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Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Epic of the Sofa Cushions or "Patience"

In grade 12 English class we were challenged to write an epic poem; it had to include an overwhelming challenge featuring a hero or heroine who accomplished great deeds with much struggle. Mine was quite silly, about a princess who had broccoli stuck in her teeth which lost her the love of the prince. She had to find a way to remove said (very stubborn) broccoli and win back her love. I can't remember a single line. I think my English teacher (Mr. Morris) commented that it was a bit short on epic requirements but "mad fun".

This leads me to our saga of the decorative sofa cushions . (Okay, as a Canadian, I'm supposed to refer to a 'sofa' as a 'chesterfield', but in my head I have a very specific visual of what a chesterfield looks like versus our comfy sofas.) Anyhow, we found a furniture store that also makes custom throw pillows. They have an attractive selection of fabrics, so after talking it over amongst ourselves we decided to order four; total cost $32 or $8 a piece.

Chesterfield, but I usually imagine it with some sort of tapestry fabric...
Sofa...see the difference?
Our initial conversation with the sales lady indicated that the actual production of the pillows takes about three days. On our return and at the point of actual ordering February 7th) we were told to come back in a week, on Valentine's Day to pick up our completed order.

Valentine's day arrived (it just happened to coincide with Carnival this year) and we headed down to the taller to pick up our anticipated decorative items. Of course, they were was Carnival, after all. They were also closed Sunday (that goes without saying), Monday AND Tuesday. We did our grocery shopping early that week, so we went to the Mercado on Wednesday and as we passed the store, we saw that it was open. We popped in our heads and were greeted with a look of apprehension. Our pillows were not yet ready, could we come back Monday. (The order hadn't been put in promptly, so there was a delay due to Carnival.) Sure, no problem. We smiled, told the 'vendadora' not to worry and made plans to return the following Monday.

Monday arrives and we head down the hill with anticipation. It was almost 11:00 am, enough time for the nice lady to get settled in to her day and not feel rushed - I know, we're very thoughtful that way. We get to the corner, where the store is located and notice that the steel security shutters are drawn and locked. CLOSED. Which meant our sofas still looked like this:
Naked and sad...
Okay, that's twice now that they've told us to come on a specific day and then not been opened. We considered our options. Perhaps they had closed for an early lunch. We bided our time, wandering they city, stopping at the market and getting my fingers (almost) slapped by a vendor for touching her produce. (That was a first and hopefully a last!) After and hour and a half we returned and the store was still closed. We looked at each other and decided to laugh it off. After all, we're in Ecuador.

Tuesday arrives and we decide to go later in the day. (This is 17 days after the original "three day" order.) We can't believe our luck...the store is open! Uh-oh...another look of apprehension. She's forgotten to bring the pillows and is so very sorry. Could we please come back the same time tomorrow and for sure the pillows will be there. Fine, says I, but you've asked us to come back twice on days that you were closed, will you be open tomorrow? Of course, is the response, don't worry we're open until 7 pm!
Yup...still unadorned...
At this point we can't quite decide what to do; ask for our money back? Wait it out? Seriously, if we get our money back and go somewhere else, what are the chances of this playing out all over again. We decide to stick with the store.

Wednesday dawns, we have a leisurely morning (except for Ron trying to clean some sort of goo that was smudging the glass shower doors...that was a mini-epic.) We eat lunch, try to have a nap, but the pounding somewhere in the building can't be blocked out. Finally we head into El Centro, we get coffee at one of the stores we like, we stop by a friends house for "beer o'clock" and don't leave their place until somewhere around 5pm.

The store is open! Yay! What do we see? Yup, you guessed it...look of apprehension. The lady picks up the phone and I hear her ask the person on the other end of the line "where are you?" Turns out they're 20 minutes away, the traffic was worse than anticipated. She offers to deliver the pillows if we live nearby. (We're no more than 10 blocks away.) She promises to call us once she is near our intersection, so we can meet her outside. Fine. At this point we can only laugh or run stark raving mad through the streets.

Today is Thursday (almost three weeks after our initial order), we did our grocery shopping and walked past the store. Closed. We still have to go to the Mercado, so maybe on our way home, the darn thing will be open and (against my gut and any real likelihood) they will have our cushions. (Fingers crossed!)

Hopefully, we will be able to add photos of the cushions to this post later this afternoon, but don't hold your breathe.

UPDATE: Sweet success! (Sort of) 
So like all things Ecuadorian we finally got our cushions, but not exactly what we ordered (they were out of one of the fabrics so offered us several different options.) We wound up mixing some of our old cushions with some of the new ones and whatever was left over went on the guest room bed. Here's the (sort of) final product...I suspect we'll be looking for another option sometime in the future:

1 comment:

  1. Funny but frustrating...
    Reminds me of the Woody Allen sci-fi story, where everyone in the world falls asleep at the same time and then wakes up and they are all making pants. A week goes by and a spaceship lands, aliens get out and ask if their pants are ready, no we say, come back Thursday..

    I agree on your chesterfield/sofa thoughts, chesterfields sound like they are cold and uncomfortable, whereas a sofa is soft and for lounging. Yet our old chesterfield as mum called it looked more like your picture of a sofa. We use couch most of the time and so do the kids, it doesn't sound right saying chesterfield potato, or even sofa potato.

    Your place is looking nice with the furniture, I guess feeling more like "home" every day.