Friday, August 31, 2007

Uruguay vs. The States this is not about olympic b-ball qualifiers. this is the aforementioned promise to follow up with my thoughts regarding the differences between the US and our adopted home Uruguay.

it had been a year since I'd left South America, so I'd forgotten a lot of things that I like (and that annoy me) about the states.

We flew Delta which meant that we flew through Altanta...We arrived around 6 a.m. and had a layover of about an hour and a half to fly back to the Left Coast.


Everyone speaks English! While this is convenient for getting around, you have to put up with listening to people speak English! (UGh!) I've become accustomed to sitting in crowds or restaurants and being able to just tune out Spanish conversations, since listening actively is the only way I can understand conversational Spanish. It just turns into pleasant background noise. At the gate I had to listen to some woman talk about her real estate speculative prowess (think shoe shine boy with stock tips) and how her husband and her were going to clean up on some upgrades they were doing to a second home. If I wasn't so tired, I think fuBarrio would have gone off on a rant.

Everyone is FAT! ugh. Husbands and wives were HORFing down bags full of fast food (the choices were amazing IN the airport) as they waited for the airplane at the gate. They were doing this STANDING. That is just something you'd never see in Uruguay. Some kids got onto the tram with some kind of *crazy* sweet smellin waffle cone the struck some sort of 1970's carnival memory in my head. Again, this was at 6 a.m.

Once we got on the plane to PDX, it was like we'd stepped into the future! My coach seat had TV on demand (live CNBC), good cheese in the snack box, and "CDs on demand" (a bunch of'em)instead of really bad commercial free radio the planes used to have. I listened to Christina Aguilera's "newish" CD and skipped over songs I didn't like.

When we got to PDX everything was slick and clean and "modern". Kids were browsing in a "mobile electronics/entertainment kiosk" (in the airport on the "inside" of security). We walked across the skybridge to the multi-level parking lot covered by a huge glass roof to let light in and keep us from havin to deal with any rain that might fall. We were driven from the airport in a Lexus SUV.

Now, what I've described is just the first few hours. We hadn't even left the airport at this point, but the trip was basically more of the same:

  • Many more choices of products/food/entertainment/ways to spend your money
  • Much more convenient (part of this is the lack of language barrier obviously)
  • More expensive (with the exception of gasoline, electronics, skin care, nuts, ethnic foods, some clothes, and a fender statocaster :) )

ciao for now,


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