Patético (“marketing”)

We just bought some fresh mushrooms at Tienda Inglesa. The good news is that, since we moved here, they are usually available. Bad news is that they’re kind of ridiculously expensive — USD $7.50/pound. But they sell side by side with another imported brand that sell for almost 70% more. Have to wonder why anyone would pay that, but hey.

So here’s what we bought:

Mushrooms in supermarket, Uruguay

200 grams! 50 grams free! So we paid for only 150 grams?

Well, no — from the Tienda Inglesa web site:

Fresh mushrooms, Uruguay
Just have to note in passing that no accessories are included, and technical information may vary.

And what did we pay?

Supermarket receipt, Uruguay

94 pesos for 200 grams, as advertised. Yet we somehow got 50 grams free, paying 94 pesos for 200 grams?

Bill Hicks had a routine* in which he said, “If anyone here is in advertising or marketing, kill yourself … seriously, though, if you are, do.” I found that a little strong when I first encountered it.

But when I consider that these people are trying to convince me they’re giving me something for free when I pay the same for the same amount that I paid last week — well, thank you, Bill Hicks, and you marketers, kill yourself. Seriously. You’ll be doing your soul, and the rest of us, a favor.

*no link, because being Bill Hicks, it contains considerable profanity, but easy to find.

The handouts

beach, Atlántida, Canelones, Uruguay
Foamiest I’ve ever seen the beach.

Walking home in front of the Zoológica (Atlántida’s little zoo), the parking attendant gives me handouts:


Addiction treatment. Save your life or that of someone who needs it.

handouts 1

A chance for the ultimate in hair restoration. USD 160. 100% limp? Something must be lost in translation. Regardless, I’ll pass.

handouts 2

Stonework, plus cleaning, fill, ponds — which reminds me our tajamar in the campo, bone dry two weeks ago, is more than half full after the recent rain. More on the tajamar here, here, here, and here. Anyway, no more for now. Thanks anyway.

handouts 3

Funeral services. More personal • more humane • cheaper. Than what?

handouts 4

Parcels and freight, moving. Daily, door to door. Now this might come in handy if someone in Montevideo wants to buy the freezer we have for sale.




Spanglish, Uruguay style

The POP stand from yesterday reminds me of substitutions people make here, generally to shorten words (one of the trickier words we tried when we first arrived in Buenos Aires long ago was estacionamiento, which i eight syllables to say “parking.” And indeed, you can see signs that say “parking” here.

So “off” in place of descuento, but why “on line” when the Spanish is en linea?

Mix-and-match languages

And what’s with the possessive apostrophe? Guys, in your language there is no possessive apostrophe. (No matter how many years you’ve been dreaming.)



Una Harley para papá

If there’s one thing I’d care to win less than a trip to Brazil for the UY-UK match, it’s probably a noisy, rattling and dangerous (especially given Uruguayan drivers) pile of outdated technology. Not that I stand a chance of winning (oh, such stinkin’ thinkin’!) but fortunately cupones (coupons) were only offered upon purchase of certain Father’s Day (today in Uruguay) items, and we’ve only bumbled into a couple of those the last few weeks.


Around $9,000 new in the land of the Untied Snakes, prolly $19-20,000 here. I found the local web site, but under precios it has no prices. It does have an enticing shot of snow-capped mountains, though …


… amusing because Uruguay has neither snow nor mountains. Oh, details.

Curious advertising choice

poor quality appliance, Uruguay

Olivo, short-lived restaurant in Parque del Plata, Uruguay

Couple years ago, a Brazilian chef opened a slightly upscale restaurant in nearby and otherwise not-upscale Parque del Plata. I took the wife to have lunch there once, and next to the sign showing they were open was a very convincing chain holding the gate locked shut. I doubt it’s still open.

I mention it today because I’m trying to clear my desk of little pieces of paper, mostly presupuestos, or estimates which you get every time you ask a price here, and came across this advertising piece for the restaurant.

Why would someone go to the bother and expense of creating these things, using a defective Google map that shows significant residential areas underwater? Boggles the mind. This mind, anyway.

A little noise can be a good thing

I’ve mentioned the noisy airplane advertising and motorcycle advertising. This story comes from our friends Syd and Gundy who used the motorcycle advertising service, with a rather remarkable result.

Their dog Leah disappeared on Christmas afternoon 2011. They had briefly attended a get-together near us, then returned home to prepare dinner for guests joining them at 5pm.  At about 4pm, Syd took the dogs out to the woods for a walk.  Fireworks exploded. Leah went into panic mode and fled.  Syd searched, returned home for an uncomfortable dinner, and then their guests joined them for another search.  He continued searching on his own until dark and early the next morning and again in the afternoon.

Two days after, a Spanish-speaking friend suggested an ad on the loudspeaker bike, and went with them to order it.  While making the aural message, the company suggested posters, included in their cost.  The posters ended up in vet offices and places where dog food is sold.  One of those posters was seen by that same friend’s daughter’s ex-boyfriend, who had seen a Facebook posting by a couple in Pando (20 km away) showing the dog they had found at the beach in Atlántida.  He realized they were likely the same dog, told his Facebook friends how to contact his ex-girlfriend, who told her mother, who emailed Syd and Gundy a link to the Facebook posting.

Thus Leah was rescued, having been very well taken care of in the meantime, as a result of noisy motorcycle advertising.

Though the noise part actually contributed nothing.


Coffee in Yesterguay

Probably 98% of the coffee sold in super (and other) markets in Uruguay is ground and glaseado – meaning sugar added.

As far as I know, the only place to buy real coffee is Palacio del Cafe in Montevideo. They do not have a stunning selection, but they do have rather stunning packaging:

Coffee label in Uruguay in 2014: not exactly politically correct

You can also get their coffee at Tienda Inglesa in Punta del Este (in the bakery section, natch). In that case, however, you’ll get more modern (say, post-1930) graphics.<
Current cost UYP 355/kg = USD 7.45/lb.