Sunday, September 24, 2006

Happy Birthday From Uruguay

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One year ago I decided I should start a blog about my country, Uruguay, in an intent to combat the Uru..what? responses uruguayans get all over the world when they share their origin.

I had recently arrived after months of living abroad and travelling in "first world" countries, and I had the strange feeling that for the first time I was watching my country with the eyes of a tourist. Everything long known seemed new. Characters, customs, and things that for me were global I realized that they are not, and viceversa aspects I had thought to be typical are global in nature. I guess the idea, was to share this re discovering of my own country.

After some months tali joined the team, as another traveller returning to the country, with a similar desire to tell the world a bit about things around here.

The blog had an unexpected response from people all over the world, we've been contacted from places as far as India, Finland, Switzerland, USA, and Japan, because of this blog, and even met some of them personally.

Thank you for all of your comments and emails, they fueled our motivation to carry on with this idea, and excuse us if we are not as frequent as you'd like us to be :)

By the way, if you have any request, about a subject you'd like to read more about Uruguay, please add a comment with your request.
...

37 comments:

gauchaguapa@gmail.com said...

Gabo, my husband and I are very grateful for your blog and have learned much about Uruguayan culture because of your postings. We have passed on your blog info to friends and also put a link from our blog at www.adventureathand.blogspot.com. I did receive your email serveral weeks ago about the spanish tutor. Thank you for the information. We would like to meet you when you have time in your schedule! Drop us a line at our blog and we will coordinate something soon.

Anonymous said...

The thing I like best about this brilliant blog is hearing about daily life in Uruguay. Tell us more - what time do you get up? What do you have for breakfast? What do you - and other people - do after work?

Keep up the good work,

Wembley

pierdolapaciencia said...

Gabo, luego de un año de continuo esfuerzo te felicito! Desde que descubri este blog (por casualidad) lo miraba de vez en cuando y cada vez con m{as frecuencia. Los temas están re-interesantes y me mantienen un poco al tanto de la realidad (a veces los titulares de los diarios no son suficientes). Como encontrás tiempo para escribir todo lo que escribis, y en inglés, es aún mas sorprendente. Yo me hice un blog, luego otro (en español) y ya no lo actualizo demasiado...

El artículo de ENCE yendose del país esta muy bueno, y el artículo anexado por el anónimo argentino muy interesante.

Gran nivel de comunicación. Pero tu estás en IT, no?

En diez días harán dos años que estoy en Japón. El año pasado fui a Uruguay en noviembre, y este año voy en diciembre para las fiestas. Luego de dos años lejos de todo en Uruguay, me siento mas como una ciudadana del mundo que como una uruguaya mas. Es más, cuando me proyecto yendo a Uruguay, me siento perdida en una realidad pasada y no lejana, pero ahora distante..., loco.

Al respecto de la cuarentena, mejor. Pero no se si quedó claro que fue un bicho que me picó en Japón, al día siguiente de haber regresado...
Terrible alergia me dió! >_<

cec.

Syd Blackwell said...

Congratulations on your anniversary. My wife and I are coming to Uruguay in early November. We have to see this country we've been reading about for some time now. We are planning on moving to Uruguay when we can sell our businesses. In the meantime, your blog is very informative and we really enjoy your perspective of a wandering Uruguayan returning home. We want to wander down to your home too. In the meantime our brief visit in November will whet our appetite for more.

snowykarma said...

congats from a canadian. thanks for your efforts. i check it almost daily. love your coverage of holidays and customs,as your cost of living. Hope to visit montivideo this winter(your summer) just remember those things you wanted to know about when you were living abroad and try to include them in relation to your own country no that you

Anonymous said...

Hi Gabo,

you 've forgotten Hungary:) It's a great blog, I like it, because it's directly from Montevideo, so the information is from first hand, and it's in english, so I can understand...

What I would like to read more, eh... for example about the economical situation, about crime (I've heard from my girlfriends mother in MV, it's getting worse and worse, really?), about football, about how the young people are looking their future there, chances, and mostly about the everyday life, why do you like living there...

Thanks, keep on writing! Here in Eastern Europe the life is quite different, but - on the other hand - it's getting more and more similar everywhere I think. If you're interested, next time I'll write more about it...

Cheers,

Balázs, Budapest, Hungary

vinilica said...

linda idea, saludos.

cecitazzz said...

uruwhat? paraguay? more like.
ya pasé hace tiempo como anónima, pero ahora que ingresé en este mundo, ya no como observadora sino como participante, lo vuelvo a visitar.

feliz cumpleaños.

Anonymous said...

It's a wonderful blog. I check it regularly because it is so informative. I will be visiting in early March (i want to avoid the beach crowds). What will the water temperature be around then, still okay to swim? Also, will you tell me if there are any natural food stores in Uruguay? I am a vegetarian and would like to be able to get soymilk and whole grains. Thanks for your good work.
wendy

GauchaGuapa said...

Hello Wendy,
I saw your post about searching for whole grains and soy milk. I have found brown rice in the stores and many lentils, beans, and legumes. There are some delis that sell wonderful whole wheat bread full of sunflower seeds, flax, and walnuts. Soy milk I have not seen. However, I have seen dried soy protein. (It is at the same deli that sells the delicious whole grain bread. The next time I drop in I will write down the name and address) Dried fruit and nuts are comparatively expensive. If you are accustomed to snacking on these yummy treats I would bring a supply with you. As you know Uruguay is famous for its Parillas, or BBQS of grilled meats. Luckily, most offer grilled squash, red bell peppers, corn, and other veggies along with baked potatoes. Delicious! Salads are common at most dining places, and are very diverse. Lettuce or arugula, fresh carrots, tomatoes, beets, cucumber, olives, and cheeses make up the salads on the menus. I have seen a restaurant called "La Vegetariana" here in the city, but I have not entered. I figure that Uruguyans excel on the grill, and with pizza and pasta. When I need some leafy greens, I cook them at home! Hope that helps,
GG

Horazio said...

Can I join the team ?! I have an idea : we could make a funny list of the questions we get about Uruguay and Uruguayans when abroad,I have tons of funny examples...

"Do you eat hot-spicy food over there?"

"It's always sunny in Uruguay,ain't it..."

And so on...

gabo_uy said...

horazio,

That's a good one, we should have to define levels of dumbness, since the questions range from: "Uruguay...Africa, right?", which is understandable...in a way (I'm no geography encyclopedia myself), to more worrying ones, like: "Uruguay, you guys have electricity, right?"

The funniest I've been asked was:

"Uruguay, right below Ukraine, right?"

and to a friend while in france:

"Uruguay, you came here by train, didn't you?"

G.se said...

another one in Germany..."so..can't you go from Uruguay to Mexico by bus?"

El Torero said...

Hey guys,

Why not stick to sharing the best of Uruguay, as you have in all of your other posts?

Some of the last comments, while maybe funny to some, don't really resemble the friendly, helpful, and sincere attitude that I have encountered from almost all Uruguayans I have met here in Uruguay and abroad.

ps. g.se, You can get from Uruguay to Mexico by car. Follow the Pan-American highway that runs from Tierra del Fuego in Argentina's far south all the way to Alaska. Uruguay's world famous Rambla is part of that highway. Some parts are not as beautiful or as well maintained, but it is possible.

GauchaGuapa said...

I have to agree with El Torero. Furthermore, I do not think any questions on the blog about Uruguay are stupid or unwarranted. To me it seems obvious that people would have doubts, concerns, questions, and even assumptions about places they have never experienced.

Anonymous said...

thanks GauchaGuapa,
i really appreciate your helpful comments. someone told me that the health food stores in bueonos aires are called dietica. is it the same in uruguay? are there quite a few of them or can i get these yummy foods you mentioned in any grocery stores. also, do you know where i can look to find the average temperature of uruguay's ocean for march? i want to go swimming in your beautiful waters and want to make sure i am not going to arriving at a bad time for that. thanks for any info.
wendy

Anonymous said...

Hi everyone,

To el torero, thank you for your feedback, I meant no harm with my previous comment. The subject you touch is an interesting one, and I'd like to add a few words.

The previous remarks maybe funny to some, and maybe uncomfortable or unfriendly to others but I think they give a glimpse of the type comments uruguayans get abroad, and in a small way speak about what feels to come from uruguay. I like to think that the appeal of this blog is not only to show good stuff about uruguay, but also not so good, and to do so from the perspective of natives.

I sometimes ponder about whether the blog should stick to showing only the best about Uruguay as you propose. Sometimes I feel that it's like showing only the bright side of the moon, and it just doesn't feel right in a way. If I haven't provided more coverage on negative things, like poverty, and increasing violence, is only because is harder for me to do so, but I like to think that I will.

To Gauchaguapa, I totally agree with you, questions are definitely welcomed, I try to encourage questions, I like answering them if I know the answer, (which I don't always do). Those were just tragicomic quotes, that correspond to ignorance or stereotypes we face abroad, like Uruguay being tropical. If such type of questions arise they will be answered, no problem.

To Wembley, who enquires about everyday life, I've been thinking about maybe videoblogging it, for now it's just an idea, but four minutes videos maybe easy and fun to do, we'll see.

Thanks everyone for the comments, the last question Balzas made got stuck in my head, why I like living here? I'm still trying to figure out the answer, and I find it difficult to put it into words besides, the obvious, family and friends, maybe the answer becomes a post some day.

BTW I didn't quite get the comment of g.se myself.

thanks everyone,

PS:We do get also: ahh you come from...u-r-a-gay :p

socalledchaos-XL said...

Happy B-Day & thank you for your interesting blog!

I really like it and i enjoyed the reading of all your entries.

Inspired from your blog, i will start a simular project to (about my country).

greetings from gumpoldskirchen,
austria

dorian64 said...

Hola, me parece bien lo del blog.
Soy un uruguayo que hace 3 años y medio que vive en Londres y voy a regresar dentro de uno o dos meses.
Me gustaria que al regreso nos conocieramos y asi podamos compartir experiencias y generar ideas.
Decime como me puedo contactar contigo, tu direccion de e-mail, cual es.
Saludos,
Dorian

Rafael said...

Fantastic!

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