Saturday, September 09, 2006

Anti-Apple Pie-ism in Montevideo

Although it's not rampant, for those first time visitors, you may notice a bit of pride in the Latin American identity coming out when you first arrive.

While in the past, this was limited to wearing funny looking cowboy hats when riding horses, and engaging in sultry dancing, it seems to be bleeding over into some other traditional Latin American activities:


While I don't feel threatened directly, Uruguay's pendulum has swung back to the "left" in recent years.

Chavez's cheap oil, Castro's recent illness, and what seems to be some pretty well organized political machine has completed what the US govt's follies in Latin America and *elsewhere* couldn't accomplish on their own.

I've seen lots of graffiti on the walls, luckily seemingly all authored by the same person that basically says, "yankee go home".

In addition, while hanging out in "old town" an organized march (few hundred?) strong came down the street chanting uninteligibly and carrying signs that read "down with Bush's genocidal war" (in spanish obviously).

While not really threatened, I decided not to tempt the restraint of a mob and fotojournalize since i was there with GL, and stuck out like a sore thumb and hailed a cab and leave.

That said, one on one and in small groups (all my other dealings), the Uruguayan people seem genuinely warm and gracious, eager to help--if not always capable due to language difficulties, and not into disturbing the tranquility of others the way some other locations south of the border seem to be. All in all, really good people so far.

I've never received a sideways glance when ohers find out we are American. So maybe they are capable of separating policies they disagree with with people that live with those same said policies....I dunno.

Interestingly, I feel a lot more threatened in some areas in the US due to the strong racial and socio-economic divides that we have....including both my last "hometown", and the town I grew up in. I'll dig up some "safety" stats to back up my "feelings" on this topic in a later post, for those interested/worried about safety in Latin America and Montevideo in particular.

ciao for now.

No comments: