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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

This is Ecuador - The Oven Saga Cont'd.

I've been finding it really hard to concentrate after the attacks in Paris, Beirut, Syria, Mali etc, as well as the natural disaster. The wave of fear that has stuck usually logical and kind people is saddening. With all that I haven't had much time to celebrate the fact that our oven is now working.
No Oven Required
It feels a bit like a MasterCard commercial.

Part: $280
Shipping: $180
Import taxes and handling: $67 (usd)
Installation and further repair: $135 (usd)
Working oven: Priceless

This is part of life on another continent. On the same day that oven was up and running, our cable box went on the fritz and seemingly died. (Sigh.) However, after arranging to get a "tecnico" out the next day, we woke up and the darn thing was up and running. This is a perfect example that encapsulates what it is to be in Ecuador. Like any place, it isn't perfect, but you get out of it what you put in to it. Of course, this isn't always my forte. I'm a worrier and can't seem to help but imagine the worst case scenario for any problem. I like to think that this prepares me for bad outcomes, but it drives my poor husband crazy. He's more of a "don't worry about it until you actually know it's something you need to deal with" kind of guy. It doesn't matter where I'm living...I was the same back home, but it can make for extra stress, especially if you're trying to function in a second language.
Not my kitchen, but only slightly less useful...
The folks at TVCable don't seem to understand that speaking a bit slower might resolve the situation more quickly. I've also come to realize that Ecuadorians don't phrase things the same way. For example, I'm an English tutor to a 17 year old girl and her mother (inexplicably) wants me to help the daughter with a large Spanish writing project; a book about the young girl's life. (This is a school assignment.) So the mother wanted to know how much I would charge to help with the book, but she didn't ask me "How much will you charge to help with the book?" She asked (in Spanish or to be more PC: Castellano) "How much will the book cost?" I don't know how much it would cost to print up a book or buy the supplies to hand write it, so I replied "I don't know." I can now see why they had perplexed looks on their faces, but it took me overnight to understand what it was they were actually asking.
Something pretty to look at for when
we don't have cable or internet
Another example is speaking with TVCable. The account is under my husband's name, so of course they want to know who I am...I'm obviously not Ronaldo. They don't say "who are you?" or "who am I speaking with?" No, that would be to easy; they say something akin to "with whom do I have the pleasure of meeting?" Now, in English that doesn't seem so bad, but when it's cast at me in rapid fire Spanish, I usually miss this gist. I've called them enough now, that I pretty well have the drill down and I'm slowly getting to understand what it is they're saying, but as the title of this blog entry says "This is Ecuador."
How we feel now that the oven works!
Living abroad is a bit like a baseball game...long stretches of boredom interspersed with moments of excitement and sheer terror. So if you're considering it keep in mind: the quirkiness and unexpectedness; it's all part of the adventure.

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