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Monday, 29 February 2016

Pictures from Uruguay: Culture, Explosive Gas, and Cats in a Fix

So, I've been busy working on some journalism, and on the slowly-developing review of Castle Gargantua. So today we get some pictures from Uruguay!

Here's a theater a couple of blocks from my house:

Montevideo is a city just full of art and cultural material, especially compared to what you might be used to in North America. There's tons of theaters, museums, concert halls, and other spaces of the sort.  And they aren't just one in one area, they're quite dispersed all over in various neighborhoods, so people have some kind of cultural locale close to where they live.  I'll also note that all the museums are free, which is a big plus for tourists (and concerts or plays are usually very inexpensive by 1st world standards).

Here's a couple of other houses I just found interesting:

Note the red truck in this first one: it's carrying several 13kg canisters of natural gas.  Most houses (except for some of the very fancy apartment buildings) still take care of their gas needs this way.  They deliver it to your house, take the empty canister, and plug the new one into your gas stove or gas heater.  For me, one of these lasts about 3-4 months (and currently costs about $16).  Some expats feel very nervous about these at first, both in their house and also on the streets when they see one of these delivery vehicles!

And here's a house with some impressive foliage.

It's not uncommon, at least in this neighborhood, to see houses with really bright paint jobs.  I suspect this style came to Montevideo originally in the 19th century from the former or escaped slaves who settled here after leaving or fleeing Brazil (Uruguay abolished slavery quite early, in 1842, while Brazil was one of the last western nations to abolish it, in 1888).  Even though Uruguay is today thought of as having one of the most predominantly white-skinned populations in South America, in fact about 9% of the population are Afro-Uruguayans, and almost all of them live in Montevideo (making up something like 15% of the city population).

Finally, a cat causing quite a mess getting her head stuck in a box:


Currently Smoking: Lorenzetti Solitario Horn + Gawith's Balkan Flake

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