2000-11-15 - 10:44 a.m.
(I´m on an updating spree - four entries in two days! - so make good use of the "previous" button down below.)
On Sunday, Marianne and I went to the markets at Chordeleg and Gualaceo, about 30 kilometers outside of Cuenca. (Melchior has abandoned us for the Galapagos Islands, although I´m meeting up with him next week in Vilcabamba to travel around Ecuador for a while. By his email accounts, the Galapagos Islands are spectacular, although almost prohibitively expensive, by Ecuadorean standards, at any rate. His emails are interesting to decipher - he speaks English so well that I forget that it isn´t his first language, but his emails are written almost entirely phonetically.)
It was a good Spanish day - as Marianne and I learn more Spanish, we are able to better communicate with each other, and I spend more time with her than anyone else in the school. She´s always up for doing something before our afternoon classes, and together we´ve done a lot - the market at Feria Libre, the thermal baths at Baños, the hike up to Turi for a spectacular view of Cuenca. We´ve both decided to stay on at the school for an extra week, and have opted for the "mini gruppo" lesson - we´re paying extra for a class with just the two of us.
So Sunday was the market just outside of town, full of sights and sounds and vendors hawking their wares.
The market is geared more to the locals, with a fair share of practical things like socks and underwear. But Marianne and I like the fruits and vegetables, piled high, some of them unfamiliar, although we´re learning the names.
I like the animals the best, something that Marianne can´t quite understand, being that I´m a vegetarian and all. Maybe I just don´t feel guilty because I know I´m not going to eat them. Here are some chickens.
And a local delicacy - cuy! Or guinea pig, as it´s known in English. I had a pet guinea pig when I was in elementary school, but I´m still fascinated by them here. It´s even more amazing to see them on a spit, roasting over an open fire. Marianne finds the whole idea of cuy disgusting and refuses to eat it. She gets mad at me when I say, "No es diferente que los vacos y los pollos."
And my favorite part of the market - a whole roasted pig! Once again, Marianne couldn´t understand my fascination. I think I took half a dozen pictures of whole roasted pigs.