Sunday, November 11, 2007
Now I'm in La Paloma, Uruguay, a fishing town on the Atlantic coast. There's quite a big fish processing plant down by the docks. Near those are a small housing area for Navy personnel. With white-painted concrete walls and red-tile roofs, they have to be the most pleasing military housing I ever saw anywhere. They have a spectacular view out into the ocean. There are breaking waves here and Urusurfers in wet suits waiting about 75 yards offshore to catch the little break. It's not the Pacific by some margin. Rio de la Plata Spanish is hard to understand; they have a slushy zh sound, so something might come out sounding like "Zho me zhamo Guizhermo" instead of "Yo me llamo Guillermo" that you´d hear in most of the Spanish-speaking world. In Argentina particularly the words may be mostly Spanish, but the melodies are Italian. It´s all educational, but the last few weeks have been like living in the language lab at school and almost but not quite getting it all.