Brian’s least favorite things about living in Uruguay

  1. Classism – Typical of virtually all of Latin America, Uruguay is built on hundreds of years of precedent maintaining the landed classes authority.  Be it the favoritism for monopolies, harsh taxes on the middle class, or welfare payments which dwarf minimum wages, the institutionalization of class has created an entirely different worldview.  At times it feels like mid-evil Europe when speaking with people, locked in an almost feudal system without even the slightest hope of dying anywhere other than the situation they were born into.  Nothing makes me sadder or aggravates me more than the repeated realization that in many cases it is not lack of ambition which leads to the ambivalence of many here, it’s lack of hope and confidence.
  2. Mañana Time – It’s not just that people are frequently late here, it’s that it is totally acceptable.  Worse than that, they make no effort to notify you, instead, they simple continually tell you they will be there tomorrow, or this afternoon, or whenever it may be, when they full well know they have no plans to come for weeks!  KILLS ME!
  3. Being El Gringo – How many times can I listen to a 34 year old who is still living at home and never worked a day in his life tell me how “Lucky” I am to have my own car, etc… Very tied into #1.
  4. Many are guarded, many see us as a novelty, many just have no idea what to make of us.
  5. Costs – If it’s not a base food product like rice or beef, or a service like dentistry or a haircut, it’s more expensive here than back in the US.
  6. Taxes – This would find its way onto the list of business owners anywhere, but back home, when you pay your taxes at least they come and pick up the garbage.