Ricky Martin, Brian Adams or Recycleman

Sometimes you’ve gotta make a choice. This weekend the choice was between Ricky Martin playing in Punta del Este, Brian Adams (remember him?) playing in Montevideo or… DJ Recycleman a.k.a. George Michael a.k.a. Gary a.k.a. the husband of Iliana a.k.a. the husband of Madonna:

The Hosts

Yes. That is eyeshadow. Yes. On both of them.

9:15 – We arrive, 15 minutes ‘late’
10:15 – The first other guests arrive
11:00 – Dancing – all 80’s, all fast tunes spun by the expert DJ Recycleman
1:00 – Slow dancing
2:00 – Talking
3:00 – Philosophizing
4:00 – Cake and philosophy including the philosophy of cake
4:30 – Sleep

jili
Tiffany and Madonna

mhair
Robert Smith on a good hair day

shhh
Gus, Vale. Featuring Vale shushing Gus.

jandm
Little umbrellas in frozen beverage

breakitdown
There were lights of many colors

You may click any of the above images to enlarge them if you so desire.

Uruguayans can party.

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La Morfi is Easy to Obtain in Uruguay

Morfi: Slang for food, grub.

I dislike grocery shopping. That really has nothing to do with this entry but I wanted to get that out in the clear before continuing.

We just returned from Tienda Inglesa, one of the major grocery store chains (along with Devoto and the one-hit-wonder French-Wal-Mart-Clone-Biggest-Store-In-Uruguay Géant). Grocery shopping here is nothing special to be honest. That having been said it is a little different from shopping in the US. Here’s the bulleted list as they come to my mind:

  • Friday night the grocery stores are packed. For some reason though we always find ourselves in a grocery store early Friday evening.
  • In the macro sense, things look pretty normal… the aisles are quite a bit closer together and the parking is a lot tighter (everything in Uruguay is smaller and closer together).
  • In the micro sense you’ll find there is generally a lot less variety. Here are a few staples, namely:
    • Dulce de leche – Basically sweetened condensed milk. It’s in everything sweet. It’s not bad but I think it’s overdone and overrated.
    • Ham. Lots of ham, no turkey. The ham is really good though so I’m not complaining.
    • Muzarela cheese, not mozzarella but similar. I love it.
    • Yerba Mate, expect at least a full aisle dedicated to it
    • Crackers. There are a few types, maybe three, and a lot of different brands of those three types but not much beyond that.
  • You won’t find peanut butter, non-sweet cereal (apart from Corn Flakes, I recommend the German brand, Hahne I think it is) or Soft Batch cookies.
  • That’s about it. I could go on but it really is just not my favorite topic (sorry for sounding so grouchy :)).

Leaving bulleted list mode I have to give some praise here to Jenny who is excellent at putting up with my non-shopping tendencies. Enough about groceries, it’s time to go put on some 80’s garb and go party.

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There is Good Meat In Uruguay

Do you think I’m skinny Max? “Yesh and mommy’s freckly and I’m just bug-bitey.”

Meat is not only abundant and inexpensive in Uruguay, if you know where to look it’s also tastier. Consider:

In the US most cows are kept on CAFOs where they’re fattened up in small pens with corn. In Uruguay they’re free-roaming and grass fed. Most of this meat gets sent out of the country but if you can get a hold of some meat that’s meant for export, the taste is unbelievable. Such meat can be found at La Otra en Enero, a restaurant in barrio Pocitos.

Parilla

Last night at La Otra there was a gathering of several Americans, an Australian, a Serbian and several Uruguayans where we enjoyed some meat and talk.

8:20 – The first 3 or 4 of us arrive. You seat yourself.
8:40 – The waiter asks us what we’d like to start with.
9:00 – A few others arrive
9:10 – Appetizers/drinks arrive
10:00 – We order the main course (a.k.a. the slabs of meat cooked to perfection and thrown unceremoniously and without garnish on plain white plates)
11:30 – We ask for the check
11:40 – I’m the first to take off for home. What can I say, I’m not a party animal 🙂

It’s interesting how La Otra has become more or less the de facto meat restaurant for foreigners. It seems like everyone has made the rounds and ended up settling on this one unassuming restaurant. It has the perfect mix of atmosphere (casual) with food (excellent) and price (also excellent–their most expensive steak is about 11 dollars.)

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I Live in Uruguay

The title says it all. I’m an American living in Uruguay and at the prodding of a particularly curious friend I’ve decided to chronicle some of my experiences of life here. I will focus on the micro–what’s different in day to day life rather than the larger things you can find out by going to a newspaper or any other site.

Starting with the following highly interesting tidbits.

Today there was a strange rainstorm. There were 3 thunderbolts. They were loud and sudden and suddenly stopped without the rolling thunder for that traditionally precedes and follows such heavenly manifestations. The wind was something fierce.

The results of this brief but torrential downpour were the following:
1. My internet died for 30 seconds.
2. Our cable died and is currently still dead.

The curiosities here are twofold:
1. The cable company only has one tech support number and it’s busy. Apparently here they don’t have PBX systems to put people on hold indefinitely when the cable dies. This isn’t such a bad idea. I feel much less frustrated just getting a busy signal than the traditional American experience of being on hold for an hour or so to find out that everyone’s cable went out and they’re working on it.

2. Well, this has nothing to do with it but you can get a dang good cable package for 30 bucks a month here. MonteCable is the company.

Tonight the plan is steak. Later I will elaborate on steak but suffice it to say I am happy with tonights plans.

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