Saturday, November 24, 2007

Punta Carretas

Punta Carretas is the neighborhood that Golden Lotus and fuBarrio call home. Golden Lotus shot these fotos the other day on a walk to the grocery store.

Golden Lotus seems to be a lot more talented at taking pictures than fuBarrio....must be the opposible thumb ....or the eyes without cataracts...

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Yellow Lab Puppy

It should be obvious to all by now that Golden Lotus has a soft spot for canines.

After all, she has managed to overlook fubarrio's generally disagreeable temperment and unsettling appearance for all these years.

Let's just say that, unfortunately, fuBarrio is facing his most serious challenge yet to his alpha-dog supremecy....."Midori". Two months old.


Sunday, November 11, 2007

Our Accomodations in Brasil - Lexus Ingleses

Here is where we stayed.....I didn't really know anything about if before we got there. It was setup by a travel agent. I guess they aren't too strict on trademark infringement in Brasil yet.

The room included breakfast and dinner. 5 days, four nights, flights from mvd and 50 minute trip to hotel from a/p and back ran about $1000 including taxes and airport charges (ugh)....of course the visas were another $340 -- remember get your brasilian visas up north. they gouge here in montevideo.

The restaurant was ok....the outdoor pool a little lame....the indoor pool looked cloudy/filthy. the location on the beach was awesome, water still a little chilly this far south this time of was amazing most days....the rooms were "adequate", but not high-end. They seemed like they were outfitted to make it easier to clean the sand out that that guests invariably track in. Each room was actually a suite, and also had a little fridge, plates dishes, cups, silverware, pots/pans and a "hotplate" of sorts for cooking in the rooms.

While the hotel overall wasn't bad, the name "Lexus Ingleses" made me laugh, and I told Golden Lotus that it was more like the "Hyundai Ingleses" :)

That said, of course, it was markedly better looking that this thing down the beach from us.....get a load of the name on the matching boat out front.....fitting since this paintjob is a total nightmare.

Fishermen In Brasil

Some Brasilians Cleaning out their nets on an overcast morning after fishing in Praia Inglesis, Florianopolis, SE Brasil. The seagulls are circling around waiting for the droppings...

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Florianopolis, Brasil

after almost a year and a half of talking about it, golden lotus and i finally went to brasil for a short (5 day) trip.

the country is huge, and we didn't see much of even the town we visited, but i'll give you some general impressions here and follow it up with some pictures in a later post:

It's a cool place.

They have a lot more diversity there than uruguay -- even in the whitewashed south east corner that we visited. some (especially uruguayos) may disparage it, but it was a welcome change for me.

it's a lot more of a car culture. i think the taxes are lower on cars. the roads are big. lots of malls with big parkings lots. looked a lot more like the US than either argentina or uruguay -- closer to chile. btw, i noticed that gasoline was 2.50 reales, and ethanol was 1.50 reales per litre (sugar based)

the dollar's shellacking has hurt "affordability" for expats. it's still cheap-ish but the real has gone from about 3 to the dollar to 1.75 (ouch) -- i guess that's what energy independence and subsequently not being forced to secure supplies in the desert will get you. amazing, since these guys are notorious for destroying currencies.

weather in SE part was awesome. this would be the "colder" part of the country

although i'm sure there is crime there, it is NOTHING like advertised from what i saw (again in SE part only). saw no crime, or signs of it. saw people walking around with valuable watches/jewlery in not that great of neighborhoods. i was very concerned about security after talkin to people about rio and sao paulo, but again, it's a big country with lots of texture i guess.

portuguese, while relatively understandable for spanish readers (while in written form) is pretty hard to follow with only 5 days of exposure! :) i got by with a little bit of hacky portuguese (VERY little) and spanish most of the time. lots of people will understand your spanish and then talk back to you in portuguese :) good luck. i've been told speaking spanish loudly with a gringo accent is bad form in sketchier areas as it can make you an easy target of tourist crime.

the people --

almost *anyone* could look like a potential brazilian -- we even saw asians.

now, all my single guy friends will want to know about the women. i've *heard* that the NORTH is where all the beautiful women are. again, we were in the south.

golden lotus and i talked about this and concluded that people in the south (for the most part) looked very average -- with women wearning tighter clothes and heels (not very typical in Uruguay).

however, the "looks" didn't follow a normal bell curve distribution. there were a bunch of average people but a disproportionately larger number of women that were very well "taken care of" -- outliers if you will....only there were too many to account for them all as outliers.

i assume that the guys followed the same pattern but golden lotus was kind and said that she only had eyes for her balding spotted dog! :)

I'll follow up with some pics once i download them from the camera.