Shopping in Cuenca

20160129_154524To help outfit the furnished apartment I’m moving into tomorrow, Isabel (my facilitator, took me shopping at Coral yesterday. I had no idea what I was getting into.

Coral is Walmart on steroids!

Here’s a video to give you an idea of what it is like.

For three hours we power shopped. From section to section and floor to floor, we stuffed shopping carts with things like bedding, towels, tools, lamp, clock, scissors, stapler, shampoo, potatoes, peanut butter.

Of course, everything was in Spanish and had Ecuadorian style. It took some doing to find a mattress pad that wasn’t brightly patterned.

As we entered the checkout lane, my heart began to pound and my eyes went wide. I had two overflowing carts and a comforter bedding set besides. The volume was shocking and I suddenly remembered I had daily spending limits on my credit cards.

My brain went into hyper-drive trying to remember those limits. Were they $300 a day? $500? $1500? And which had a higher limit, the credit card or the debit card? Nothing sounded right.

Then the rabbit hole deepened:

What if a card was rejected because I’d gone over the limit, would I be unable to use it at all for the purchase?

Would Coral allow me to make payment with two separate cards? Would they let me pay cash for some, and credit for the rest?

Etcetera. Etcetera.

As the checkout lady scanned item after item after item, and the bag attendants filled carryout cart after carryout cart after carryout cart, I deliberately left the few grocery items remaining in my cart in the cart, and pushed it backwards and sideways out of the line, back into the shopping area.

Like that would make a difference.

So pathetic.

Surely Isabel wondered why I rejected the grapes…

Sighing deeply, I resigned myself to this becoming a big, long, red-faced ordeal, complete with calls to Wells Fargo and putting things back on the shelf.

While holding my breath, the cashier tallied and the screen read $392.54. I couldn’t believe it was less than $700.

I felt the sun rising and a smile spreading.

When the credit card cleared and the transaction went through, the air became light, and my feet left the ground.

Floating to the car, I took this pic for you of Isabel instructing the attendants how to load her backseat and trunk.


Everything after that was easy. We went to the apartment building, climbed those three flights and unloaded the items inside the apartment, cold things into the fridge.

Before heading to my hotel room, I treated myself to a classic American duo, a Coke and fries, for dinner at Charlie’s (the local mom & pop fast food place, where I also took the receipt photo). 20160129_153402

Even though it was only 3pm, the day was done. My head hurt and my eyes kept closing. Back at the hotel room, I sprawled on the bed and listened to NPR and Eric Metaxas podcasts (oil and water mix better) while slipping in and out of consciousness until 7:30 this morning.

Tomorrow is moving day! :D

PS There is no chance of contracting Zika in Cuenca, as the altitude doesn’t sustain mosquito life.

More photos





6 thoughts on “Shopping in Cuenca

  1. Oh My, I just read your blog about your shopping ordeal!! My heart was racing as I started reading about your concern about paying for everything. I had to skip ahead & see the ending! Way to go Girl. You made it. God has a sense of humor. Sometimes He throws in something very challenging, so the next hurdles seem like a breeze:-):-)!!( like lugging stuff up 3 flights of stairs, rather than handcuffs & jail) OK, that’s an exaggeration. Did you have to buy kitchen utensils……plates, glasses, silverware, etc? I’m so glad you have Isabel to help you with the language issues & transportation.
    I hope you can find more nutritious food than fries & Coke. Although, it sounds good now as I have the “munchies”!!
    Happy moving & your OWN SPACE!! I love you lovely Daughter❤️🌹


    1. Thanks Mom. For the record, that was my first soda in Cuenca. :)

      I will see when I get there if I need any dishes or silverware. I know they have some items, just not sure what. I know they have pots and pans, I spotted those.

      Isabel is answered prayer, along with many other people and things here. I sense God has been preparing a place for me here…His love and mercy endures forever… Love you too, emoticonless in Cuenca, Jodi


    1. Thanks my dear. Good to see you’re back to blogging. Your writing is wonderful, please keep writing. If you get to South America, come to Cuenca! I’d love to see you! Hugs and love!


  2. Wow!! What a great store, nothing like that in the DR.
    Very proud of you 😎😎. Sound like all is going well and you are moving right along.
    Happy February and enjoy your new home.
    Miss you. Xoxoxo

    Liked by 1 person

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