Garní in Solís, near Piriápolis

Being the wife’s birthday, we had a ‘splurge’ meal at the Armenian restaurant Garní in Solís, near Piriápolis, where we’ve been going off and on for over a year. It’s about a half hour away.

  • If you don’t know Spanish, the accent indicates the accented syllable, and in Spanish only one syllable is emphasized, no matter how many exist in a word (it can be 7-8 easily)
  • If you don’t know Uruguay, this conversation does not exist: She: it’s my birthday – let’s go out to eat. He: Last time we ate out it was Thai. Do you want to do that, or Tex-Mex, or Chinese, or Italian, or…? It’s more like, what kind of meat do you want with your french fries? So an excellent restaurant with food with different flavors is remarkable.

Though we haven’t been there in a while, Michel, the waiter, knew exactly what we were going to order.

Sitting in their shaded outdoor area a block form the ocean, we started with a meze of tsatsiki, hummus, tabouli and a delicious eggplant concoction, with pita bread and a half-liter of white wine.  We shared a lamb shish kebob and enslada belen, a wonderful mix of eggplant, apples, red pepper, cashews and prunes (I think). And another half-liter of wine.

I got a laugh out of him with my comment (actually no need for Spanish; he speaks English and French as well) comimos como Uruguayos – we ate like Uruguayans! Servings can be HUGE here. He repeated it and got a laugh out of the chef Ani (who also speaks English, and also Armenian and Turkish). We normally don’t eat dessert, but when Michel came out and started talking to us in a low, conspiratorial way, we figured they were going to offer us a free dessert since it was the wife’s birthday, something that had come out earlier in conversation.

No, not that. The entire meal was on the house.

In Uruguay? This app’s not for you.

We bought a Kindle Fire from Amazon. Turns out to be useless for much more than reading books, but that’s OK because it’s good for that. And it promises more, like Android apps you can download for free.

It occurred that it might be useful to have a little note-taking app on the Kindle. You know, waiting for 50 people in front of you at the bank, reading a book, get an idea…. You can find plenty of free note-taking apps ready to download. So I tried.

It told me it couldn’t download because I didn’t have a credit card on file (which I do), then it wouldn’t allow me to enter a credit card.

So I tried on the computer – sorry, the Amazon app store said, your region can’t buy apps from us. No problem; logged in through a USA VPN, only to find it wouldn’t accept a cookie that Amazon requires.

So where to find Android apps? Google! Alas, Google and Amazon do not play together – the Amazon Kindle is sort of a bastardized Android device, and to keep the price low they didn’t get a Google license.

So this morning I delved into a murky world of Android dead-ends and non-starters, rapidly realizing it was not the best use of my time.

The original note-taking app

And realizing as well that I already have a perfectly functional note-taking app. That even works when the Kindle’s battery is dead.


gas tank delivery truck, Uruguay

The obstructed store to the right is the Supermercado de Carnes – yes, the Supermarket of Meats.

Uruguayans are the world’s largest consumer of beef per capita. ‘Meat consumption in Uruguay is on the rise reaching 94.7kg per person per year in 2011,’ says the Meat Trade News Daily. Just five years ago, the per capita annual consumption was reported as 54 kilos, and five years before that 40.

At some point, enough is enough – and too much is too much.

It’s March – autumn returns


Cool wind this morning. Time to wear shoes and socks again after happy months of flip-flops.

As a kid, I loved autumn crispness, new clothes and return to new adventures in school. Now it seems more a chore: order firewood, figure out how to clean the stove pipe, clean up garden. Stay warm. Wear shoes to the beach.

Autumn in the months that ~should~ be spring — still weird, the third time around.

Frogs, toads, and bees

At times here, you’ll hear a frog chorus sounding like the ‘mew, mew’ of cats. Confuses newcomers used to croaking. Last year we had many, many frogs – but also many, many mosquitoes. This year less. On the decline, or just an off-year?

Yesterday, our friends’ afternoon asado of suckling pig turned to evening with fat toads hopping around the parrillada.

This morning, the honey bees are busy on the basil plants I’ve let go to seed.

Good to see the indicator species – and the bees – thriving. From what I understand, that’s not the case elsewhere.