Tainted Love in Cuenca

Friends in Cuenca Ecuador

I wanted to love you. I wanted you to be like people said you would.

I was tired of running around and ready for a relationship.

You introduced me around town and fed me well. Your tranquility was comforting and at night your face lit up when I went downtown. You seduced me with your charm.

I was into you.

As our relationship developed however, I noticed a flaw I couldn’t overcome.

Trust became an issue and when that fades, everything goes.

The streets of Cuenca Ecuador

It started in the computer store where we talked everyday for almost two weeks. We spoke about one laptop in particular and all the details that came with it. We agreed on a price and the programs included. However, when the day came to make the purchase you told me you didn’t carry that model. You told me it would take 20 days to arrive and then tried to blanket me with excuses. Where was this information before?

There was nothing lost in translation, you were either disorganized, incompetent or both.

The next day at the university I paid to play racquetball and asked to use your gym and pool after. You agreed only to return later requesting more money, sighting that all facilities cost separate.

There was nothing worth an argument, just something to take note of.

Then there was the one that concerned me the most. I went out to celebrate your special weekend at a cool club downtown. You were fun, sexy and very friendly. The issue didn’t surface until we tried to leave. You swiped the card given to us at the door and told me my bill was $169. This would have been an understandable mix-up if a friend and I hadn’t asked 5 different people when entering the club what the night’s promotion was.

You feature specific bars and drink specials on different nights so when we heard of the “open bar” at this particular club, on this particular night, we were excited.  We were told $20/each for a barra libre (open bar) and that seemed reasonable considering we had just come from a similar special at a different club the night before.

Turns out the 2 doormen, 2 register girls and 1 bartender we confirmed the promo with had also received the wrong information. I was confused and frustrated. I was upset with you and I told them. The owner said it was my problem, the manager was illusive and everyone else played dumb. We left by giving up a $20 phone as collateral and told them we’d return the next day to sort it out. We never returned.

I know it wasn’t the best way to handle it but I was disappointed in you. From that moment forward your word meant nothing and therefore reasoning became irrelevant.

Tainted Love in Cuenca, Ecuador

These weren’t the only reasons that led to my mistrust, but they were the pieces that forced us apart sooner than expected.

It wasn’t completely your fault, maybe our timing was off.  It was your birthday after all and everyone was in town to see you. I wanted to write about the incredible people I met, the independence celebration, your beautiful Spanish architecture, Norwegians, Tiesto’s and underage drinking, but unfortunately this was the taste that lasted longest.

I’m sure my trust issues played a part as well. I’ve never been screwed over before, but seen so many people who have.

Maybe my issues are just a result of me paying attention.

You never stole from me directly and I really don’t think you tried to hurt me intentionally. For that I’m not mad at you.

I realize this could have happened with anyone, anywhere but I’m just disappointed it happened this way, with us. I’m just disappointed in what could have been. You could have been one of the great ones.

With all that being said, maybe we’ll meet again someday. Maybe next time things will be different.

But, until that day Cuenca, our love is tainted.

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11 Responses to Tainted Love in Cuenca

  1. Love how you wrote this… I know the feeling when just about everything goes wrong in a city you visit. It really does taint your love for the place and sometimes makes you hate it. For me that city was Fez.
    Jaime recently posted..A is for Airplane, B is for Backpack, C is for … My travel ABC’s!My Profile

    • Gareth

      It’s crazy because no matter how much fun I had and the great people I met, I couldn’t get those moments out of my head. The problem some people have with these types of experiences is however is that they’ll write off the entire city instead of their particular experience.

  2. Great blog; clever and well-written. And I have to compliment you on the photos. Really great! Dark, wet, moody. Nicely done!
    Signed, Andy in DC (long time fan and avid reader of this blog)

  3. Townie, I LOVE the way this was written! Brilliant stuff mate! I’ve heard great things about Cuenca too…it’s always when a place is too built up to you before you arrive, isn’t it?

    • Gareth

      Thanks Jess, yeah it was nice like everyone said it would be, but you’re right, when you have such high expectations for a place you expect everything to go perfect and that’s just asking for directions to let down city.

  4. Oh no that sucks I loved Cuenca so much. Although I have felt that way about other places, sometimes you just don’t connect with a city after some negative experiences.
    Ayngelina recently posted..Feliz Navidad!My Profile

    • Gareth

      I know you did, I think that’s why my expectations were so high! Although the hostel recommendation you gave was one of the highlights (even though they didn’t allow sleepovers).

  5. I love this. It is pure poetry. We do so often say that we “fall in love” with a place we visit, so what an appropriate metaphor for a place that turns out to be a rip-off.

    Maybe you will find another place to fall in love with. In fact, I am sure you will.

  6. lovely =) I wish more travel reviews were written in this manner. So beautiful, Gareth!

    - Maria Alexandra
    Spanish Translator @latinAbroad recently posted..Travel bucket list photos: Get inspired by delicious food and gorgeous views!My Profile

  7. Vegas is a great location for partying… If you haven’t heard, Hakkasan at MGM is opening! It is the biggest nightclub at the MGM. complex also has a restaurant. Check it out…

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