50¢ for a huge cauliflower followed by 50¢ for a big head of broccoli. $1 for about a pound and one-half of green beans. Over 2 lbs of freshly pulled carrots for $1. 20¢ a cucumber. The extra-large sweet, white pineapple is $2. Fresh strawberries for $1. Etc., etc. We are prepared with a stack of dollar bills and dollar coins, as providing change for even a $5 bill, much less a $10 bill often requires the vendor to collaborate with her neighbors. $20 bills are an impossibility. Our last stop is for fresh eggs. 36 jumbo eggs cost $3.80. We are loaded down with fresh provisions and have spent about $12.
A block from our apartment is a Tia market. It's a smaller grocery store, but good enough for starters. Wednesday we go to Supermaxi for the items not available at Tia. We walk the three-quarter of a mile to Supermaxi El Vergel. The prices here on some items align closer to US prices and may even be more. When we check out the bag boy loads our groceries in a cart then walks us to the taxi stand and loads up the trunk. The taxi meter reads $1.70 when we arrive in traffic at Gran Columbia Suites. We give the driver $2.25 and he is delighted.
Tuesday evening our good friends Burt and Evelyn invite us to their home for dinner. Burt prepares a delicious meal and we have time to catch-up. We also get a chance to see some of the paintings Evelyn has displayed in her shows and some which are in-progress. Her paintings have truly evolved over the past four years and she is now well known among the Cuenca art community. Burt is also well known, he is going to be included in an article in the Ecuadorian magazine Vistazo, which will include some of his photographs and a quote. What fun!