Monday, January 18, 2010

Blisters All Over The Block

Blisters are a traveler's biggest pain. Small yet pernicious, they make it hard to enjoy strolling the neighborhood and even harder to decide which instrument of torture will be covering them today. By instrument of torture, I am referring to all the shoes I brought with me, none of which I can currently stand to wear.

This is mostly my own fault for over exerting myself in shoes that I hadn't worn in a while. I don't wholly regret it, however, as it resulting in getting to see some great parts of the city.

I spent Sunday afternoon with CF, an artist and ghostwriter from New York that I met on the plane from Guayaquil to Cuenca. We'd hit it off during the plane ride and had swapped contact information so that we could meet up. She's here for three weeks, I'm here for nine, but what the heck--an expat is an expat is an English speaker with a sense of humor. I'll take it.

Sense of direction? Well, maybe we should have taken that too. Cafe Austria was the meeting place, but the destination was anyone's guess. Nominally, we were after empanadas and morrochos, which is a kind of local non-alcoholic drink.

After two or three miles in strappy sandal, my feet were killing me! We'd also been the victim of two drive by water balloon attacks and one window water balloon bombing. The Cuenca tradition of water ballooning people was thankful explained to me by my landlord in advance, so I didn't view it as malicious. CF, on the other hand, took it as an attack. Well-meant or not, the balloon impact is painful and it's no fun being wet walking around.

We didn't find our place, although we did stop and eat after getting our cabbie all lost and confused, too. Hunger overwhelmed, and with the little phrase "Somos locas . . ." we got a quick u-turn and dump at a decent looking food stand.

That was all good, in the end. Surveying my feet this morning, however, is all kinds of bad news. Blisters on the back of my heel, pinkie toes, and sides of feet are explicable. More mysterious is the blister in the middle of the bottom of my left heel. No idea where it came from, but barefoot seems to be the rule of the day!

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