The whole town of Crucita knows I was “Lost”
I really wasn’t lost. I knew where I was, but no one else knew! Here is my crazy story: One day last week, I was going to venture out on the bus alone. I was going to meet my friend, Jane, at her bus stop at the pool. I would get off and the two of us would get on a bus for Manta. I was going to do my month’s shopping. Jane was going to shop and meet up with some friends of hers that were going to give her back a phone she had left at their house. All was great until I could not see the pool or Jane. When I realized I was past the stop and on my way to Portoviejo, I sat there trying to decide my next move. I decided to stay on the bus to Portoviejo and get off at El Paseo, see if I could find a gringo with a phone and get in touch with Leo. I did not have a phone with me and the one phone we have was broken at home. I knew it was broken, so I intended to email Leo and let him know where I was and what I was going to do, like shop and take a cab home. I had no phone numbers with me to call Jane or anyone. Obviously I was never a Scout, I was not prepared.
When I got to El Paseo I saw no Gringos, so I proceeded to Supermaxie by cab, because I needed to go to that particular store. When I got there, people were waiting outside of the store which opens at 10:00. A man had on a T-shirt that said, “Hershey, legal in 50 States”, now that looks like a gringo. He let me use his phone to email, Leo. I proceeded to shop at Kiwi and Supermaxie. I had tons of groceries, because this was the first time I decided to shop for the month. Luckily, the bag boy takes your groceries to the cab and loads them in the trunk. I told the cab driver where to go, Las Gilses. I asked how much and he said, $14.00.
On the way, he tried to talk to me. He knew I spoke very little Spanish, so he “dumbed it down” for me and made the sentences short. I was actually able to say things enough that he understood and we talked about several subjects. I was kind of proud of myself that I was able to talk to him in Spanish and shop alone in a foreign country. I am used to relying on Leo for his Spanish, which probably holds me back. That’s what happened on my end.
Now this is what happened on Leo’s end. He did not get my email because Jane had emailed him when I did not appear at our designated spot. Now everyone is in an uproar, which I figured would probably happen, since it took so long for me to make that email. Leo jumps on the bus and heads for the terminal in Crucita. The person there proceeded to call his bus drivers to see if they saw the old gray-headed gringa. In the meantime while he called, Leo went to the police station to report me missing. Then Leo went back to the bus station and they had found a driver who remembered that I got off at El Paseo. Leo called Olayita, who lives in Portoviejo, and asked her to go to El Paseo to look for me, which she did. The police also went to El Paseo looking for me. Of course no one found me, because I had taken the cab to Supermaxie. In the meantime, Jane is calling everyone to see if they saw me anywhere. Now the whole town knows! Leo even asked the man who gets on every bus to sell those great hot cheese rolls. Wouldn’t you know, he did not get on the bus that day. Leo finally goes home and finds me waiting there for him to open the door since we usually go every where together, we have only one key.
Wow, I am famous or infamous, which is it!?! The next day Leo and I went back to Portoviejo to get the phone fixed. ( I now have everyone’s email and phone number in my purse.) The cheese roll man got on the bus and saw Leo and then looked at me and said I see you found your wife. Then later that evening when we went to Pizza Night, everyone asked me about getting lost. I guess there are no secrets in a small town!