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Published: August 12th 2013
We had the most fun dinner last night, the kind only a few expats can have when they get together to eat and share stories about travels and travails. Our landlady (sounds kinda strange now) Bev, an expat from Seattle and her partner Omar, a wonderful Ecuadoran guy and local neurosurgeon invited us to their condo for dinner....Ecuadoran style.
Our rental apartment walls are covered in wonderful original paintings by both Peruvian and Ecuadoran artists. Turns out that Omar once ran an art gallery and has a pretty large collection of paintings at the condo as well. After admiring out loud the stuff in our place, well they just had to have us come over and see the rest. Wonderful. We wished we had thought to bring our camera so we could share some of the work with you but we didn't. We will share a couple from our place just to give you an idea.
It also turns out that Omar likes to cook and he really likes to cook Cangrejo (crab) fresh from the sea. He was able to get a fresh batch delivered on Saturday morning and, because he had to buy a whole box, had
to cook all of it for 4 of us for dinner. That constituted almost 30 crab. They were cooked in pilsner beer, oregano, onions, and other stuff too numerous to name.
After a couple of very good and very strong Margaritas, we sat down to eat. But first we had to have a lesson in eating crab, Ecuadoran style. What that means is Omar made up 4 separate tomato based salad like dishes and one very hot salsa. Crab is not eaten with butter and lemon here. First you pull off the claws, then crack the crab open and take the soft, almost rue like stuff inside and mix it (in the shell) with any one of the salads and the salsa and spoon or suck it out. It was wonderful and it is the part of crab we don't eat in the NW, well at least we did not eat it before.
After that comes the cracking of claws and blending the crab in a small dish with the salads, a different one each time. We dug in and ate so much we could hardly move. Mike drank a really nice Chardonnay from Chili that we found
in the wine cellar of an Italian restaurant on the river. We are going there for our 49th wedding anniversary Wednesday night. Bev helped him a little but AOmar and Katy stuck to the Margaritas.
The conversation (in 3 different languages including English, Spanish and mangled Spanglish) ranged from medical practice in Ecuador to other places we had eaten different foods to where we had all travelled through out the world and those once in a lifetime adventures that make you laugh and cry at the same time. This latter is the favorite conversation of expats and remains a wonderful source of information and bonding and can form the basis of long lasting friendships even when you are no longer together in the same place. Dinner, wine, conversation and laughter lasted a very long time and was wonderful.
And so we now have two new friends in the world whom we may or may not ever see again and with whom we shared a love of art, a wonderful meal and a lot of great stories.
Hope you enjoy the few photos we have of dinner and Omar's art collection. Ciao...amigos
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