a journal of observations, obsessions and inspirations

Travel

Posted in: Uruguay

One year – and all the difference

view through window towards front yard of house at dawn

Exactly one year ago today, I arrived in Uruguay. I was looking to slow down my high-stress life and jump into writing my book. Within two weeks, mi novio commented in one of our frequent calls that I sounded like a different person… far more relaxed. Más tranquilo. Detaching myself from one lifestyle and settling into another took about six months. One of the reasons for my coming around is[…]

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Posted in: Uruguay

Getting connected

About a year ago, with the invaluable help of Romina, one of my familia, we went to the telecom office, Antel, and I now have a Uruguayan phone number. Pretty easy if one is fluent in Spanish LOL so I’m grateful to have had an interpreter with me. I’d purchased the phone in the US through an online international outlet because my phone, on Verizon, isn’t GSM compatible, which is[…]

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Posted in: Uruguay

Taxi! Taxi!

One day in Montevideo, my Spanish class ended two hours earlier than usual, at 3 pm. Generally, we just call for a taxi – that means Juan calls for a taxi, as talking on the phone is still beyond my skill level and ability to understand! – and several minutes later, there it is. But the shift ends at 3 for all the regular drivers, so none were available. It[…]

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Posted in: Uruguay

A day at the chacra

Greenhouse interior with vegetables growing, near Atlántida, Uruguay

Every other Saturday at Pilar’s chacra [ranch or farm] there’s a midday gathering for people to buy the organic fruits and vegetables. My friends Gundy and Syd live three blocks from me, so it’s easy for them to pick me up for the short drive out into the campo. I know Atlántida is a small town, but it takes less than five minutes to really be out in the countryside.[…]

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Posted in: Uruguay

Stay safe, Montevideo

City sidewalk with broken sections, Montevideo, Uruguay

Have you traveled to large cities before? I’ve been to New York and Chicago, London and Barcelona and Moscow. I’ve never felt in any danger there, but I’m a careful traveler. Smart at home, too, whatever city that might be. Before my first trip to Uruguay, I read dozens of articles. A lot of blog posts. Many of them talked about safety, the crime rate in Montevideo, escalation of same,[…]

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Posted in: Uruguay

El idioma español y el acento rioplatense

screencap of Uruguayan news website

One of the hardest adjustments, language-wise, has been hearing the Rioplatense accent. Making the connection between what I hear and what I was used to hearing, and figuring out what it means. Big disconnect. Yes, I know I’ll get there, but right now I’m not. There’s the accent. All “y” (except at the end of a word) and all “‘ll” (elle) sound like “sh” … so you have yo =[…]

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Posted in: Uruguay

Verduras y frutas

At the feria in Atlántida today plus a quick trip to the hippermercado. What will $513 UY pesos get you? More than I could fit in the photo: 2 manojos grandes de espinaca, 1/2 kilo de fresas, 4 manzanas, 2 morrónes, 2 dientes de ajo, 2 lechugas, 1 docena de huevos, 2 pepinos, 4 naranjas, 2 paquetes de menta fresca, 6 papas and a paquete de galletas de arroz. Approximately[…]

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Posted in: Uruguay

Learning to love la vida tranquila

Empty winter streets in the Centro, Atlántida, Uruguay

Everything is a little slower here, which is a welcome change. But it’s taking some getting used to. The picture shows a view of downtown Atlántida – the centro – in winter. It’s a tourist town that comes alive from mid-December to the end of February, and nearly all restaurants and many other businesses close down for the rest of the year. Houses in the centro are now shuttered, with[…]

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Posted in: Uruguay

Renting la casa

yard and yellow house in Uruguay

Visited again today with the owners of the house I’m renting for the next year and a half. Here’s the avocado tree in the back yard, or part of the tree – it’s about 20 feet high. I met the owners last month, lovely couple who have lived here for 7 or 8 years. Originally from Germany with no English but very good Spanish. Me with my elementary Spanish and[…]

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Posted in: Travel

Iguazú Falls

Toucan at the Guira Oga refuge in Puerto Iguazú, Argentina

A week before a planned trip back to the US, I booked a mini-tour to Puerto Iguzú in the northern part of Argentina. At the junction of Brasil, Paraguay and Uruguay, it’s home to the Cataratas del Iguazú – Iguaçu Falls in Portuguese. Each of the countries has its own airport, all in a relatively small area in the Amazon jungle. I toured the Güira-oga Refuge, a terrific program that[…]

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