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I think you will not soon forget this day, the day of our 5-hour long "discussion" of my (as you will remember, this emphasis is important) bargaining failure. Of course now Chris sits snug beneath his new alpaca blanket and even ventures to suggest we buy another one. I give him a rueful look.

The sun broke out today. I remember it as though it were a distant memory, something sought through a fog of controlled distress. We started out cheerfully enough at desayuno. Chris could barely converse so pleased was he over his hot chocolate, juice, bread, and cheese. I saw him grinning away like an idiot, and I could tell it was one of the moments he let his attention lapse, and there it flew--directly to his tummy. And then I was glad of him, of this simplicity. It bespoke of a rare purity that I felt fortunate to witness. After, in the middle of his battering words, I suddenly recalled that moment, and it made me more than a little bit sad.

On the way home we stopped by the market. Oh bargaining for beginners is always such a bitter process. And I fear I am an eternal beginner. An older woman caught me in her web of numbers, and thus caught I was sucked dry. Of course I didn't realize it at first, but straightaway Chris had his doubts, which were confirmed when we passed another vendor who suggested an initial price lower than the final one we had just gotten. We groaned. Thereafter the beratement began. And continued. And expanded into my other flaws. It was a long while before we were spent.

I feel as though I have just returned home from a long day's unpleasant but somehow necessary journey. We are normal again. Despite the exhaustion I derive great satisfaction from seeing how far we've come since our college days. A relationship is a lifetime in the making, and I suppose I wouldn't have it any other way.

Posted by chschen 16:00 Archived in Ecuador

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