One of the pleasures of having live in Uruguay a while is not having to set up your life here. Having to buy furniture and appliances in Uruguay brings little joy. In fact, shopping in general brings little joy: selection is limited, quality dubious, and prices in general exorbitant.
But, with little pressure, and various changes and upgrades, should be better, no? We plan to furnish and perhaps rent our little country house, which gives us an opportunity to buy a better stove for our house in Atlántida, and means moving beds around, so maybe we can buy a better mattress (for the record, I find no fault in our existing one). Also, if we can find a reasonably priced washing machine, that would be nice to provide to a country renter as well.
So, today we were off to “close” Montevideo, half the distance to “far” Montevideo, first checking out stores in Costa Urbana Shopping, the newest mall, which straddles the Ruta Interbalnearia.
The first thing we noticed was that the mattress measurements didn’t correspond with what we are putatively trying to replace. It may be that the bed we bought, from an American, had originated in the United States, hence weird metrics, but perhaps measurements changed here at some point? After all, we bought it eight years ago; he and his wife had been here seven before that.
So, why not ask an employee? Well, perhaps because the first one walking toward us abruptly seated herself at a computer with her back to us. Wandering past her toward a group of three employees, I watched them kid around with each other, and then walk away. Well, one walked past us, studiously avoiding eye contact, though we were clearly potential customers and clearly needing some attention.
In the end, a total of seven floor employees managed to completely ignore us, happy with their little chats and kidding around.
Welcome to Uruguay!
On the way back from dog walking, I stopped by the shop of Daniel, our herrero (blacksmith), with a little challenge. We have this pot we use almost daily: Susan boiling eggs, me making oatmeal. But the handle, though connected, moves, and I have not been able to remove the screw that attaches it.
I’m pretty strong, but the reluctant screw yielded quickly to Daniel’s efforts, which then included straightening the sheet-metal mounting point, reaming it (or something), re-mounting the handle, and — voilá! — good as new.
Granted, Daniel just made our new fence and gate, but I expect, given our history, the upshot would have been the same nonetheless: no thought of charging me for this service.
Welcome to Uruguay!