Monday, November 09, 2009

Montevideo, Uruguay

(Warning: I am on a crappy computer set to South America keyboard standards so I don´t promise perfection with this one.)

Here I am in Uruguay´s capital city, Montevideo. This morning Sol and I caught a bus from Punta del Este to Montevideo where she returned to Buenos Aires and I stayed on for a day in this nation´s ¨big city.¨ After taking a quick cab from the bus station to my hostel in Pocitos, I dropped my things and hopped on a bus back into the center to tour Old City, or ciudad vieja. I got off at Plaza Cagancha on the main avenue, 18 de julio, and proceeded to walk toward the water from there. I passed through the main plaza, Plaza Independencia, and continued right along to Plaza Zabala and Mercado del Puerto, a touristy spot near the water to eat lunch (much like Santiago´s or Chile´s Mercado Central). Eat lunch I did! I ordered a glass of white wine which was literally filled to the brim, plus a plate of onions, red pepper and panceta from the grill and mojellas to boot. Turns out I love sweet breads! Covered in lemon juice, yum.

The glass of white wine plus the extremely friendly waiter did me right and I was ready to keep walking. I steered myself toward the nearest rambla, or waterfront avenue, and walked a bit. The problem was I got really bored, really quickly. The guy at the hostel told me it was about and hour and a half´s walk from Pocitos to the center via the waterfront and after 5 minutes I was done. I plan to drink mate later along las ramblas near my hostel but there really wasn´t much to see except buildings in the distance and polluted water up close. Also, all that wine had gone to my bladder and I really needed to find a bathroom. So, I did what any self-respecting solo tourist would do: I found the nearest bar, ordered a drink, and used the facilities.

Without meaning to I ordered a very typical Uruguayan drink called medio y medio (half and half) which is half something delicious and liquor-y and half something... not? I honestly have no idea but for 20 Uruguayan pesos (about one dollar) it seemed like a steal, not to mention they gave me a plate of peanuts to enjoy with it. I was in that perfect ¨The world is amazing and here I am travelling it all by myself and drinking along the way!¨mood and it was the kind of bar I was happy to have found. Of course I couldn´t stay long and expect that feeling to hold so once I took the last sip I headed toward 18 de julio again in search of an artesan´s fair I´d seen earlier but skipped since I didn´t know what kind of timeframe I was looking at.

At the fair I talked to a really nice if not low-brow Uruguayan lady who called me negra (literally ¨blacky¨ but I´m not sure what the implication is here, surely she wasn´t referring to my sunburn??) and told me I was a beautiful tourist while showing me the different types of real and fake leather accoutrement she sold. I ended up buying a magnet for Sol who collects them and was on my way.

By this time I needed to use the facilities again and I thought, why not another medio y medio? This proved harder than the first unintentional one. I went into two bars that didn´t serve it before finding one that said it did. The waitress then brought me a full bottle of wine called, sure enough, medio y medio. I assured her I coudn´t possibly drink a full bottle of wine and told her a little about what I was looking for - sweet, served over ice, about the size of a shot? Finally she got it and I had my drink, twice as big and three times as expensive as the first one.

That pretty much catches you up. I´ve just come from the last bar to this really, really bad internet cafe to write today´s blog. Soon I will get back on a bus, go to the hostel, get my mate makings, and head to the waterfront to watch another sunset. Tomorrow I fly at 1 pm and since the flight is so short and Uruguay is an hour ahead, I land at 12:50. I love time changes like that.

I promise tomorrow´s blog will be filled with interesting photos. I tried to upload some to yesterday´s but blogger wouldn´t let me. Don´t abandon me because I´m so text heavy!

I hope this finds all readers well, and for heaven´s sake, please leave a comment - It makes me feel so popular.


Robyn said...

dude. this kills me. "blacky" made me laugh outloud. almost had my soup come out my nose. i love these posts especially when you're faded.

Robyn said...

i love it when you're faded. your mom probably doenst agree, but hopefully she likes me enough to let this comment slide ;)

ElizaBeth said...

I am not faded! I am appropriately buzzed for it being a vacation but still daylight.

Renée said...

I loved this posting and your tales of touring the world one drink at a time. Can't wait to hear about it when you get back to the real big city.

Erica said...

A self-guided drinking/walking tour is my favorite way to discover an area :)

Momma Archer said...

Faded? I got drunk just reading your post! Your journey does sound quite magical though.

Joseph Peter said...

"I got drunk just reading your post!" HA HA!! Elizabeth.. I think I love your Mom. (Hello Momma Archer)

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