Tag: culture

Uruguay factoids

Squinting at coffee packages in the supermarket the other day triggered this train of thought.


  • Unless you look very hard for otherwise, the coffee you buy in a supermarket will have sugar in it (“glaseado”)
  • cuts of beef are at right angles to what northerners expect
  • It is almost impossible to buy a long-handled shovel (“you can buy a regular shovel, remove the handle, and put a long handle on it” – yes, I was actually told this)
  • A vehicle with automatic transmission is considered a luxury and taxed higher (in one instance, a mechanic refused to drive a customer’s car onto the rack in the shop because he “didn’t know how to drive an automatic.”)
  • (For North American drivers) Right on red can get you an expensive ticket (I just added to Wikipedia that right on red is not allowed in UY 😉
  • If you take driving school in Uruguay, you will not be told:
    • you should stay in lanes / that lanes have any significance (seriously)
    • what distance to maintain between vehicles
    • after passing, that you should wait until you can see the car in your mirror before pulling back into the lane
  • If Uruguayans say they lived in the United States, you can almost never go wrong by asking “New Jersey or Rhode Island?”
  • If you miss Uruguay in the United States, go to Elizabeth, New Jersey
  • If Uruguayans say they’ve recently been to the United States, you can almost never go wrong by asking “How was the weather in Orlando?”

Feel free to add to the list. I expect I will.