a journal of observations, obsessions and inspirations

musings on the artist's life

Posted in: Uruguay

One year – and all the difference

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

Stay safe, Montevideo

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

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: Musings, Uruguay

Montevideo’s distinctive architecture

City buildings are a mix of readily identifiable designs, spanning more than a century. As in any big city, sometimes you have to look for the treasure amid the everyday, but you don’t have to do it on your own. Guru’guay (the absolute best site for what’s going on and what’s recommended) has unearthed a little-known gem of an architectural guide to the city. Take a look at details about[…]

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Posted in: Uruguay

The feria

Wednesday, so it’s feria day in the part of town where I’m staying. The farmers market takes over the streets, starting about half a block from the house and extending 3 city blocks, both sides of the street. Trucks and hand trolleys, crates and canopies. Setup is underway by 9 in the morning, though that’s pretty early for Uruguayans. But it wasn’t overly crowded then so I could explore. Dozens[…]

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Posted in: Uruguay

The bookstore

Fue a la libreria. Had to ask for algunos libros en dos idiomas, on facing pages (suggested by my teacher) so got the Dickens and London short stories, with corresponding CD. Muy importante leer y escuchar. Also picking up some young person’s books, age 6 or 7 or 8, for stories I can read and (mostly) understand. Not toddlers’ picture books with only a few words on a page. Small[…]

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Posted in: Uruguay

La playa

The beach is about a 10 – minute walk from the place I’ll be renting, starting mid-May. That’s the Río de la Plata, even though it looks like the ocean. The transition from the river to the Atlantic Ocean extends along the Uruguayan coast from Montevideo to Punta del Este, about 130 kilometres. The name probably comes from the silver-like sheen the surface of the water takes on when the[…]

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