Friday, January 15, 2010

Toilet Paper Isn't The Only Thing That's Arrived

It's official . . . after two days of connections, airports, and more airports, I've finally arrived at my apartment in Cuenca. I would be enjoying it a lot more if my body wasn't letting me know what it thought of my decision to be hand luggage only . . . apparently order two on the menu will be finding a masseuse and/or chiropractor to put my back in order again. So glad I brought the smaller computer or I would be a complete cripple!

Order one was toilet paper. It's the little things, right? Here I am in a lovely apartment located in the central downtown district furnished with everything you need to live . . . except for enough toilet paper to get a girl through the day. I was conserving squares from my very first wee, having heard from my rental agent about Supermaxi, the local mega-supermarket. Her directions indicated that it was close enough to walk, but not at night, due to needing to cross a river and a park that were "not nice" after dark. Exhausted from my day of travel anyway, I just went for food and called it a night, counting off my squares carefully.

In the morning, I just about chickened out and took a taxi. I'm lazy, my back hurts, the altitude is affecting me, wah, wah, wah. Whatever--I need to learn to navigate here on foot, so I make myself suck it up and walk there, with a nice detour to the Cafe Austria at the corner of Benigno Malo y Juan Jaramillo. They have a lunch set, which is more expensive than several of the other almuerzos I saw advertised walking over there, but they also have English magazines and a Wi-Fi spot. I add them to my list of potential work cafes and head out for the supermercado.

And promptly get lost. Who's surprised?

Fortunately, I did find it before pride failed and my sore feet had me hailing a taxi. Naturally, the way home was straightforward, since the place is only about a 10 minute walk from the house when you don't loop around the soccer stadium and all over the wrong side of the Parque de la Madre to get there. I don't think I will make it a primary stop . . . the fresh produce selection was kind of meh, which is not surprising given the number of outdoor markets here. However, I now know that I have a toilet paper connection whenever I need to get it. With a four roll pack costing just 90 cents, I think I can safely stop conserving squares.

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