Here Comes Carnival…In Montevideo

The festivities where scheduled to begin last night for one of (if not the) longest Carnival celebrations in the world.  But something(one) upstairs was not ready to start; hence the strongest downpour of rain that I have seen here in the past 3 months arrived…along with the strongest wind. But don’t fret, these Montevideans are not giving up and have scheduled to start the parade on Sunday – when the forecast says...

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80s Tunes in Uruguay

I’m sitting in a small restaurant in an even smaller beach village on the east coast of Uruguay.  I’m completely unconnected to the outside world (i.e. I had no internet connection and the mobile phone service was not too strong) and loving it. Then the music starts up.  It isn’t an Uruguayan or Argentine band. It’s the Stone Temple Pilots. Then follows a string of about ten 80s songs, including Queen, among...

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The Samba of Rio de Janeiro

I never became an extraordinary samba dancer in my week’s trip to the city.  I tried three times, moved the feet, and acted like I knew what I was doing – but I didn’t.  I still don’t understand the steps of the quick samba. But I do understand the vibe and rhythm of the music’s energy.  The samba scene is full of smiles, carefreeness, and unity.  Look around a samba bar and you are likely to find a...

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January´s River, Brazil

There is no river here from what I can find, but still Rio de Janeiro goes by the name.  It´s a huge bay with a lot of action coming in and out of its ports.  But clearly that is not why I came here for a week (from Montevideo, Uruguay) – to get a glimpse of the culture was the goal.  And in this goal, dance always has to be experienced…for me at least. Enter last night in the center of town.  Walking into the spacious...

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Punta del Este, Uruguay

I have been hearing about this beach town since I arrived here in Montevideo.  From everything I heard, it sounded like a Miami in Uruguay.  I had to go, clearly. 2 hours outside of Montevideo rests the town of Punta del Este.  During the months of January and February the place is packed with people – a lot of Brazilians and Argentines.  People here have some money – some dock their mansion-boats, others drive around in...

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Mercado del Puerto and Feliz Año

A lot of my friends headed for the beaches of Punta del Este or Rocha for Uruguay’s New Year times.  But I had heard of the spectacle here in town.  From everything I heard, on the day of the 31st the Mercado del Puerto sounded like a soggy version of Marti Gras in New Orleans. I say soggy because the whole day involved people pouring, throwing, or spraying each other with a 4% alcohol apple cider drink.  It was nothing short of...

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And the Ringing Continues

It was New Year time, and there was no other place I was looking to be than in Montevideo.  And more specifically at the Mercado del Puerto area in Ciudad Vieja.  Everything that I heard about the day of the 31st (yes, the celebrations start at noon in the daytime) led me to believe that I would be experiencing my second Marti Gras-like experience.  I wasn’t let down. The day started out innocently enough, but then the first...

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My Ears Are Still Ringing – Montevideo, Uruguay

So the festivities are all done here in Uruguay.  And these people thoroughly enjoy their chance to let loose – specifically letting loose of their fireworks.  If I were magically transported to Uruguay on Christmas Eve without knowing where I had been placed, had no sense of time of the year, and the people around me were speaking American English, I would believe that I was at a July 4th party somewhere in the States.  At 12...

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My Mexico

For some people, Mexico signifies a land of poor people, of desperation, of dirtiness, and of corruption. For others it conjures visions of spring break fiestas or bachelor(ette) party sessions on pristine beaches in a resort town. And for yet others, Mexico is a combination of these memories. I live an hour away from the disheveled border town of Tijuana. In the four years preceding age 21, I sporadically crossed the country line to...

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Dancing with the Stars

I haven’t been able to watch much television here in Uruguay, but of the programs I have seen, their version (actually Argentina’s version but it is widely viewed here as well) of Dancing with the Stars is by far the most memorable.  For a couple of reasons: 1) Not only is it on every night, but there are a few shows in the following day that go over the previous night’s results.  Seriously. 2) What they lack in...

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