Battle of the stones

If it’s Monday, May 21, then it must be last Thursday, May 18, the holiday in honor of Artigas’ victory in the town of Las Piedras (‘the stones’) outside Montevideo in 1811, in which he vanquished the forces of the Spanish Viceroy – which outnumbered his troops until 200 defected and fought for him instead. He apparently exclaimed ‘Curad a los heridos, clemencia para los vencidos’ (Cure the injured, mercy to the vanquished), so that his followers wouldn’t hack the remaining Spaniards to pieces, as the vanquished most assuredly would have had they prevailed.

So today I don’t have to wonder if the chimney sweep who came two weeks ago, broke the inside of our wood stove, and never came back, will return. I don’t have to wonder if the refrigerator guy will have fixed the shelf he promised to deliver about the same time.

Mercy to those whose freedom he fought for, for no doubt one of these days – or weeks – they’ll deliver on their promises.

Fresh butter!

Friends who live near where we’re buying land came into town to go to lunch with us at the wonderful Garní Armenian Restaurant in Solís, a 20 minute drive from here.

They are milking a neighbor’s cow while he’s settling affairs in Nevada, so they made butter and brought us some. Fabulous!

Can’t help but reflect that in certain parts of the ‘land of the free’ these days they might be thrown in jail for daring to make their own food — and give some to friends.

A chemtrail in Uruguay

In over two and half years in Uruguay, it’s only the second or third chemtrail I’ve seen.

Pretty much what I saw: borrowed and altered photo

I’m not happy to see it, but living on the windswept edge of an immense expanse of water, in a thinly-populated country, it’s not as threatening as in the northern hemisphere, where blue skies frequently turn to gray under the onslaught of spraying.

Dealing with it

The connection between Bangladeshi refugees and Uruguay

When we left for Argentina, I unplugged my wife’s computer backup power supply. The switch jammed, so it had to remain plugged into the wall or go beep every five seconds until the battery ran out. Out of respect for lightning, that’s what it did.

Weeks later, I got around to disassembling it, and discovered that the button got its ‘spring’ from two little plastic hooks, one of which had become displaced. I fixed it.

This morning, faced with the same problem, I took it apart once again and simply tore out the plastic switch. New rules for the UPS: take a pen or finger and push white microswitch directly.

I spare you a closeup of the bar code label indicating country of origin, because after all everything is made in China.

But as our friend Patrick in Colonia explains, the Chinese make top-quality goods for consumers in first world countries. They make second-rate, but more affordable, goods for developing countries.  Then they make crap of such low quality that Bangladeshi refugees would refuse it. And that’s what they ship to Uruguay.

If that’s a complaint, it’s not limited to expats. Uruguayans say the same, in different words: lo barato sale caro – the cheap stuff ends up being the most expensive.