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Saturday, February 18, 2006

un assado

assado means barbecue and it´s the most popular thing to do here. my dad has a couple of friends he went to architecture school with 50 years ago - who are now retired - they have a house here on top of a hill by the beach. they´re a married couple and they both met at arch. school. they invited other old friends from university including the man - another former classmate - who introduced my dad to my mom when they went on a school trip to egypt. he´s the reason i´m here! i've been to this couple's house before, last time i was here but i couldn't remember it. they have the most beatiful view i´ve ever seen. by 3pm it was starting to get cloudy, and i didn´t really need the bathing that i brought with me because we were planning on going down to the beach. it was getting really windy. they live 20 mins away from piriapolis in a place called punta coronada and the beach there is called rio brava and there´s bigger waves there with surfers. they have a huge patio with an outdoor chimney where they had assado. we were 10 people but there was enough meat to feed 50! you feel like such a freak here being a vegetarian. i think i might be the only vegetarian in uruguay right now! it´s not very common. everyone kept wanting me to eat meat yesterday. they said that the animals are well kept. they´re not in cages. they´re out in the wild and that´s why it tastes so good.
this couple now grow mushrooms and sell them to restaurants and grocery stores all over uruguay. they drove us to the place where they make it. the mushrooms look like shitake but they´re white. i don´t remember what they´re calledbut i haven´t heard of them before. i tasted it yesterday and it doesn´t taste like anything. it´s not grown in the earth. they put hay and they boil it in water in these tanks. then they put the hay in plastic bags with holes in it and they hang them. the mushrooms grow out of the holes. they have a couple of guys looking after them. these guys live in a house next to the mushroom making place and they were making tortas fritas. tortas fritas means fried cakes and it´s a very common snack/desert here in uruguay. it´s round and flat and it´s made from flour and water. you deep fry it and sprinkle it with sugar. they were making tortas fritas outside to sell at the beach. i tasted it for the first time and i didn´t think it was anything great. i didn´t have it with sugar. it´s not healthy anyway. they really love anything with sprinkled sugar here. you can´t even find plain croissants. they have to have sugar on top!
i met a woman yesterday who´s friends with this couple and she bought a condo in punta del esta right after the argentinian crash in 2001. she bought it in 2002 for $65k and told us to come and see her when we come to punta del esta next week. she said there´s a summer sale at all the shops there. we were going to go anyway but i wasn´t planning on doing any shopping. everything is so expensive there. last week they had a party for the opening of the louis vuitton store and naomi campbell was there. i read somewhere that she owns a place there. it´s 45 mins by bus from piriapolis so i might end up going there a couple of times. maybe once for the beach and another time for shopping.  i think i need a new bathing suit. mine is 10 years old and after seeing the women in their brazilian bikinis at punta del este, i´ll feel so out of place.
i think the supermarket here is where all the action is. there´s a chain of supermarkets from uruguay called devoto and there´s a couple of them in piriapolis. i went there a couple of days ago, and the place is filled with cute, tanned, shirtless uruguayan guys. lots of women in their bikini tops too.
i´ve been sleeping so well here. for the first time i don´t hear the sound of traffic in the morning. the beach is making me really tired too. it was cloudy earlier today but now the sun is out and i´ll be going to the beach after 5pm. that´s the safest time to go. or before noon.
i´m so glad i´m not in buenos aires right now. on the news they said it was 36 degrees yesterday! and there´s never any breeze there like there is here. they´re not close to the ocean.
it´s my dad´s birthday today and we bought a hazelnut cake. i should go and see if my cousin and her husband arrived from montevideo. i´m at a locutorio right now. a locutorio is a place people go to make long distance calls and they all have computers to get on the internet. even people who have phones in their homes go out to make long distance calls. i don´t really understand this yet. it´s just like in the old movies when they go to a special place and get into an old wooden booth to make a call because not everyone had phones yet.
i saw a few jelly fish at the beach a few days ago. people were picking them from inside the water and throwing them on the sand. they´re huge! and look like jello with legs. they´re not very nice looking creatures.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

And jellyfish aren't really pleasant to get stung by :(

-Ryan @ work

8:13 AM  

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