A Lovely Fall Day Wrapping Up Tourism Week

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Beautiful Saturday of the weekend wrapping up Tourism Week. That’s what secular Uruguay calls Holy Week, because we actually have full separation of religion from government here.

Edit: more context on Uruguay as secular nation. Which means all are free to worship, or not, as they see fit. None may impose on others, especially not the government and the general culture. Our friends at the relatively new and excellent blog Guru’guay explain why Uruguay calls it Tourism Week.

Even with our country being secular, the Catholic, Protestant, Anglican, Mormon Churches will be full of Easter celebrants. Whilst not making agnostics, atheists, pagans, nontheistic faith believers such as Buddhists and Taoists, or followers of other branches of the monotheistic Abrahamic faiths uncomfortable from pushing a majority culture onto them. Uruguay does have small but active Jewish, Islamic, and Bahá’í Faith communities, which are the other three major parts of the Abrahamic monotheistic faith traditions in addition to the various flavors of Christianity. A Buddhist temple in the interior. Not to forget the many worshipers of Iemanja, goddess of the sea. Seems eminently respectful and downright “love thy neighbor” to me, to keep things officially secular. Everyone gets to choose.

We still have flowers on some of the lovely decorative trees and bushes in the neighborhood. The weather here in coastal Uruguay has been a bit chilly at night (enough with the “It’s not Chile, it’s Uruguay” bit, Lisa!) – as low as 8C, but about 15-20 days still. Think mid-60s during the day, if you’re from Fahrenheit-ville. The seasons are definitely changing, but it’s still lovely most of the time.

Edit: Added a few more pix that I had on my phone. The phone’s WordPress app is a little bit skittish about multi-photo posts. Added them from the computer. In the gallery after the break. Continue reading A Lovely Fall Day Wrapping Up Tourism Week

Today on Uruguay Flooded Life

Car nose-down in flooded and overlflowing drainage ditch
That’s the end of block, right at the corner of our shared yard.

The rains continue. Tormenta electrica sin fin. The drainage canals along the main road at the end of our street are totally overflowed. And apparently Uruguayans are no better than Los Angeles residents at driving in rain.
Continue reading Today on Uruguay Flooded Life

Smells like Uruguay, feels like home

Reblogging this to our Uruguay Expat Life site from my personal Author Hub blog, Falling Off the Hemisphere. This will fit, somewhere, in my forthcoming book of the same title. Which is, for your info, highly political and opinionated, more so than what I normally post here or at our other sites within our Uruguay Expat Life / Uruguay For Me site network. But you can’t really discuss reasons for feeling more or less at home, reasons for expatriation/immigration, reasons why a place once visited becomes a place called “home”, without touching on the politico-economic issues of the Global North and the emerging Global South.

Here’s a snippet, with the rest at the link: http://www.fallingoffthehemisphere.com/2013/09/uruguay-feels-like-home/

When you come to Uruguay, it seems foreign. More so than the busy place from which you arrive here.

Deco/Fascist Progress-style mural of naked man and woman forging the tools and edifices of "Modern Civilization"

Welcome to Colonia and Glorious Uruguayan Progress, Compañeros!

Most English-speaking visitors get their first taste of my new country from a day-trip by ferry out of Buenos Aires, that chaotic, dirty, noisy, uproarious, wonderfully gigantic capital of tango and drama.

As such, the quiet cobblestone streets, the Portuguese colonization ruins, even the Deco-like naked female muse of a mural on the main street of the new part of Colonia del Sacramento, feel like stepping into “the real South America”, some gringo daydream of “the other”. The pervasive smell of the wood fires, from richly pungent woods like eucalyptus and “leña colorada”, burning year-round for both cooking and heating, making it “smell like Uruguay”, as a uruguaya friend of my family once said.

But that’s judging the USA by Plimouth Plantation or Colonial Williamsburg, sans period-costume actors doing “recreations”…

Continue reading at FallingOffTheHemisphere.com.

Montevideo, Revisited

The Pocitos neighborhood of Montevideo evokes memories of the days when I believed that I could never leave New York City. Although I love the energy, and the endless availability of “stuff,” at the end of the day, I was happy to return to the peace and quiet of Atlantida. On the other hand, if you crave the action of a big city, but on a much smaller scale, the Pocitos is a perfect choice.

Read about the sights, the cafes, the shops and the architecture here:

Our Day In Pocitos

View of Pocitos Beach
View From a Pocitos Rambla Apartment

Pics of the Day

Rarely a day goes by in Uruguay where I don’t see one of those things that make you say “hmmm!” Today, when Whistler and I ventured out on our afternoon walk, we came upon a family who were obviously planning to move to a different location. Check out their “moving van”

Moving, Atlantida Style!

As we continued to wander around the neighborhood, we reached the circumference of the Atlantida Zoo.  As usual, I walked to the gate to pay a sneak visit to the goats, and lo behold, this is what I saw:

A Goat and a Rooster Having a Kumbaya Moment

The rooster was sort of moving back and forth on the goat’s back. Oddly, the goat was not complaining!