It’s been a long time since I introduced the subject of electrical outlets in Uruguay. A visit to the hospital reminded me of their wonderful weirdness here.
Shuko is common in Europe; “Inclinado” the standard in neighboring Argentina, and “Tres en linea,” my favorite, apparently the standard in Uruguay. But when your whole country is 3-1/2 million people, who – meaning people manufacturing electrical appliances for worldwide sales – particularly cares?
And of course, if you’re installing signs in Uruguay, who particularly cares that you glue the capital B to the wall upside and backwards?
Which perhaps has you thinking, I want to visit your wonderful little country. What should I do about my electrical needs?
The obvious answer is to throw your hands up in despair, and leave all your damned gadgets at home.
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 plexiglas panels proclaiming tolerance, peace, union, family, and love shield waterworks that are – can they be described any other way? – pissing on his monument.
The pigeon temporarily perched on his head adds a further bit of indignity.
Maybe I read too much into it? I guess I have this design thing.
For a country that considers itself non-religious, Semana Santa – oh, sorry, Semana deTurismo – is a big deal. That’s Easter Week in case you’re still not up to speed 😉
Duly noted, of course, in my calendar:
Fortunately we had nothing of particular importance to accomplish this week. Our friends Sandy and Don, whom we just left at the airport for their move back north, were kicking themselves that they didn’t factor Semana de Turismo into their planning, but almost everything that needed doing got done regardless.
When you see chairs lined up either side of the road, it means tonight is the Carnaval parade in Atlántida. But they’re not there just as a nice gesture. If you want to sit, you have to pay.
I went out to see part of the parade one year, and haven’t felt compelled to do so again. You can find more in the Wikipedia article on Uruguayan Carnival(which apparently doesn’t meet Wikipedia’s high editorial standards, oh my!) and find videos of our local desfilehere.