Emma here, a late return to the blog, a combination of poor wifi and laziness (mostly the latter).
It has been just over 2 weeks since I departed from Tiff, true to form a wept like a baby. The uber driver on the way to Santiago airport consoled me and said:
“Ahora es hoy Emma, mañana no existe” translating roughly to ‘now is today tomorrow doesn’t exist’. Basically just telling me to get a grip and embrace my next adventure.
My first solo stop was to Uruguay to visit my family and friends. Landing in Montevideo and being picked up by my cousin Clara was exactly what I needed. I’d arrived at my second home.
All my family were waiting for me at my grans apartment, the same place as always in Pocitos on La Rambla. Unbeatable views over Rio de la Plata. Due to missing my flight I obviously arrived for dinner rather than lunch. More cakes to keep up my healthy carb diet…
The first night was Noche de la Nostalgia (night of nostalgia) everybody goes out and dances to old school music. Unfortunately I was boring and fell asleep right through for about 14hours. Meanwhile my cousin danced until 7am!!
Once I finally got out of bed, first on the to do list was the hairdressers. According to granny my roots were not acceptable and I had to agree. We spent the whole afternoon there chatting away and treating ourselves like princesses.
The following few days were full of family reunions catching up with friends and washing my clothes! It was so satisfying hanging my clothes up in a wardrobe, I burried my rucksack out of sight.
At the weekend I went to my sports club Carrasco Polo to watch the boys play Rugby against Old Boys in the Quarter finals. The usual amazing atmosphere with hundreds of people in the sidelines. The boys won with 4 tries but unfortunately the points difference wasn’t enough.
Afterwards the girls and I had biscocchos (delicious little pastries) and maté (funny herbal tea drunk in a gourd). A typical Sunday afternoon activity.
Another favourite family pass time is playing cards, particularly a game called ‘rumi canasta’. Everybody in the family thinks their the ultimate champion, so there’s never a dull moment playing.
Every Wednesday (every week without fail!) my close group of friends in Uruguay meet up for dinner at somebodies house. It’s something very special and unique to Uruguay that they always get together. I know no matter when I arrive in Uruguay, on a Wednesday my friends will be waiting for me. This week was at Federicas house, we laughed all evening sharing stories, eating tasty gnocchi and playing dictionary. Which I was obviously hopeless at in Spanish!
Another important task in Uruguay was to try and renew my cedulla (Uruguayan ID card) and get papers sorted to apply for my passport. Needs must in times of bloody Brexit..
All of this wouldn’t have been possible without my auntie Mercedes working tirelessly befriending every soul that could get my papers faster! Luckily after months of documents being sent overseas, birth certificates being translated and hours of queuing Latino time I was officially a Uruguayan/Scottish citizen!
My last day was spent resentfully repacking my rucksack and unloading some gifts of bought along the way…this included a kilnof Colombian coffee I’d been carrying at the bottom of my bag for the last 3months. Nonetheless my bag still looked full and was too heavy for comfort! That evening was another lovely family reunion/goodbye watching Uruguay vs Argentina in the World Cup qualifiers. Like the majority of South America, they’re football fanatics…the whole country comes to a standstill and even more so against ‘Ye auld enemy’ Argentina. We had a great evening of empanadas and beer. The empanadas are baked not fried, much tastier. Beer of choice is Birra Bizarra a Uruguayan beer that are the sponsors of my cousins football team! Craft artesanal beer has had a boom in the last few years in Uruguay, there are lots of new bars everywhere! Particularly in Barrio Pocitos.
Friday morning 5:30am (didn’t miss the taxi this time) I was on the go again. Surprise surprise my destination is back to Colombia!