Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Warm and Hospitable Uruguayans

Uruguayans are some of the world’s friendliest people I have met! They are a humble and friendly bunch, always willing to help people with directions and other needs. Various customs I have observed have also led me to believe in this. In social situations, Uruguayans kiss all the other people (cheek-to-cheek kiss and just once, on the right cheek), regardless of whether they have just met and regardless of the gender. Furthermore, they like to bring the mate gourd and thermos out into the streets and drink it on the beach or at a park, passing the mate around amongst friends.

My CouchSurfing hosts have been very amicable and also hospitable. For example, I felt like part of the Diaz family the moment I stepped into their apartment. Everyone, the mother, father, two brothers, sister, sister’s boyfriend, 2 cats and dog made me feel at home. I enjoyed learning about Uruguay and its culture through our conversations. I shared mate with my host Manuel and his friends by the Rambla just minutes after we met. One side note, the mother makes the best bread and pizza!

After staying with the Diaz family for a few days, the sister Aliusha and her boyfriend Mauro kindly took me into their apartment. I felt like I was staying with long-lost friends! Aliusha even arranged it so that I could stay with a friend of hers in La Paloma, a beach town on the Atlantic coast of Uruguay.

I was also made a part of Alejandro’s family at the farm from the very first day. I was invited to eat with them and help out with farm tasks. This occurred even though I had never met them and they knew nothing about CouchSurfing. Furthermore, it was amazing how we managed to communicate; I don’t understand Spanish and they don’t understand English. However, with the aid of a Spanish-English dictionary, some gestures and some patience, we were able to comprehend each other. I enjoyed playing with Alejandro’s youngest daughter, Anneline, who even served me fresh peanuts from the farm!

No comments:

Post a Comment