I could paint of picture of Cuenca and entitle it, “A Study of Black and Blues.”
Having just left the South where blondes are as ubiquitous as kudzu and Baptist churches, I’m still getting used to seeing dark, flowing locks wherever I look. Most of the younger women wear it shoulder-length or longer, and straight. Teenage boys have it coiffed, with a generous sweep on top. Men belonging to one of Ecuador’s many indigenous tribes can wear a single long braid down their back. David says he’s considering growing his hair out. But I tell him a long gray hair, much less a braid, definitely lacks the sex appeal of a thick mane of shiny black. I encourage him to keep his gray style short.
The skies give us a peak at their true Robin’s blue egg-color at least once a day. Cloud coverage may come and go, but Cuencanos can pretty much count on brilliant skies at some point every 24-hours. It’s like heaven breaks into one giant grin. I can’t help but smile.
And then there is the fleet of 450+ blue diesel buses that transport the majority of the population from place to place. Aside from the pervasive fumes and considerable noise pollution, Cuenca has every right to be proud of its city-wide transportation system. Seniors ride for 12 cents, all others pay a quarter. Though you’ve never sure if the drivers will stick exactly to schedule or the route, you can count on getting where you’re going in safety and relative comfort.
From the red tile roofs to bold, bright weavings, verdant trees and abundant flowers, the city bursts with color. The black and blues create a beautiful contrast.