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…Continue Reading “Enchufar redux”

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”

For a country that considers itself non-religious, Semana Santa – oh, sorry, Semana de Turismo – 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…Continue Reading “Yes, we’re celebrating”

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 desfile…Continue Reading “It’s that day”

I got change at the butcher today and thought I had been handed a bill from another country. But no – even though it was released three months ago, this is the first one I’ve seen The polymer note is a welcome change from the tatty paper ones, though I’m not so sure the 50th anniversary of yet another Rothschild-controlled central bank is something exactly worth commemorating. And it is light-years better than the coin nobody wants. You can read more about it here.