The Ups and Downs of Day One
Montevideo Travel Blog› entry 1 of 14 › view all entries
By ups and downs, I don't mean the takeoffs and landings of my long flight from San Francisco, through the glorious airport of Miami, to Montevideo. Rather, I mean the emotional ups and downs of day one.
The "up" was sitting next to Luisa on the flight down to Montevideo. She is a young Uruguayan living in the US right now - but was on her way home to Paysandu for the holidays. We chatted during the flight and she gave me tips on places to go and things to do in Uruguay. Unfortunately we would miss each other in Punta del Este. She was planning to drive down with her family on January 2 - the day I was planning to leave.
Now, as for the "down", you might need some background. In case you haven't read my "Europe 2007" blog, that trip was plagued by the theft of my credit card - a major nuisance and setback.
Well, in Montevideo, I hadn't even been there 15 minutes before I lost my ATM card! Upon arriving, I quickly withdrew some cash to pay for the taxi to the hotel - and then hopped in the taxi. Ooops - realized an hour later I had left my ATM card in the damn machine at the airport.
So I had to spend the rest of the day dealing with that crisis - calling the bank to cancel the card and then waiting in a looong line at the bank to get a cash advance on my visa.
By late afternoon I was ready to start exploring the city - other than banks and call centers, that is. Since I was going to be living on credit for a lot of this trip now, I decided to treat myself to a few things.
First, I realized that in packing for this trip, I was in "sabbatical" mode. The clothes I brought were more suitable for hiking in Patagonia than "socializing" in Punta del Este. So I found a clothing store and bought a new pair of jeans and a nice shirt. I should mention here that while trying on the jeans, I sliced my finger open thanks to a portruding staple in the label - I have my tetanus shot - but should anything happen to me (is it lockjaw?), well here's documentation as to what probably happened.
Second, now financially broke and physically injured, I treated myself to a nice big steak dinner. The food was good, but I was already a bit lonely eating alone at a nice restaurant. Oh well, I have to get used to it for the next 2 weeks.
Later that night, I hit the bars. I chose one (the Pony Pisador) that had a live band. Wow, the Uruguayans party. Things didn´t even get going until well past midnight. Don't tell my parents, but I didn´t get home til 6am! I am NOT posting pictures.
The next morning, I overslept - so much for the travel alarm clock my parents bought me for Christmas. I missed my 11:00am bus to Punta del Este. Instead I took the 1:15 bus - and had a nice nap during the 2 hour drive.