Tag: quality

Speaking of getting it wrong

A friend pulled off the road in a quiet neighborhood of Montevideo to make a phone call. As he was talking, a local woman decided to park in back of him, something she proved incapable of doing without slowly but forcefully driving into the back of his car, trashing it.

The body repair people put the Suzuki label back on, but off-center. The next time the car went to the dealer, they were so upset that the logo was off-center — to the left — that they “fixed” it.

Quality control in Uruguay
A shame, really, that there‘s no easy way to determine the centerline of the car.





OK, not exactly a miracle, but feels like one after buying plastic ice trays that start breaking within a few days: orange ones purchased at Disco supermarket.


Even after ten days in the land of low prices / high expectations (that would be ‘Murka; Uruguay being the land of high prices / low expectations), I still joy in something as simple as cheap orange ice trays that eject intact ice cubes — the entire tray! — and have shown no sign of cracking after several weeks.

My exciting new calzados con Velcro

cheap shoes, Uruguay

Oh boy, you’re thinking, he’s really lost it now.

I know: shoes with Velcro are not exciting. But in Uruguay, cheap shoes that fit me are exciting. And most of what’s available is size 45 or less. These are 48. And they fit. And they cost under USD 30.

The ones I wanted they had, surprisingly, in 46, 47, and 49, but no 48. They called another store a few blocks away (I thought I’d been in every one in Pando already), and told me someone would bring a pair in size 48. Which they did, though the only similarity to the others was the color.

I have a special disdain for Velcro shoes, our nemesis in our early days of doing school author presentations. Well, not the shoes in fact, but the combination of the shoes and the kindergarteners in the front row who couldn’t stop sticking them and loudly unsticking them. I sometimes felt like screaming at them, WHY DON’T YOU BRATS LEARN TO GODDAM TIE SHOES? But I didn’t.

My neighbor Manuel told me that going to Pando used to be the butt of jokes in Montevideo, since it was popular for its whiskerías (whorehouses) and hourly motels. It’s significant for us because they deliver for free (the stores, not the whores): Montevideo is farther, and through the toll booth.

While in Pando, I found a 20-tube solar water heater with a 3-year guarantee for USD 675. So maybe one day soon I’ll actually get to do a hot baking-soda-magnesium-oil soak in our expensive bathtub.

My excitement today in Uruguay: cheap Velcro shoes. No, really.

The sausage machine

Inspired by local expats who have started making sausage, but not by their product or prices, the kid decided to make his own, and diligently cranked and cranked and cranked with a neighbor’s manual grinder. Lot of work.

making sausage, Uruguay

So when we found an electric one at Tienda Inglesa, we said why not and shelled out some bonus points. The kid cranked it up, and it worked like a charm!

poor quality appliance, Uruguay

For an hour. Unfortunately, not completely unexpected with products sold here.