palate is concerned.

- we have not been able to find corn starch.
- we have had to make do with the following.
- it seems to work pretty much the same.

Look real close at the label.
Life is sweet,

Saturday, January 26, 2013

To Blog Or Not To Blog

Hey Kids,

Recently Brennie suggested that I was turning into some type of mean old curmudgeon (yeah, that was a spelling challenge).  What she actually said was that I don't have to be an *sshole ALL the time.

Remember when your mom used to tell you that if you can't say something nice, not to say anything at all?

Well now, that's kind of the reason (actually the exact reason) that I have not blogged recently.

Back to that in a minute.

What I blog about and why I blog……..
I do NOT blog to:
- share social experiences.  (Who we had dinner with, etc)
- give advice or recommendations.  There are far too many experts here.  It seems like the less time a person has spent here, the higher the likelihood that they know everything anyway.
- boost readership because I run ads on my blog.
- sell Cuenca as a destination.

Basically my blog is just my (moronic) observations.
- The longer that I am here …….. the less is new to me ……. the less to comment about.
- Besides, when I started this blog, there were only about 4 others that were (are) based in Cuenca.
- Now there are ……… lots.
- Sometimes I blog just to amuse myself.  Duh.

So…….. back to the whole *sshole thing.

I find myself wanting to comment (make observations) on many of the Gringo Tree requests for info.
Many of the requests are reasonable and legit.
Others, quite frankly, make me wonder about the people submitting them.


Actual Inquiry on Gringo Tree:
"Appropriate Clothing:
My wife will be in Quito and Cuenca 1st two weeks of Feb.  She wants to know if black slacks and coordinating tops/jackets would be better than light tan slacks and lime green slacks with coordinating tops jackets. She will be in seminar in Quito but sightseeing in Cuenca.  She has the evening attire figured out."
(Yeah there are a few grammar boo-boos in that.  I just copied and pasted it.)

My proposed response:
"That's brilliant.  At first I thought, um..... Is this serious?  Now that I realize that it was a spoof, I must congratulate you on your originality.  Well done!

Did anyone actually fall for this stupidity?


Wow, good question!

Most Gringos don't think through the color issues BEFORE crossing the equator.  It is not until after they move down here that they realize that the color wheel seems to shift as you cross the equator.  As many know, this is due to a different refraction of light south of the equator.  Of course the closer to the equator, the more subtle the shift.  For instance, a lime green in Des Moines is close to a hot pink in Lima (further south) but more of a dusty rose or mauve in Cuenca.  The brighter the color, the less predictable (and radical) the shift.  Tans, browns, grays and other neutral colors are pretty safe as the color shifts south of zero are negligible.  Black and white are actually your safest colors.  Plus, they look very fetching with the aforementioned tans, lime greens, mauves, etc. 

Now regarding shoes .......


Have you considered the ever popular safari look?"


Seriously, I don’t think that there is need for you to be concerned about Quito/Cuenca clothes.  Anyone who needs to ask the question, is unlikely to be able to make the flight connections to get down here.  (Notice how I avoided using the word s-t-*-p-*-d.) 


This really depends on how big a gal she is.  If she’s full figured, she might want to re-think the lime green.  


What color tops/jackets is it that coordinates with lime green slacks?


If she goes with the lime green, she can make a political statement at the same time.  We are in the middle of a political race here.  Each party has associated colors and a number.  The colors of Raffael Correa’s political party are lime green and navy blue.  The written part is “35 PAIS”.  There are these signs all over the place. 

I have an idea where the 3 and the 5 could go.

Life is sweet,

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Hey Bwana .......


Safari clothing?


You're wearing Safari clothing in Cuenca?

A little news flash for people coming to visit Cuenca.
Safari clothing is not necessary!

Yeah, here in Cuenca we have:
- electricity and running water
- airplanes, cars, busses and motos
- computers and Internet

We do NOT have:
- lions, tigers, giraffes or elephants

NOT necessary!

NOT necessary!
Pith Helmet?
Haven't actually seen a gringo wearing one .... yet!

I think that the 'coolest' thing that I have seen is husband/wife great-white-hunter matching safari outfits!  True.  I've actually seen that a few times.

Life is sweet,