Thursday, March 24, 2016

Hola Uruguay! Part 1: Music, Food and Dancing

My colleagues and I were stuck in Montevideo for 4 days due to bad weather.  We were supposed to go to the rig the day after we arrived.  This is one of the rarest moments when I prayed for bad weather so that our crew change will be delayed so that I can explore this festive city.

Fine dining with beautiful background music.
Uruguay is located south of Brazil in South America.  Montevideo is the capital city.  I expected to see some Spanish influence since the place was also under Spain, just like the Philippines.  I was right.  The language is Spanish so I understood some of the words.  The temperature was 11-23 degrees Celsius, it was windy at that time so it felt really chilly.  However, I found it nice to stroll around with my coat on.

Saigon Chicken with mushroom and rice!
We had so much time to walk around.  Our favorite restaurant is called “El Palenque” and my European companions said the red wine there was excellent.  I really can’t say because I seldom drink wine.  We drank plenty of red wine but I didn’t get drunk, just felt warm inside.  The food and the service was great, although, there was only one waiter who speaks English and we had to wait for him.

Left to right:  Indonesian, Filipino, Polish and Norwegian.  Enjoying the red wine.
I was not able to eat rice for the past 3 days.  Not eating rice, for me, is like eating a large snack for a meal, not really fully satisfying my stomach.  I got my rice on the last day, finally!  I assume that rice isn’t popular among the Uruguayans.  My companions were also happy with their orders:  steak, baby squids and shrimps, all were mouth-watering, yum!

In the middle of our lunch, a couple of old men were serenading the customers in the restaurant with their guitars.  It was like the ones you see in the movies.  Though I didn’t understand the lyrics it was still a good performance and the music was very pleasant to the ears.  This is the kind of ambiance I want to have for a dinner date with my wife.  Oh, I miss her so.  Most of the people around gave them some Uruguayan pesos after their songs. 

Street dancers
When I finished my meal, I heard the sound of drums coming from afar.  After the relaxing serenade now comes the dance beat.  This is getting better and better.  I really enjoyed the atmosphere since I’m a big music lover.  After 10 minutes, the sound became louder, I got curious.  I left my companions and went looking for the beat.  My eyes popped out (just like in any cartoon show) when I saw the spectacle.  Two beautiful and very sexy ladies dancing with the rhythm of the drums.  See the pictures and look how sexy their outfits are, well, they are sexy too!  It was also very nice to see that the onlookers were also dancing while taking pictures and videos.  I can’t help but put on some moves myself (haha).  After 10-15 minutes, they moved on to a new spot and repeated the routine.  Lots of people were giving them money.  Good for them.

The three drummers at the park
We strolled up north after our lunch and saw another set of performers at the park.  Three people with a set of drums. Many people were also gathered there, some were dancing.  The city is a very festive place, I would love to come back here.

Alternative acoustic covers, just the right kind of music for me. 
Since I was drinking only red wine for the past two days, I decided to buy me a beer on the last night before heading to work.  Two of my companions don’t drink beer, bomber.  Luckily, Ove, our rig electrician, joined me.  Just a few steps from us, there was this guy who was singing some familiar alternative songs.  His voice and his guitar just filled the park with great music.  He was singing some REM, Nirvana and Billy Joel songs.  Beer + good music = so much fun.  After drinking one round, we ordered more bottles, and after that, another round of beer, and another round after that, and … zzzzzzz (drunk hahaha).

It was a nice combination, music, food and some dancing!  More of Uruguay coming up in Part 2.  If you like this post, please feel free to share.  Thanks.

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