Unhappy day in Uruguay

I refer, of course, to Uruguay getting booted out of the 2018 World Cup by France. Cavani didn’t play.

And it’s been kind of cold. And overcast: dreary.

But my new bath brush arrived from China!  It’s been almost three months since it was shipped.

body scrub brush

It’s also almost exactly three years from the first replacement. This time I paid $5.29 instead of $4.02. Before this order, I paid the same for two brushes, but mistakenly sent them to our official U.S. address. So now my my sister-in-law has two bath brushes.

body scrub brush

The condition of the old one is surprisingly similar to the last time. Interesting that the earlier one arrived in three weeks instead of three months, and the second arrived within days of three years after the first.

That numbers thing again?


What you pay for

I have posted a few times about cheap Chinese products. One of my recent free-international-shipping purchases was a replacement for a 4-port USB hub that was compact, highly-rated on Amazon, and, for whatever reason, disappeared.

After a week, its status.

discarde cheap Chinese 4-port USB hub, Uruguay

Obviously a quality-control reject, it dropped connections. Fortunately, during its brief tenure, I did not rely on it for external drives, just keyboard and mouse.

So it’s a complete write-off, my investment of USD 0.99, delivered from China for free.


Tienda Inglesa: from class to trash

Tienda Inglesa: Lo bueno por menos

Classy may be too strong a word, but Tienda Inglesa has been for me the best of the handful of “large” (remember, Uruguay is small) supermarket chains in Uruguay.

Back in 2012, Tienda Inglesa sold LED lights imported by Renovables S.A., a wide-ranging and impressive Uruguayan renewable energy business. The owner, Rolando Ringeltaube, told me how carefully their company monitored quality control in China. And, he told me, LED bulbs should have a life of 20 years. Which, considering the history of incandescent light bulbs, seems an unlikely prediction. Still, they have to last longer than these mercury-laden compact fluorescents that seem to last about a year, no?

So imagine my surprise when an LED light bulb I bought there died after three weeks. They have a “no refund” policy, but thought about it a couple days, and gave me another. Which also died after three weeks. Once again, they reminded me of the “no refund” policy, but gave me a credit after a few minutes. Meanwhile, I walked to the lighting section to examine the packaging. Sure enough, they are now imported from China by Tienda Inglesa. No middle man. No quality control.

LED bulbs are great (10X more efficient than incandescent), but the Tienda Inglesa LED bulbs are now officially trash. Consider yourself warned.

Extremely poor quality LED bulbs sold at Tienda Inglesa in Uruguay

Walmart wisdomcomes to Uruguay.

Update 5 January 2017: the latest Tienda Inglesa garbage LED light, acquired 3 December 2016, has started overheating and malfunctioning today, after 33 days.

Ebay and China to the rescue

A few years ago, I bought a bath/back brush at Tienda Inglesa. By now, it was showing its age, so I went to check on getting another. 650 pesos, or over $20 US even with the “strong” dollar. The nice lady said it was Italian, and yes, expensive, but it would last forever. Properly explaining what I thought next seemed a little beyond my vocabulary at the moment.

Three weeks, and $4.02 US later (shipping included!), I have a replacement:


Better still, it was delivered to my door. No summons to the Customs office in Montevideo.




Cheap Chinese shit redux

When my second little key chain flashlight (in four years) went dead, I looked closely and realized it could be taken apart and the battery replaced. A replacement battery would cost almost as much as the flash light, but if I can keep even one little bit of plastic out of the landfill, it’s worth it, right?

Wrong. I sent this image to the eBay seller, saying the batteries they sent were either counterfeit or expired. I bought a new flashlight to make the comparison. They refunded my pocket change immediately.


I’ve been enthusiastic, amused, and reflective about my purchases of cheap Chinese shit in the past. Who knows, maybe one day my 100 LR41 batteries will arrive, and the cat be entertained to his heart’s content, once again, by the laser pointer.