Rode the bus yesterday from Colonia to Montevideo, going through a good bit of countryside along the way. The land is really green, almost Irish green, but not quite. It all looks prosperous in a 50-years-ago kind of prosperity. Houses are small but well tended, little country schools sparkle, people look well fed and content. They´re putting in gardens though I´m damned if I can detect much in the way of vegetables that they eat. I´m feeling a chlorophyll deficiency. Just ate a wonderful meal of lamb at a parrilla, one of the kinda barbecue joints that are the national cuisine here and in Argentina as well. A gorgeous meal, with potatoes fritas (the principal vegetable) and a little jug of the house red.
Wonderful thing about wine in these parts, they don´t jack you up on the stuff, so you can enjoy a drinkable vino with your meal and only pay a couple, three bucks for it. They pour mineral water into their red a lot of the time, blithely not worrying about wine hipness. I suspect that's a result of drinking the stuff all their lives; not much pretense about it. I'm off to the Atlantic coast in the morning, scout some territory. This is kinda like being in language lab all day, every day, and it's amazing how much Spanish you can come up with there´s nothing else for it.