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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

back to school time

i didn´t think we were going to make it back to montevideo last night. at 6pm all 5 buses were full! we should have bought the tickets in advance but we didn´t think it would be so busy. the buses are like greyhound`s and they had 5 going every hour. everyone was leaving piriapolis at the same time. we`re getting closer to the fall and all the kids are going back to school on the 6th. piriapolis stops getting busy at this time. we found tickets but we had to wait for the 8pm bus. my dad`s friend was with us to say goodbye. he lives in piriaolonia. colonia is 2 hours away from montevideo and it`s also on the coast. it`s where we had to go to take the ferry to buenos aires. the drive from here to colonia is really nice. my dad designed a shoe store for his friend in the 60´s. he emigrated from northern italy when he was 18, after ww2. he went back to live there for a year in the 90´s but he moved back because the town he comes didn`t feel the same anymore. he felt there was more a community feeling with the people in the neighborhood and now people just stick to themselves and they´re more distant. not like it is in montevideo where people are so warm and friendly and strangers make you feel like you´re part of their family.

i tried getting on the internet yesterday but everything`s closed for the carnival. yesterday and the day before were stat holidays. we missed the parade last night in piriapolis.

i had a hard time sleeping last night with all the cars and the murga bands playing outside. i had the window open slightly and i think tonight it`s going to stay closed. i feel like i`m sleeping on the sidewalk but i´m on the 6th floor and this is a busy street for traffic. i`ve been so used to the quiet surroundings of a small town with the beach across the street.

i found out yesterday that my surname means engraver in arabic. my grandfather`s grandfather was an engraver and back then they gave themselves their own last names and it had to go with their occupation.

i just got back from 18 de julio and a lot of clothing stores are displaying school uniforms. all students have to wear uniforms even if they`re going to public schools. and my dad said that the uniforms they`re wearing now are the same ones that that were worn when he went to school! they look very old fashionned! for girls it`s a white dress with a black bow around the collar. i have to take a picture of it!

i`m getting my hair cut in a few hours. i wasn´t planning on getting it cut here. i was going to wait a few more months, let it grow, then get it cut in vancouver. but my aunt knows a good hairdresser and she only charges $80 pesos. that`s less than $4 and since i`m starting to get bored of my hairstyle, i`m going for it. my mom says she`s good too and she can do modern cuts. she went with my aunt when she got it cut just before i arrived. she wanted to look good for me! i trust my mom`s taste so hopefully it`s going to turn out nice. i`m going for a wispy 60`s diana ross look with short bangs.

i had the most delicious falafels yesterday at an armenian restaurant in piriapolis. my parents and my aunt know the owner. i think all armenians are connected in some way here. my aunt never tasted a falafel before and i asked my dad`s friend and he`s never even heard of a falafel. they don´t make falafels anywhere in montevideo, but you can find steak and fries on every corner.

we ended up going to that picasso restaurant again in piriapolis. the one in the house. the best restaurant there is there. i had 2 huge cannelonis made from crepes - not pasta - and stuffed with spinach with a creme and tomato sauce on top. it`s worth travelling all the way to uruguay for that restaurant! it´s such a great atmosphere too. the owner, carlito, talks to everyone while he`s cooking. he said to someone else at a table: look there´s people from canada here who say this is the best corvina they´ve had! i noticed a man looking at us from another table. i had a feeling he was trying to hear what my parents and aunt were saying. they combine spanish and armenian and he looked like he could have been armenian with his black hair and mustache. when he walked away he said: "pari ahochag" it`s armenian for bon appetit. he didn´t look like he recognized us but my parents found out later he`s someone they know. see, we`re all connected!


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