Thursday, February 25, 2010

Uruguay Quickie

By Pauly
Punta del Este, Uruguay

Don't have much time to post. So consider this more of a brain dump...

- I cashed $200 at the airport, yet have yet to spend a single Uruguayan Peso.

- The Welcome Party was at a club in downtown Punta. The police blocked off the street so an outdoor lounge could be constructed for the overflow of guests.

- I've been very lucky at times during overseas assignments. I've stayed in some of the most swanky places in the world. Not this time. We're staying in Uruguay's version of a Motel 6. I can't believe this place is billed at $170/night. At least we have a bidet. But the mold grey and green spots on the shower wall reek. Mix that with the orange-scent that the maids spray in the room to hide the smell of three-day old vomit.

- Punta del Este is sort of the Monte Carlo/St. Tropez of South America. Parts of it remind of Miami Beach.

- The taxis are all Mercedes.

- $20 for a ham and cheese sandwich with the crusts cut off? I loathe how casinos try to rape their customers by jacking up the food. I feel bad for some of my colleagues who don't make much money as reporters. Even with a per diem, there's a chance a few folks will lose money on this trip.

- We ate dinner off-property. Nicky and I drank 4 beers with dinner (pasta for me, steak for her) and ate two entrees. Cost? Less than $35.

- The local beer, Patricia, is tasty.

- I have yet to see any hookers inside the casino, which is rare.

- Our hotel is about thirty minutes away from the casino. On our drive to the casino, we passed houses owned by George HW Bush and Eva Peron.

- I'm working with colleagues from Costa Rica, Brazil, Argentina, and Australia. Only one of us speaks fluent Spanish. Thank God for Rey! He's been our savior.

- I slept almost 4 straight hours last night. I haven't done that in over a week. I didn't sleep on our redeye flight from Miami to Montevideo. I took a nap when we arrived -- which was more sleep than the previous 36 hours. The first night of sleep was rough. I was dragging ass my first day of work with the lack of sleep and the wicked hangover.

- The wifi in our hotel is spotty and blocks most gambling-related websites (except Tao of Poker!).

- I watched some of the Olympics. They air it on ESPN down here but with Spanish-speaking announcers. Watching ice hockey in Spanish is... well... weird and bizarre.

- Random American TV shows I spotted while flipping the channels? Mad Men and The Osbournes.

- Our bed was built for Hobbits. My feet dangle off the end. I feel like an NBA player.

- And I think our bed has bed bugs. I wake up every morning with all of these... bites. Either that or the mosquitoes are attacking us.

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