A VIEW FROM MY WINDOW
Maybe it's a part of the adventure of living here - something completely different than how it used to be back in the states. Living in constant noise vs. living in ultimate peacefulness, walking along streets crowded with passersby vs. walking along solitary country roads, riding taxis and buses vs. having the independence of my own vehicle, Smelling city bus fumes vs. smelling fresh country air, city apartment living vs. a 100+ year old to-die-for country home, paying monthly rent vs. living in a mortgage-free house, Listening to and speaking Spanish more than English vs speaking and hearing familiar English, not working anymore vs. being productive and earning a living, starting all over in unfamiliar territory vs. having 39 years of predictability and a sense of security. Why? I still ask myself, why? Then I answer myself, why not? Why not do something completely different and opposite - something so beyond my wildest imagination and something I couldn't even wrap my mind around when my husband suggested it back in 2009 - expating!
Things change! Sometimes not for the better. Health issues suddenly appear. The changing economy destroys security and plans and dreams. Loss of jobs. Aging and living in a rut. Questions about sudden and unexpected changes arise. Some begin to look outside their box and take big risks. Others work things out right where they are - or they don't. Still, things change! They changed for us. Unlike some, we embrace change - but this was big. Am I sorry I'm here living in a city apartment? Not really. I do miss aspects of my life, my beautiful home, and especially my mom back in Oregon. But, there's so much I don't miss. I ask myself, am I really content here in Cuenca? I can answer honestly, today, yes. Life for me anymore is day by day. I don't know if I'll feel the same in a week, a month, a year, or five. Today, yes I'm content here. It's about the journey - the adventure. There's a big world out there. Cuenca is my world for now. Early, from my upper window, I watch the city waking up and beginning to rush by. I watch the people walking by. I watch the workers and the vendors doing their daily work to earn their "plata" so they can care for their families and eat. Sometimes I sit on the window sill and just watch. Then I wonder, "Who is that person? Where is he/she going this early in the morning? Where do they live? Who is their family and what is their family life like? Are they content? Is this the rest of their life?"
Late at night, I listen from my desk as the city noise gradually subsides the later it gets. Still, there are the occasional sounds of cars driving by, late-night walkers passing by, always the never-ending sound of the corner street light bleeping, and the occasional distant sound of a horn honking. Finally, Cuenca sleeps!
I'm thankful that I've had wonderful opportunities in my life, including several out-of-the-ordinary adventures. I count living in Cuenca as another opportunity and adventure and one I'm glad my husband and I both decided to finally do together, in spite of the obstacles, challenges, and doubts we've faced and will continue to experience along the way. We live here now, city dwellers, and each day will add something new to embrace and be thankful for - all a part of life's journey.
Last night while at my desk, I could hear a loud generator running as the evening street cleaners scrubbed and power washed the city sidewalks below my open window. Was it loud? Very!
But when I went to the window and poked my head out, I smiled knowing these "yellow men" were working hard to keep my Cuenca city clean.
A door-to-door news vendor is carrying Cuenca's periodico "El Mercurio" with the day's headline, "EL PAPA ES LATINO" (The Pope is Latin). Her working day has begun.....
I love watching this corner street vendor from my window. She sits there all bundled up from early morning until late evening selling her magazines and papers. Her location is prime and her sales are constant.
This fruit vendor is rushing to her daily spot somewhere along the city streets.
On the way to her regular location she stops and sells her fruit to the corner newspaper vendor.....
..........her fruit sale is completed and she scurries down the busy street below my window to who knows where!
I enjoy living in the heart of El Centro and getting acquainted with new streets, hidden shops, interesting people, hard-working vendors, and embracing the noise and energy each new day brings. Yes. Noisy Busy City Living. It's right for us, today!