Day 1, Montevideo, Uruguay
I arrived super early after a LONG day of layovers and flights. Ugh. I always think that South America isn't that far, but it is! It took us almost 24 hours to get from JFK to El Chalten in Argentina a few years ago!
I'm staying in the slightly sketchier Ciudad Vieja area of Montevideo. I did pass a lot of VERY nice and large and modern beachfront houses along the Rambla overlooking the Atlantic. It seemed quite posh in areas. This area, not so much so I'm wondering if maybe I pay more to move to a more secure-feeling spot (my door lock is also broken so I can't lock my room when I go out and the front door latch is not quite secured to the door fully [although the lock is separate from the handle]). I think Espacio Serratosa also has lockers so if I feel that the space is secure enough, I could lock up my computers there and stay in this spot. I'll see how I feel in a day or two.
And it's funny, I'm finding that Latin America AirBnB listings are far messier than they look in photos. Sometimes they are quite accurate, like in SEA. Here, not so much. I attribute it to these dudes opening their homes to strangers since dudes are not known for their cleanliness. Otherwise it's a large and peaceful space with a hot shower, a kitchen that I can use to prepare meals because it's actually quite a bit more expensive here than Nicaragua. So I made some pasta and vegetable meals for myself, but I may get tired of cooking for myself and just do oatmeal breakfast at home then a cheap sandwich for lunch and a better dinner. I'll sort out a rhythm for myself soon enough.
I also walked around a little bit today. Montevideo is DEAD on a Sunday because most businesses are closed. Managua also felt a bit dead during the day but people came out during the night. So it's partly a function of culture and schedule. Here in Uruguay, they tend not to start early. In fact, the earliest Crossfit workout on schedule is at 7:00 am! At least there's a 2-hour difference so even if I get a "late" start to my day, the regular day on EST hasn't started.
I also noticed that people in Nicaragua are WAY nicer than people in Uruguay. I blame it on proximity to Argentina because Argentineans do have a reputation for being...not so nice. I bet it bleeds over to here. I have gotten a LOT of hard stares for the tattoos, which is similar to how people stared at me in Argentina. Yay, fun. And less people are willing to say hello or smile in my general direction. It's a hard stare. A flat stare. Or serious side eye to look at my tattoos. If you're going to judge me, don't throw shade. I appreciate it more when people ask me straight up what the deal is with the tattoos, like my cab drivers in Nicaragua.
Anyway, I am looking forward to getting back on schedule tomorrow. I'll be starting my Monday through Friday working at Espacio Serratosa. Excited to be surrounded by other professionals! Give me more work! :)