Getting Health Insurance in Uruguay – Part 1

I am happy to report that for the first time in two years, I (Mark) have health insurance, and Lisa Marie has it too for the first time in one year. And it was simple and cheap!

Picture of Asociación Española main hospital in Montevideo
Asociación Española Central Hospital in Montevideo, Uruguay

Technically we have been covered by the ASSE, the Administraciòn de Servicios de Salud del Estado, ever since June when we became eligible for provisional permanent residency. But that is the baseline, Continue reading Getting Health Insurance in Uruguay – Part 1

Tomorrow on Uruguay Expat Life – Lisa vs the Barométrica

Yes, we learned a new word this week. No, it’s not about the air pressure.

Did I mention I planted some seeds in our backyard? Well it’s now self-watering and self-fertilizing. And since I am on a brand new Real Job where I have to be on a bus to the office park every morning, I can’t take care of it. Lisa Marie, the quintessential city girl until recent years, the person who never lived in a home without city sewer systems, heck till this year never lived in a home with a back yard of any sort, has to do the dirty work.

Well not the real dirty work. That’s what the barométrica does. And yes, as renters of our little casita, we have to pay for it ourselves.

 The “Barométrica Sanitaria” is the guy in the big truck that empties out your septic tank or your grease trap.

I don’t know if this is who our managing agent / realty called, or if it is one of their competitors. But he made it clear to Lisa that we have to pay for it. Lisa asked one of our neighbors about who to call and they recommended a different firm, but the same general idea, and thought it was totally normal that we need to do this after nearly one full year in here. Right now we’re only getting kitchen sink wastewater overflowing an outside air-gap anti-backflow sunken hole, and an upflow from a separate small concrete cover that I think is the grease-trap buried in the ground. No true “black water” from the small septic tank system in the backyard itself.

Yet… And heaven knows where the waste drainage field is, but I have a feeling it was built going underneath each of the casitas back out to the front, since there’s a ground mounted vent in front of each unit.

This is the other side of what I was posting about the freedom to have washing machines, antennas, clotheslines without asking permission of nor paying a fee to the owner or manager.

Expect a full report from Lisa. 🙂

Immigrants with clotheslines.

Yes, that’s us. That’s our backyard. We’re immigrants, hanging clothes out like generations of immigrants have done. Which they mostly can’t do in the USA anymore because of idiotic regulations.

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Immigrants with clotheslines. Yes, that’s us.

I finally put up the outdoor clotheslines today. Just in time for some wash for the workweek. Because to my still-amazement and amusement, I have a workweek again, starting tomorrow. Clean underwear, not so much. Hence the clothesline.

Couple of points from this:

First – Hallelujah! No Condo Board, no HOA, no landlord telling me it’s against the rules to have a clothesline. Where we lived in Colorado, the HOA-from-Hell not only banned clotheslines, they banned having any washer-dryer in your condo, which you owned, unless you bought their specific nearly-$2000 USD unvented washer/dryer single inefficient unit. And either gave up your dishwasher, or your coat closet, the only two approved installation locations. Of course you had to pay them an inspection/approval fee, and a yearly fee for the right to wash your clothes.

Where we used to own, in Brookline, Mass., the queen bee of the condo board and his wife would have had conniptions if you dared hang a sock out your window, and they too charged for the right to own your own washer-dryer in your own home.

Here, nobody cares. Sure, we rent our little casita, but there’s not a single ban on anything in the lease. There’s also not much of an obligation on the dueño either; a previous post explained how a bad kitchen faucet was our problem not his. Essentially it’s “you pay for the right to live as if it were your house”, Continue reading Immigrants with clotheslines.

It’s Not All Chivitos and Ponies – part 1

No, not everything about Uruguay is bliss. Lisa Marie and I do think it’s a great country overall, are glad we moved here, and do believe that Uruguay has many opportunities and varied modes of expat life. But some things are a pain in the butt, and not just because “all countries are different”, but because some things are just annoying.
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Finding out that you as a rental tenant are responsible for the cost of repairing the badly-installed kitchen sink faucet when it breaks loose and water sprays everywhere, for example. Bad landlords and bad rental management companies are everywhere, of course.

Continue reading It’s Not All Chivitos and Ponies – part 1

Cost of Living Uruguay vs USA

I wasn’t going to get dragged into another Uruguay costs social network discussion again, but some Facebook Uruguay Expats group members pulled me back in.

I’ll say this: There are at least three to five types of “Uruguay Expatriation” with very different costs:

Type 1 Expat. Live in a North American/English/Oceania-oriented Expat Compound (e.g. something like the Sugarloaf Development pushed by International Living). Everything you need is there, the world is gated off, and they discourage going to town. “Everything is here in The Village, why are you being unmutual?” Meanwhile missing out on the true Uruguayan life in the beautiful and affordable resort city of Piriápolis which they show on their website. In which town I could rent a 2-bedroom sea-view raised apartment for under $800 USD. Or simpler, away from the beach properties, cheaper. But the Type 1 Expat would not consider such integration.

Montevideo 35% cheaper than Boston
Comparing Montevideo Uruguay and Boston, MA, USA cost of living

Type 2 Expat. Live in a Major City or Major Resort Area, in upscale US-upper-middle-class-equivalent with a full North American lifestyle (anything based on the Expatistan cost of living calculator that factors in buying 42″TV, new VW Golf TDI, regular meals out, regular pub drinks out at “an expat bar”, regular paid entertainment – read the assumptions on it.) Continue reading Cost of Living Uruguay vs USA