Not curbside, but yes, they recycle

I got inspired to cut bottles, but so far have ended up only with a bucket of broken glass. Dumping that that into the trash seemed a dangerous idea, so I took them where the garbage trucks go.

There, huge plastic bags lie as far as you can see, awaiting their turn to be clasificado – sorted out. Yes, there’s a person who goes through everything, finding and sorting the recyclables

Asking to take a photo, I got a tour instead. Unprepared, it didn’t occur to ask about the most ubiquitous item of all: plastic shopping bags.

Next time.

I expect a few more broken bottles.


The retiring executive we bought furniture from in Montevideo a couple years ago, whom we introduced to our town and who now lives a few blocks away, mentioned to my wife the other night a book he thought she’d enjoy.

A couple days later, I saw written in her calendar, A Deadly Affection, by Cuyler Overholt. That’s not a name you forget, but I hadn’t thought about it in probably four decades. We went to junior high school together in Connecticut a third of the way around the planet from here, even hung out with the same kids. She was cute. 😉

I left after 9th grade, and didn’t stay in touch with anyone at the high school, but someone from my prep school and her college connected us. Delightful to make contact – turns out later in high school she and my 8th grade girlfriend became best friends, and in their calendars is a trip together next week to enjoy Anchor Steam and sourdough bread in San Francisco.

The Argentinian we met in Buenos Aires through friends in Hawaii told us that our house name ‘Caviahue’ (houses here have names, not numbers) refers to a small town in Patagonia with ski resort and thermal baths. She used to have an apartment there. For all the mentions of Bariloche, also in Patagonia, I’ve never heard anyone mention Caviahue – oh, except for the owner of a excellent nearby winery – who also had a house there.

It looks like a cool place to visit. Unfortunately, the government’s latest plan to destroy the Argentinian economy tempts me to wait before thinking about it.

Culture, language, and cooking

Yesterday, we spent a pleasant afternoon and early evening in the campo, at the chacra of friends, having an asado on their parilla.

campo = the country
chacra = ranch (in their case a bit less than 30 acres (11 hectares)
asado = traditional BBQ, also called parrillada, also the name of various cuts of  grilled meat, including carne de asado, which is ribs cut the ‘wrong way.’
parrilla = grill, adjustable and relatively elaborate cooking part of the parillero, which, when enclosed, is called a barbacoa. (Got it?)

You build the fire in the grate to the side. As embers drop below, you rake them underneath the meat, which cooks slowly. Very slowly.

The wrong way to cook meat, according to South Americans
The wrong way to cook meat, according to South Americans

Key point for Norteaméricanos::

If the flames touch the meat, you’re doing it entirely wrong.



Tiny Coke bottles

When I was a kid, a ‘Coke’ meant a six-ounce returnable glass bottle. Recently, these 200 ml* returnable glass Coke bottles showed up here. Hard to imagine a kid these days being satisfied with a drink that small, but somebody bought them.

Behind them is a 2-liter bottle, plastic, also returnable, meaning that all three have a deposit paid on them.

Beer bottles half-liter and larger, and wine bottles 1.5 liters and larger, all have deposits and are re-used.

I like that.

*approximately 6.762805 fluid ounces