Hay una discoteca por aquí?

Hola!  Me llamo es Iain.  Estoy viviendo en Montevideo por 2 a 3 meses. Yo soy de Canadá.  Es un gusto conocerle!

I arrived in Montevideo yesterday at 4:30pm yesterday and by 9:00pm I was in bed.  Between flying over, what, 10,000km from SF to Toronto to Santiago to Montevideo in 24 hours caught up with me.

I am back somewhere between Eastern Time and Atlantic Time, the time zone that Montevideo is in.

Montevideo is a really nice city.  It’s safe and has all the amenities that you would want.  The Zonamerica where I am working is a neat self-contained, free trade zone in Uruguay where you can conduct negocios (business en español).  They have everything you need, and it doesn’t feel like you’re in a remote area of the greater Montevideo region.

So far I’m batting 1 for 2 in ordering good.  I tried ordering salad for dinner last night, even said, “Ensalada”, and I got a chicken sandwich.  I don’t think my Spanish is *that* bad.  But hey, I did get the open faced queso, jamon y tomato sandwich that I ordered for dinner.

I will say, if there is one thing I learned today – it truly is a fact that Uruguayans do go to dinner late tonight.  I was hoping for the salad bar at the restaurant tonight and it wasn’t being setup until about 9:00pm tonight.  Which leads me to another realization about food and the culture here.  Lots of people say that we should eat more meals and smaller portions.  Well, have something early morning when you get up, have something at 10am, lunch at 1pm, tea at 4pm and dinner at 8/9pm… it works, and that seems to be the culture here.

Maté is definitely part of the culture as well – although only one person I know has been drinking it at work.  I definitely need to find myself a thermos, a cup and a metal straw.  *GRIN*  Uruguayans are hardcore with their maté – They say that Argentineans like adding sugar to sweeten it, where Uruguayans take it straight.  Nice!

And another thing has come to light.  Uruguay is to Argentina as Canada is to the United States.  It’s a friendly rivalry – I think – and I’m definitely rooting more for Uruguay.

Language-wise, I’m starting to mix up my French and Spanish.  It’s amazing how shy I am feeling about talking to people, it’s not like I’m going to say something wrong – okay I might get the wrong food, but hey, that’s the fun of being heard.

I am going to be conducting training for my new co-workers here in Uruguay.  The goal for me is to develop slides in Spanish, and I may try my hand at attempting to use as much Spanish as possible as a chance to learn.

On that note, a musical interlude from Pet Shop Boys –

Abrazos todos!

One thought on “Hay una discoteca por aquí?

  1. Uruguayans follow a Spanish tradition of dining rather late. Argentinians eat even later, i think. When i was in Buenos Aires, i wanted to schedule a meeting with a guy i knew from the Internet. i called him and he said he couldn’t be out late, because he had to work the next morning. So he suggested that we met for coffee at 11 pm!!! 🙂
    The culture is, you get a good nap after work and then go for dinner. Or you go to the movies or theatre, and then go for dinner. Not before, as in the US. Places and street are pretty empty between 6 and 10 pm, and some bars won’t open before midnight or later…
    We’re kind of in the middle way here in Brazil, although it was a bit hard for us to get used to have dinner at 6 or 7 pm when we moved to the US.
    You might already have read this, but at some point Uruguay was a part of Brazil. It’s been a disputed territory between Brazil and Argentina in the beginning of the 19th century and some suggest that Uruguay has been artificially created to set some peace in the area. At the time, people said Uruguay was a “cotton between crystals”… 🙂 But the fact is that the south of Brazil, Uruguay and the North of Argentina share the same culture of the “gaucho”, with the mate, the cattle and all.
    And Brazilians take their mate straight too. 🙂

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