José Gervasio Artigas Arnal is the national hero of Uruguay, predating political divisions which rendered such universal accord mostly impossible. Artigas’ story is complex, involving Spain, England, and Portugal, and eventually banishment in Paraguay. But hero he is, and it seems every town in the Oriental Republic has a street named after him. There’s a departamento (state) called Artigas. You can find his statue in Washington, D.C., New York, Caracas, Athens, Mexico City, Newark, New Jersey, and Quito, Ecuador . And in Pando: There, screen-printed…Continue Reading “How to treat a hero”

Taking up valuable space in our luggage back from ‘Murka: cotton tea towels that absorb moisture. Kitchen scouring sponges that don’t begin to disintegrate immediately with use. I know. I can hear you already: why would you want those?

Early yesterday morning, I found myself with coffee at McDonald’s at MVD – Montevideo airport – near this receptacle for “mixed waste” and “recyclable materials.” The “mixed waste” graphic caught my eye. What’s this? Your McDonald’s hamburger will be so bad you’ll throw it out half-eaten? Or worse, it’s so bad that the hamburger itself is vomiting? I guess in a country of 3.5 million people you’re not going to get the cream of the crop when it comes to graphic design. Or it may…Continue Reading “Airport yummies”