Ach, one of the downsides of not being good at Spanish is not being able to make your point in an argument/discussion. I got fleeced by a crook of a cab driver. The meter said UR$54 (less than a couple of quid) and when I handed him $60, he asked for $100. He was bigger than me, and looked like he was more than willing to beat me to a pulp and drive over my head, so I paid him and said thank you. One day, though, we’ll meet again, on a beach, and I’ll have been to the gym LOADS, so I’ll kick sand in his face, cough on his ice cream, and steal his girlfriend and make love to her with greater panache, élan, and éclat than she had ever known with him. And while he is prostrate in the sand (not the syrup) getting sand all on his tongue, recovering from the smackdown I’ve delivered, I’ll move the bookmark further along in the book he’s reading, so when he resumes reading he’ll be a bit confused about the plot.
Anyway, I got the bus, and I’m now in Colonia del Sacramento; a pretty town about two-and-a-half hours west of Montevideo. I’ve already seen three people who were staying at the same hostel in Punta del Diablo. Had a brief chat with one of them, but we both knew that we didn’t actually want to talk to each other, so it faltered and included some “yeh, anyway…”s and a number of half-steps away.
The Rough Guide to South America says of Colonia that, “just strolling around the streets will spirit you into the past.” It doesn’t say where abouts in the past exactly. I found myself spirited back to late-March 2008, where Coca Cola umbrellas adorned the tables outside cafes, and there was an HSBC bank around the corner, and every other shop sells souvenirs. Here’s some photos, so, y’know, prepare for some time travel.
(I like to think that the name of that shop and its description of the goods it sells should be said as a quizzical, slightly-mortified exclamation, like, “Christ!? German Leather Fashion!? since 1954?”)