Anticipating collapse

Piles of sand block the street to car traffic. Apparently the exceptionally heavy rain last week carved out whatever caused the rambla (waterfront road) to collapse three years ago. You can see the new crack forming halfway to the missing chunk.  When all is done, they’ll dump in a bunch of sand, pave it (maybe), and that will be that.  Until next time.

Clean break


Before I reach the dunes, I note the impressive swell lines. On the beach, clean left breaks with the tops thrown back by a gentle offshore breeze. 1-1.5 meters high, brown waves (alas), a couple of intrepid surfers doing their best. After a frosty-cold morning, the afternoon has turned out comfortable. Not so much that I would add to the fresh barefoot prints I see in the sand, but almost warm.


Again pretty waves, this time a crystal green-blue color, again a clean break. And maybe 30cm high. Awesome – if you ‘re a surfin’ GI Joe.

GI Joe surfer


Personal responsibility

trash left by fishermen on beach, Atlántida, Uruguay
Apparently not an issue for the city fisherslobs who come out for the weekend and leave their plastic and tangled fishing line on the beach, 30 meters from a trash receptacle. In the summer, a couple of people would come along at 8 AM and pick up everything. This time of the year it will simply blow around, wash along the shore, perhaps snare and kill a bird or fish.

Small-minded, selfish, ignorant people.

My thoughts jump to the geniuses of GE – who bring ‘good things to life’ – and the small-minded, selfish, ignorant design and management of the Fukushima nuclear plant – and the dozens of reactors in the United States sharing the same faulty and design (hence the blackout on the subject by GE-owned ‘mass media’).

If (when) the storage tank at unit #4 fails, there will be no one coming around at 8 AM to clean up the mess. It will simply blow around, wash along the shore, and quite possibly end civilization as we know it.

But the bringing good things to life ads sounded good, some people made a lot of money, and no doubt the fisherman took a couple of nice fish home to fry.

What else matters?

A chemtrail in Uruguay

In over two and half years in Uruguay, it’s only the second or third chemtrail I’ve seen.

Pretty much what I saw: borrowed and altered photo

I’m not happy to see it, but living on the windswept edge of an immense expanse of water, in a thinly-populated country, it’s not as threatening as in the northern hemisphere, where blue skies frequently turn to gray under the onslaught of spraying.

Garní in Solís, near Piriápolis

Being the wife’s birthday, we had a ‘splurge’ meal at the Armenian restaurant Garní in Solís, near Piriápolis, where we’ve been going off and on for over a year. It’s about a half hour away.

  • If you don’t know Spanish, the accent indicates the accented syllable, and in Spanish only one syllable is emphasized, no matter how many exist in a word (it can be 7-8 easily)
  • If you don’t know Uruguay, this conversation does not exist: She: it’s my birthday – let’s go out to eat. He: Last time we ate out it was Thai. Do you want to do that, or Tex-Mex, or Chinese, or Italian, or…? It’s more like, what kind of meat do you want with your french fries? So an excellent restaurant with food with different flavors is remarkable.

Though we haven’t been there in a while, Michel, the waiter, knew exactly what we were going to order.

Sitting in their shaded outdoor area a block form the ocean, we started with a meze of tsatsiki, hummus, tabouli and a delicious eggplant concoction, with pita bread and a half-liter of white wine.  We shared a lamb shish kebob and enslada belen, a wonderful mix of eggplant, apples, red pepper, cashews and prunes (I think). And another half-liter of wine.

I got a laugh out of him with my comment (actually no need for Spanish; he speaks English and French as well) comimos como Uruguayos – we ate like Uruguayans! Servings can be HUGE here. He repeated it and got a laugh out of the chef Ani (who also speaks English, and also Armenian and Turkish). We normally don’t eat dessert, but when Michel came out and started talking to us in a low, conspiratorial way, we figured they were going to offer us a free dessert since it was the wife’s birthday, something that had come out earlier in conversation.

No, not that. The entire meal was on the house.

Mejorar: to improve

When I lived in Europe, it seemed fashionable for ‘experienced’ expats to tell newbies how the place had gone to hell in the last (pick a number of) years.

Here, I can list a number of improvements in two and a half years. New airport, improved roads, much faster internet, better selection of white wine in the local supermarket (we must have helped), and an effort to conserve the dunes, with boardwalks erected since the first time we visited.

Protective dune board walkway, Atlántida, Uruguay

Alas, our nearest wasn’t particularly well built. Its entire length used to have hand rails on both sides. Still, its convenience provides incentive not to trample the dunes, and the base is solid.

Some will argue the place is going to hell (today the rumor of a revised effort to introduce a worldwide wealth tax on residents – enforceable precisely how, pray tell?) but I don’t see it. Yet, anyway.

We ponder and plan. Worrying helps nothing.