I sometimes think this country’s motto should be Welcome to Uruguay. Please take a number. Because everywhere you go, you take a number. Even in the feria, the street market.

number dispenser

Overall, it’s a good thing. I recall my nephew’s amazement at the civility of our ferias, compared to their chaos in Guatemala, where he taught at an international school.

In the local ferretería (hardware store), where everyone knows my name, I have for years responded “42” and waved my paper in the air when the clerk calls out my actual number, which is of course never 42.

Alas, inquiring about property taxes in the intendencia the other day, I did get number 42. But there was no line, and no number called out, no number to turn in. What a waste!


So why 42, you wonder? Glad you asked.


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