Cleaning gal (once a week, $150/~U$S6 per hour) wasn’t here five minutes before wheeling into the sliding door with her knee. Events not clear, but apparently an attention-hungry Shi-Tzuh played a part in distracting her. No harm beyond the door.

Alas, it’s Carnaval, and anyone who could repair it ain’t gonna — everything closed.

(And duct tape — even real ‘Murkan duct tape — sucks. There was cardboard on this side as well.)

We couldn’t get too upset, having just heard that Patricia, single mother of five teenagers, has been kicked out of her stepmother’s house and all are living in one room.* Talk about stress.

But it reminds me of a previous cleaning lady breaking a [replacement] coffeemaker glass pot days after we bought it. Which is why we now exclusively use the stainless steel French press our neighbors and friends brought us from Canada.

* update: only she and two kids; the other three are staying with their father

Further addendum: what’s wrong with this picture? The sliding door is made with window glass, not tempered glass, which is pretty much in line with Uruguay being behind northern North America by 50 years in some ways. My father walked through a door like this in 1965 in southern California. In northern (I add northern because some ‘Murkans remain unaware that Mexico is part of North America) North America, she would have had to have something like a metal kneepad, and a serious intent to destroy the door.

The little pleasures


Don’t mean to get all Instagram-y. Wife said oh take a picture of casual desert with friends, and I like the artificial and natural reflection highlights. The simple things 😉

Géant — bargain shopping in Uruguay!

In case you hadn‘t guessed from my last post, I‘m being sarcastic. But that horrible restaurant‘s location in Carrasco does provide a key to bargain hunting: it‘s near the airport,* where you can catch a flight to Miami (or ironically cheaper, New York).

Though I don‘t normally talk about ridiculous prices in Uruguay (but yes, occasionally), even after five years I still find myself amazed by things like this (I trust you‘ll recognize the first as Amazon):



This is Géant, the French WalMart in Carrasco. I have pointed out the stupidity of their shopping cart system,  then mistakenly praised them  a few days ago(for something that was probably there all along, though I hadn‘t noticed it).

Yesterday I parked near the front end of the shopping-cart area, thinking I‘d be helpful and do as they say, taking a cart from the parking lot and returning it.

Géant shopping carts: hooked on LIFO

But no — apparently LIFO is still alive and well at Géant: you have to back a cart out from the other side. This is how people think here; people regularly “back out” carts at the local Tienda Inglesa, disrupting everyone in the store‘s worst checkpoint (on average; restocking employees regularly block aisles), rather than walk four meters further and take one from the front.

The good news: these carts with the chain through them will probably be in great condition ten years from now, having never been used!


* As we left the horrible “Chinese” restaurant, we saw the plane overhead carrying our friend to London, giving whom a ride to the airport was the reason for being there in the first place 😉

Drive UY: those pesky lines

“And no, everybody knows what to do in a rond [sic] about and everybody knows that you must use only one lane.” This comes from a comment on this post. Amongst the numerous examples I will show that the second half of this statement is false, I did go through the airport roundabout on this trip without someone turning right from the left lane. However, inevitably it will happen again and I’ll get it on video 😉

Drive UY – if they want you to use one lane, why do they make two? from Doug on Vimeo.

Chinese food in Uruguay! (just kidding)

Chinese dining in Uruguay - well, not really

I think some friends recommended this “Chinese“ restaurant in Carrasco. Well, the friendly purveyor appeared Chinese, and spoke Rioplatense Spanish so fluently that obviously she knew that real Chinese food would hold no appeal for the Uruguayan palate. Unfortunately, that expounded to no taste other than soy sauce, and food that seemed to be leftovers, especially believable considering we were the only diners.

Consider this a “must miss” when in Montevideo. Oh, did I mention ridiculously expensive?

I used to taunt expats in Uruguay: what‘s your favorite Thai restaurant in Montevideo? It was a Schrödinger‘s-cat kind of thing, except that the cat was metaphorically dead. In reality nonexistent. Ditto Chinese.