21 reasons for Uruguay, or 8 why it’s not all that?

A follower of our Uruguay Expat Life page on Facebook asked me to comment on this Global Post article 8 reasons Uruguay’s not all that; as a counterpoint to the Buzzfeed 21 reasons to move to Uruguay one that went viral last month.

Other than that he was kind of setting up the strawman fallacy, with that “in light of the Buzzfeed”, because I never said I really liked that Buzzfeed. I don’t. The Buzzfeed piece was a snarky silly goof article on unimportant stuff, because, Buzzfeed. I made fun of it at the time in various places, on some networks shared it much like a “Mujica smoking out in sandals” goof. Lisa and I shared it, but for fun. The articles shared about ratings on peace, freedom, economic stability, the Economist country of the year, the Economist’s good but not top level rank on countries likely to have protests – sure, serious discussions. But that Buzzfeed 21 reasons most involving pot, sandals, and what’s ol’ Tio Pepe growing out on his flower farm? But this Global post article is nearly as bogus non-serious as that. Or if the author of it, currently living in Uruguay, is, I have to say, “Surely you can’t be serious” about some of his complaint. Not all, but, the Post Office lines? Using this picture as argument?

A bunch of packages, 3 people, and actually nobody waiting in line.
Post offices everywhere. This one happens to be in Uruguay. That’s your argument?

I actually agree with much of this Global Post piece. But it, itself, is also a bit of a strawman fallacy. Which is why I don’t like all of it, but it’s a good “Whiny part-BS article” counterpoint to “Silly part-BS article”. Continue reading 21 reasons for Uruguay, or 8 why it’s not all that?

Get your dancin’ shoes on! It’s “Noche de Nostalgia” in Uruguay!

Every August 24, Uruguay celebrates the Night of Nostalgia. Filled with dancing and lots of “American Oldies”. No, I have no idea why! Other than it’s the night before our National Independence Day. (Well, before one of them. Uruguayan independence was a bit tricky…) So hey, party!

Image of promotional announcement:
Nostalgia Night 2013 at the Atántida Country Club, from their Facebook Page

It’s origins are vague, as this Wikipedia article on Nostalgia Night notes. But it’s fun. Continue reading Get your dancin’ shoes on! It’s “Noche de Nostalgia” in Uruguay!

The Grumpy Gringo Factor

I just finished reading a fantastic article on Escape from America by Corey Coates, of Five Gallon Sound. Coates describes a certain type of expat, who we frequently encounter at expat meetings in Atlantida, or on certain Uruguay expat message boards. As they whine about everything from their neighbors, the constantly rising cost of living and the products they can’t find in a supermarket,  you wonder why they continue to live here. Coates calls them the “Grumpy Gringos.” Continue reading The Grumpy Gringo Factor

Afro-Uruguay: Forward Together – Video

Here is 5 minutes of the work in progress film, Afro-Uruguay: Forward Together, which I talked about in my previous post tonight. After the film, some thoughts and re-watch suggestions to learn more about both the issue at hand, and everyday sights and sounds of Uruguay. Including our very weird Spanish.

Pamela Harris & Carolina De Robertis | Iris Films present a “work in progress” five minute preview of “Afro-Uruguay: Forward Together”

As you watch it, please think about the culture and history that was suppressed. Lisa and I are gratified that Candombe is becoming a vehicle for recovering the rich Afro-Uruguayo culture, and in making Uruguayans and those like us new to our adopted land understand and confront past-times and current day racism and discrimination.

Then, perhaps, watch it again, and listen closely too, Continue reading Afro-Uruguay: Forward Together – Video

Reblogging a great “culture clash” post from “I Was an Expat Wife”

Reblogging this from an expat blog I just discovered via the WordPress.com Reader category feed. We’re self-hosted, not at WordPress.com, but we integrate with them. I was scanning their “Expat Life” blogs topic stream, and came across a blog named I Was an Expat Wife. Now normally I wouldn’t read that kind of expat blog, because A) We don’t really cater here to the “Trailing Spouse” expat type, we’re more the DIY low-budget expat/immersion audience, and B) usually I find that type of title is from a bloggy whiner about how she misses her washing machine from back in the UK or Australia, or everything in Uruguay is crap except for Punta del Este. Or both.

stock photo of woman looking through binoculars directly at viewerBut that’s not the case with Maria Foley’s blog – it’s quite self-aware, helpful, non-home-culture-centric, and a fun, informative read. Her post I’m sharing is aptly titled, The illusion of the “similar culture”. I recommend anybody thinking about expatriation, emigration to a new land as a immigrant, or immersion travel, give it a read.

Great examination of the culture shock of expatriation, even if to a same-language culture. Or from your home “Western” culture to another, hey, how hard could it be? Former “expat wife” Maria gives examples of exactly how hard it can be. As do her commenters, be sure to read them!

I’ll add a handful of Uruguay culture examples Continue reading Reblogging a great “culture clash” post from “I Was an Expat Wife”