Just As I Dreamed…
To think only four years ago, moving overseas was just a wild dream of ours. I have always been a dreamer, believing in dreaming big because dreams really do come true.
When Captain and I arrived in Quito, we knew we would be spending a few days there to do paperwork for our visas. The altercation in customs with our bags kept us in the city as well but we had plenty of business to take care. We were going to buy a second vehicle. Building our paradise would be a lot easier if we had truck. The Lada wasn’t going to cut the mustard! The car market is tough in Ecuador as vehicles are typically really expensive, really old or both. We were sure Quito would have the most options to find what we were looking for but we weren’t in a hurry to buy and hoped to spend no longer than 3 days in the city. There was no way we were taking the bus with all 600 pounds of our luggage so if we didn’t find a truck we would take a van to the coast
While in the States, Captain had been shopping around on a website called MercoLibre. There was a truck that met all our wants and needs; a full-size, 4×4 Chevy Silverado. Captain had his eye on a few others but he was sure that Chevy was the truck we were buying.
Right away, we first called about the perfect truck and got no answer. It was two days before we connected with his secretary who said he wasn’t back for another 5 days. The mere thought of being in the city for a whole week was misery. We were so excited to get to the coast. Voicemails and emails were left to the sellers of the other prospective trucks with no feedback.
To pass the time and stay motivated, I was reading a book called E Squared: Nine Do-It-Yourself Energy Experiments That Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality. The first experiment was to ask from the Universe for an unexpected gift. “Universe, my intention is to clearly recognize the gift you give me in the next 48 hours. Thank you in advance.” I am already a believer in manifesting but never had I been so demanding in such a short time. As soon as I put it out there, I let it go as the Universe was now in control.
We hadn’t heard back from sellers or from our scouts looking for trucks for sale. A whole day went by and I felt as though no progress had been made finding a truck. Captain and I were a bit discouraged as it seemed we would not be out of the city in 3 days.
Over dinner that evening, I connected with a gentleman who was moving to Ecuador and hoped to open a massage business. After telling him about my intention to have massage at the our wellness retreat, he offered me a free massage! Despite our car shopping being at what seemed a standstill, I was more relaxed than I had been in months. I sure was feeling good. Thank you Universe, what a perfect gift. Just what I could use!!!
The next experiment was based on the premise that when we think of something, we invite more into our awareness. This time we were to be more specific. I asked Captain to do the experiment with me. “Let’s find ourselves a truck.” A little more specific please. “Okay, a white truck.” Good. I projected green trucks. The book called for two objects so Captain also said dogs. Like he would see any of those. Ecuador has pherol dogs running around in the streets everywhere. “Let’s be more specific,” I said. “Fine,” he replied expressing little interest in my experiments, “pit bull puppies.”
It was going to be an interesting next few days…
Having gone to the city to do paperwork for our visas, we had to bring the bus back home unless we wanted to spend the rest of the day with our legal assistant in the city. No thanks. With a city filled with polluted air and overpopulated with millions of people, I want to get out of there as quick as possible. Between the crazy bus drivers, stopping and going, stopping and going and the exhaust from all of the cars, I was nausea. I couldn’t wait for us to be in the driver’s seat and heading to the coast.
My negative attitude was making me feel bad. I had to turn it around as it is not only our thoughts, but more our feelings that create our reality. Looking at the trees outside, the mountains of Quito and the blue sky above, enjoying nature I was starting to feel good again.
Next thing I know, a white truck with a green hood drives past. Two more followed. The Universe has quite a sense of humor. That same bus ride, we both witnessed a lot of over 100 white trucks. I suppose the Universe knows how much of a skeptical Captain is…
That evening over dinner we were told about a used car show every weekend at the expo center down the road. People pay a few bucks to showcase their ride for sale so the following day we went. I told myself with all of my might we were going to find a truck we wanted there at the auction.
We strolled through the lines of parked cars for an hour so. There were many trucks for sale but most were either short beds or newer models and way over our budget. Vehicles kept rolling in so we found refuge in the shade near the entrance where we could see every truck firsthand.
Captain and I spotted her at the same moment and shouted, “That is the truck I want!” She was beautiful. White Beauty was a Chevy, 4×4, with brand new tires and not a scratch. We tried not to appear too interested so we gave him time to get parked and settled in before approaching the owner. It was just what we were looking for…except $6000 over our budget.
Captain and I were clearly ready to get out of the city to be seriously considering overspending our budget by so much. For two days we went back and forth over this truck. When the owner of the hotel said she found a similar Chevy but a much better price, we decided now was not the time to buy White Beauty. Riding around in a sparkling white Chevy would make us gringos look even whiter…
I asked to see a picture of the new prospective truck. The photo on Facebook wasn’t a great shot but the woman had said her nephew knew a lot about trucks and this one was just what we were looking for. We got super excited, trusting the woman had found us a truck! Captain and I made plans right away to meet up with the guy and see if this truck was the one.
We made three different arrangements with the seller of this truck as he kept delaying our meet up. What was so frustrating is that we wouldn’t find out that he wasn’t coming until we already had arrived to the meeting place. “I’ll be there in two hours. I can’t come today now. It’ll be tomorrow at ten. Okay, I am going to be three hours late today but I will be there.” The business dynamics in Ecuador amazes me. One must be a very motivated buyer because little motivation is shown to sell. I have yet to fully understand this cultural norm…
Our meeting place was at the SuperMaxi mall down the road from our lodging. The seller was of course not on time for our (fourth) scheduled time to meet so Captain and I waited anxiously, watching each vehicle as it entered the parking structure. When the Chevy drove by, Captain and I looked at each other with wrinkled brows.
This truck was a hunk of rust. It was spewing black exhaust and all the tires were bald. It was a low rider, hovering inches over the ground and we heard the brakes from across the parking lot. The driver’s door handle was glued in place and the windshield was cracked through the middle. And most importantly, it wasn’t even a 4×4. The guy was asking way too much but this truck was not at all what we were looking for!!! The picture of Facebook was either ten years old or not even the same truck. So that’s what it feels like to be catfished…
We were totally discouraged, accepting that maybe this wasn’t the time for us to buy a truck. Then we received the outrageously inflated quote for a ride to the coast. $500… Five hundred dollars?!? In the States we could buy a car for that much! Captain suggested we call one last time on the green truck. Oh yeah! The green truck…I got so excited about White Beauty and then believed this other Chevy was going to be perfect, I totally forgot about the green truck!
The man was at work and couldn’t meet up with us until the weekend. We had no desire to venture into the city again but we didn’t want to spend another three days waiting on this man if his truck wasn’t the one. Address in hand, we hopped in a taxi the minute we hung up. I started feeling good again. This was the truck I had seen us driving to the coast in all along.
If we bought this truck we would have to make it back to our lodging on our own. Having a feeling this truck was the one, we thought it was wise to pay attention to where the taxi driver was taking us. I took careful navigation notes and used the compass on my phone. Quito is pretty big but having been around the city several times now, it is starting to look more familiar but nonetheless, this navigator needed a map to get back home.
The taxi driver stopped at a large black building in the heart of the city. Had I realized we were going to a business office of lawyers and other professionals, I may have changed out of my back-packer clothes. The armed guards let us onto the elevator and took us to the top. Wedged between people in suits and skirts, Captain and I were a bit under-dressed…
The green truck was perfect. It was just what we were looking for: 4×4, full size and well cared for. Other than some bald tires, this Chevy was in great condition. Captain envisioned driving with a bed full of people standing, hanging on for dear life to the oversized silver roll bar. Oh dear!
The man was overly helpful in showing us the details of the truck. “This is the radio; how you turn up the volume and change the channels. And the air conditioner is here. The cruise control is here. Turn signals, windshield wipers…” Perhaps he was just showing us that everything worked but at the time I felt like he was giving us a demonstration on the 1994 Chevy Silverado. Captain and I looked at each other and laughed. Thank you sir, I am pretty sure we can figure this one out.
Test driving through town was terrifying. Captain hadn’t been behind the wheel since our arrival and he had some pent-up frustration with the city. With his thumb on the horn, he started cutting cars off and passing on the right, all without using his turn signal. He even started beeping at the cars ahead the second BEFORE the light turns green. Captain is now a true Ecuadorian driver. When he said he wants to put a massive grill on the front to plow into people, I was afraid he was serious…
The man gave us his bottom dollar which was a fair price so we shook on the deal. This truck was even under budget. It was too late in the day to go to the notary so we were to return the following morning at 11:00 to finalize the sale.
We were thrilled to be taking one of our last taxi rides in the city. It just so happened the Universe gave us slowest taxi driver in Quito. This man was surely in his eighties and was in no hurry to get anywhere. I noticed several bikers passing us and many times thought we could have walked faster. At any moment I thought Captain might jump in the front, throw the fragile old man out the window, ramp up on the sidewalks and take off through town. I was getting really impatient too but had to laugh. The Universe thinks it is so funny…I was grateful though for the slow ride to double-check our route home for tomorrow on our own.
Captain and I have purchased a car in Ecuador once before so we were familiar with the process. But the deal was done with people who spoke english and a woman came along for the legal details. Our legal assistant was busy this day so Captain and I decided we would go it alone.
We thought this man, being a lawyer, would do business a bit differently than typical Ecuadorians. We were wrong. Captain and I, dressed in our finest, arrived five minutes before 11 and were asked to take a seat. At 11:15 the secretary received a call and informed us the lawyer would be 15 minutes. At 11:45 we were told to wait another fifteen minutes. It was 12:30 when the lawyer arrived. I wasn’t surprised that we didn’t start on time but had to appreciate that he at least called to keep us informed of his ETA.
The scene at the notary was similar as I have seen throughout the country. Ecuadorians bustling in and out, handing over documents and signing lots of papers. The boldest persons cut to the front of the line and others do not saying a word.
First, we were ensured that the matricula (title) was clear of any taxes. The bill of sale was created and identification was handed over; our passports and the lawyer’s cedula. Both parties signed the bill of sale which was then stamped by the notary. Copies were made and the final sale document would be ready the following day. The lawyer slipped the secretary a twenty and the document was finished in an hour. That is how business is done in Ecuador…
We made our way back to the business building where we handed over our cash and got the keys to our new truck! I sure was feeling good.
It was late enough in the day we would have to spend one more night before heading to the coast.
At our last supper in Quito, a woman guest exclaimed, “I held the cutest puppy today! She was a grey pit bull with the most gorgeous hazel eyes ever!” I watched Captain’s jaw hit the table. This was the dog Captain had been dreaming of for years now. She was up for adoption as the owner was unable to care for her in his new apartment. I think Captain was starting to see the manifestation power of our thoughts.
I knew we should have been careful asking the Universe to see pit bull puppies…
For sometime Captain and I have been discussing getting a dog. We were very clear about what we wanted and expected the perfect dog would not be so easy to find in Ecuador. That night we went back and forth on the pros and cons of getting a puppy. We are starting a very big project. Was it wise to bring a dog into the mix? Captain agreed that we couldn’t just go look at her. “I will want to bring her home,” he said. After much discussion, we decided to sleep on it. It had been a long day.
We woke early in the morning and on our way out the door, Captain said, “let’s just go see her.” Right then, I knew we were getting a puppy. I learned as a young child, if we could get Mom to go look at the puppies, she would bring one home.
Captain fell in love the moment he saw this precious puppy. She came trotting up to him knowing she had found her new owner.
Next thing I know, a black puppy came barreling through, knocking the female puppy to the ground. Wouldn’t you know…she had a brother. Oh no! A brother? No way could I break up siblings. He would surely be coming home with us too. Overwhelmed with emotion, I knew we were crazy to make this commitment but it seemed like the Universe had just given us another gift, two in fact. Just what we had hoped for…
After a week of patience and persistence, we were finally heading to the coast. Driving our new truck, The Incredible Hulk through the mountainous roads with our pack’s newest additions, Miles and Grace, we were on our way. Just as I had dreamed…