Monday, September 1, 2008

The AmeriKorean Couple in Colonial Uruguay

As I mentioned at the end of my last post, when we left Buenos Aires, our bags were HEAVY. That was our first adaptation to losing our boys (they had carried several things previously). Our second adaptation was that it was no longer very cost effective to take taxis with only two people, so we walked. Our third adaptation was that we were missing Gyu´s alarm clock, which meant we woke up late, which meant instead of walking, we powerwalked with our heavy bags and arms full of plastic bags holding extra stuff.

Eventually, we found our dock on the Rio Uruguay and were prepared for a small boat full of sweaty tourist (that had been our previous experience). We went through Uruguayan customs and walked down a hallway and into a huge lounge filled with lounge chairs, pianos, bars, a cafe, etc. Since our boat was scheduled to leave in five minutes, I walked briskly to an official looking person and asked them where to find the boat to Uruguay. They just started laughing and said, ¨Esto ES el barco!¨(this IS the ship). I was impressed. So was JooYeon who now had the space to properly do some yoga and relieve her back muscles that had tensed from carrying the heavy load...

It was a very luxurious 3 hour river crossing, filled with live entertainment and a good nap, that carried us to Colonia de Sacremento, Uruguay, a small town of 20,000 which still has a very colonial feel to it. Several of the streets are cobblestone and are filled with creative little craft shops (Mom, you´d love it!)

Uruguay was a country I didn´t know much about before coming. As it turns out, it´s a very cowboyish country filled with even more steaks and mate than Argentina. Stereotypically, the people are the most laidback in South America, in stark contrast to their flashy and outgoing Argentian neighbors. We found this to be fairly true, although they were just as friendly once we initiated conversations with anyone. Kind of like the Argentinians are the friendly extroverts and the Uruguayans are the friendly introverts. The owner of our hostel (which was really just a huge restored colonial homestead) was particularly hospitable and even shared some avocados which fell from the tree outside our window as well as part of the Sunday family asado (steak roast) with us...

Once JooYeon figured out how to work a colonial flush, got her nap by the riverside, and had a cup of coffee in a colorful cafe, she was quite affirmative about Uruguay :)

At the moment, our big goal is to find an apartment to rent for a month, either in Argentina or Uruguay, while we settle down for a bit and do some translating, serious cooking, and whatever else we end up getting into. It´s quite fun to look through all kinds of classifieds and talk to agents, even though 75% of the places aren´t even available to us since we´re foreign shortterm renters. But before that will come a trip to the capital of Uruguay... can you name it? See if you can guess it before we reveal it in our next blog...


  1. All right mom! You win the prize - a free unlimited refills serving of mate when I get home!

  2. i'm not there but my soul will stay there -kiwi

  3. Sounds like you´re the buddha now Kiwi! Hope all is going well back in Hanguk!