Midwester Rube On Uruguay One Week In

As promised last night. A week is scarecely any time to develop familiarity with an alien land and its people, but some trends are beginning to coalesce.

The good:

  • The people are very friendly and will try their best to assist in any manner possible… so long as you do not leave their immediate visual range
  • The pevasive Uruguayan standard sidewalk while initially contributing to the overwhelmingly alien feel of the place is becoming one of the most functional of the contrasts to old country1
  • The food so far exceeds it's approximate equivalent in old country in every way so far.
  • OMG the weather!!!
  • This is a country of good dogs.
  • Many opportunities to hear new bird songs.
  • The locals seem to appreciate that someone from neither Argentina or Brazil chose Uruguay and not just for a short stay.

The bad:

  • The habit of sniffling when nasally congested while observed exactly once happens in a spasmic way that grates the nerves
  • For a few hours in the afternoon direct sun exposure reaches intensities that can be somewhat unfriendly to the naive gringo whose summer ended a couple months ago
  • Old women attempt to maximize the space they occupy on public walkways, and tend to gather in congestion points to stop for conversation with others of their kind.
  • Few opportunities so far to spot the birds in their songs.
  • Consumer pesticides list the family of the active ingredients on their packaging, but not specific active ingredients or their percentages.


  • The initial ear training phase of language immersion, especially upon arrival for this first timer, was far more cognatively taxing than expected. To the point there was initially little extra to spare for attempting more than the simplest same language responses. Ear training continues with most local speech being recognized as individual words, and with the cognitive load having lightened substantially. I can think of few self study measures to have taken in advance which would have eased this process other than maybe downloading a number of Argentine cars for ear training. Experience with Mexican and Central American Spanish speakers was little assistance with the local accents.
  • Brazilians smoke fucktons of weed.
  • The experience of the first few days understanding little of what most people where saying to me and still suriving the interactions with most of what I wanted underscores how few of the utterances were probably all that useful or necessary.

Not a surprise at all:

  • As St. Francis of Assisi said "Better to understand than be understood" – 12&12 page 99

  1. Except for the form in front of some of the upscale Western hotels where they use CERAMIC tiles…  

El Primero Domingo En Montevideo For The Midwestern Rube

Unlike previous days, on el domingo few businesses were Abierto. However Sunday brough la ferias.

La feria Pocitos. This feria ha tenido mostly clothes for women and children. A bit of food, and few sights. There had to be better. Thus began the trek to the much recommended Feria de Tristan Narvaja.

The mid day sun is a bit intense, and may explain the hours the locals keep. Unlike more strictly tropical places, the locals don't seem to be too synchronized but strong patterns of movement are becoming clear.

The arbol tarde thinks spring has just now started with its tiny purple flowers.

Tree prison

Possible technical parked in front of the estacion de transformacion?


The irony of the intense mid day sun. The lillies which were so vivid to the eyes are muted to the camera.

El Zoo municipal.

Turning onto La Avenida Gran Riviera we get thick shade from the sycamore trees.

Outlet Banos & Ceramicas, por su vasos sanitarias.

Cyberinterweb, I have no idea where the sycamores stop.

First pink elephant to hit my eyes sober.

First exhibitor encountered in la Feria Tristan. Holy shit the crowd and the exhibitors. Ventured about seven blocks deep into the feria acquiring some sort of fried biscuits stuffed with carne y pollo and a local hat which has yet to be determined if leather or some sort of vinyl. More pictures of la feria will wait until further adventures with company because of practical reasons.

Returning from la feria commie droppings were spotted.

The view across the street from the EU mission to Uruguay. The Papal mission is nearby.

So posh,1 the Argentine embassy's neighborhood is not quite so posh. Cause of fall, unknown.The sycamore's just won't quit.

  1. Except the sidewalks here were in the worst condition encounted in Uruguay so far. The rational behind the Uruguayan sidewalk is becoming clear. The surface is a collection of ~20-30 cm concrete tiles, which are replaceable when damaged or detached.  

Fui al cine

The mall casino. Once again sycamore trees in front and palm trees closer to the edificio. Entry here will have to wait, instead I went yesterday to the cinema to see an American film dubbed into Spanish as an exploration of the abuse old country is heaping onto the freer world.

The cinema in Montevideo shopping is not like the cinema in the US. Once you have your ticket here you do something else until five minutes for the film when they allow you into your seat. Seat selection occurs via a touch screen device of dubious utility.

The film was a USG.Disney propaganda piece where Norse dieties were constanly one upped by the supposed heroics of the B&G Foods Jolly Green Giant.

The adventures continue!


The Midwestern Rube Visits La Rambla

In other, further walks:

Steel and glass

Not a very tall city, but big in its own way.

Sycamore trees again, this time featuring Uruguayan lawncare

I have never seen house plants grow so big outdoors, usually the frost does them in.

First time seeing the water from the ground. Apparently the pleasant pervasive smell underlying everything else is the plata.

Urbanity in the contemporary capital city.1

The buceo port. A mix of the shiny.

And the listing

El Museo Naval, will require further investigation. Why such an aggressive posture towards La Rambla?

Un perro bueno. Montevideo has many good dogs, running free. Most have the patience to socialize, but this fellow clearly has places to go.

The lawn weeds here appear to be novel, this is the first time I have seen a succulent lawn weed much less one that apparently has defeated the mower.

From one side of Pocitos to the other

Possible gang message

La playa. The pigeons here are… darker than back home.

When I say the local dogs are good dogs, I mean they all were obeying this sign.

  1. Near this section of the rambla a motor scooter converying a dork approached me from behind then veered off as I stepped aside and turned. A local helpfully insisted this was an attempted bag snatching, a suspicion I was operating off of when breaking friendly gringo face to induce scooter swerving.  

The Midwestern Rube Arrives In Uruguay

Turns out air travel is tedious and boring, who would have thunk it.

Somewhere in the Caribean I remembered I packed a camera.

Unknown city, Central America.

The desk comes with rooftop access.

This makes checking directions nearby possible in a corner of the world where 31 years of experience with the sun being in the same track is a liability.


+ Brushing

Among the other foreign flora is the familiar sycamore tree, so very many sycamore trees.