Local English-speakers’ Lunch moved

Public service pass-along: The twice-monthly Atlántida English-Speakers Lunch, aka “expat meeting” or “expat lunch”, was moved in both space and time in early 2016.

It’s no longer on Thursdays, and no longer even in Atlántida. We of the Uruguay Expat Life / Uruguay For Me site network (UruguayExpat.Info and our related forums and other sites) don’t sponsor it, and we don’t go to it anymore except maybe once a year (it’s actually been closer to three!), but we do want folks who like such things to know where it is.

The people who decide such things, decided to move it out of Atlántida and out of walking-distance to the main parts of town, onto a restaurant called Sureña out on the highway. It’s on the Ruta Interbalnearia in Las Toscas. They also then moved it to Saturday, because apparently Saturday is one of the few days of the week which the restaurant is open year-round. It’s keeping the same bi-monthly schedule of 1st and 3rd, just now the 1st and 3rd Saturday of each month.


Thus, the “expat lunch” is neither easily accessible to expats, immigrants, locals who do not have a car, nor central to the other businesses in Atlántida proper (or for that matter, to those in Las Toscas itself rather than the highway strip.) Further, it no longer coincides with the weekly Thursday Atlántida feria, which street market was in reasonable walking distance, and which therefore became an informal expat-greeting local after the lunch even for those who don’t do “expat lunches”.

So that makes sense! (/sarc) Continue reading “Local English-speakers’ Lunch moved”

Back with another deal – this time on paint.

If you haven’t experienced the loud mobile advertising in the streets of Atlántida, you haven’t really lived here yet. In one of the aspects of Uruguay life that is arguably “third-world” (in that incorrect-but-common sense of the term), we get bicyclists, bicycle-driven carts, and motorcycles (not much more than putt-putts) riding around town, very slowly, with giant loudspeakers. Advertising some thing or another. A special night at a local dance club. A new restaurant. In this political season, a campaign appearance by some local or national candidate. One learns to tune them out. If you don’t have decent aural Spanish, you can’t do much more than that.

Here at the Uruguay Expat Life network in our home in Atlántida in the Playa Brava / Pinares de Atlántida general section of town, we get these blast-vertising riders all the time. And our aural Spanish is slowly getting good enough to understand them.

Photo of front of the store
La Lucha IV hardware store – photo from costodeooroonline.com

Turns out there’s a pretty good deal for paints, if repainting your casita, apartamento, casa, or house on the chacra, is on your spring agenda. Continue reading “Back with another deal – this time on paint.”

Atlántida Coffee Drinkers Special Deal Alert

box of 500g Mellita brand extra strong coffe in Brazilian labeling as Extra Forte

If you are an expat/immigrant here in our part of Uruguay, from a serious coffee-drinking land such as USA, Canada or many European countries, you may well despise the sugar-roasted weak sweet stuff that is nearly the only type of coffee sold in stores. Cafe “glaseado” which means glazed. Despite loving Uruguay, and beginning to get a taste for mate, we at Uruguay Expat Life / Uruguay For Me, need our real coffee fix. Even if we drank it sweetened (Lisa sometimes does, Mark considers that a sin) we want to sweeten it ourselves, not have it roasted in sugar the way Uruguayan coffee is normally distributed.

box of 500g Melitta brand extra strong coffee in Brazilian labeling as Extra Forte rather than Senior brand Extra Fuerte
Grey-market Brasil import – in Uruguay the official brand for Melitta Company coffee is “Senior” due to a Uruguayan brand trading as “Melita”.

Coffee drinkers quickly find that the distinctive green and red box, from German company Melitta, originator of the now-ubiquitous cone filters, is the only decent mass-market “natural” coffee. Natural meaning in this context, no sugar added when roasting and packaging. We addicts also realize that at approaching 200 pesos for a half-kilogram box, it is reasonable but not inexpensive (typical Supermercado Disco or Tienda Inglesa prices). In those stores, it is sold as “Senior” brand (Senior as in senior citizen, not as in señor) due to a Uruguay trademark clash with local lousy sugar-roasted brand “Melita” (note only one “t” in the name”.

That Senior brand from Melitta Company is still cheaper than the same Melitta brand coffee in USA, by the way, for those who wrongly claim that everything is more expensive in Uruguay. We were paying US $6-8 dollars per can of 12 ounces (3/4 of a pound, 2.2 pounds in a kilogram, do the math*) three years ago in Colorado and Washington State, often more, for this same brand of coffee. So well under 10 dollars are current mid-to-high 22’s-to-1 peso:dollar exchange, is cheaper. Even at full supermercado pricing. Plus in whatever country, it goes very far as they grind it ultra-fine so you typically need only 6-8 scoops for a pot of 10-12 cups, not the 10-12 scoops of most brands and blend (including the otherwise good Tienda Inglesa paper-bag-packaged “natural” coffees”).

Read below the jump for a super quick super cheap deal on this good stuff that blows away the cheapest normal price! Continue reading “Atlántida Coffee Drinkers Special Deal Alert”

Twice-monthly lunch now regularly at Indigo

Dog waiting outside of beachside restaurant

Atlantida English-Speakers lunch will now regularly be at Indigo, no longer at El Autor.

From news today sent on one of the (unaffiliated) Atlántida-area expats mailing lists, regarding what is informally known as the Atlantida English-Speakers lunch and activities meeting:

There were 27 of us at the last lunch at Indigo.  We all decided that we liked the place; they had plenty of space for us; that the service was good; that the food was good; that they seemed to want us and so we voted to return.  We plan on continuing there until such time as the group decides to move on.  They have offered to prepare a special lunch for us next time as a reduced price.

Hope to see you at Indigo at 1:00 PM.  ..  El Autor is definitely NOT expecting us.  Please help get the word out to everyone who may be interested.

Directions to Indigo:  Take Artigas to the Rambla (Espanola clinic is on the corner) Go one block to the right.  Indigo is on the sea side.

The owners of this site, part of the Uruguay Expat Life/Uruguay For Me site network, will not be there, as we very much dislike Indigo. However many folks do like it, and we are happy to pass along that advice. We do encourage our readers to visit El Autor in Atlántida’s Centro, which now is losing this twice-monthly business. The view from it is street-life rather than the beach, but the service is excellent every time we have been there, and the food good quality at a good value. We encourage expats, immigrants, and all who pass through our area, to frequent local businesses on their own, not only as part of “expat gatherings”.

Because that email list is not ours, and this message is from a different person than whom previously has been managing that Atlantida expats email, we are not disclosing that person’s email. If you wish to sign up for that person’s list, you will need to get it through the grapevine; this website is a public site with worldwide readership, so it would be inappropriate to give it here. The list is mailed from that person’s personal email address, rather than being an actual “mailing list”. We believe that mailing lists should neither require you to know the administrator’s personal email address, nor require you to give your own email address to somebody’s personal address book, simply to get on the list. Others may feel differently, which is why we say, “¡Uruguay – it’s a free country!”

Happy May Day – Expat Lunch Moved For This Week

Dog waiting outside of beachside restaurant

Moved to Indigo on Playa Brava this week! More below.

We don’t regularly post the Atlántida English-Speakers Luncheon notices any more because we at the Uruguay Expat Life/Uruguay For Me site network no longer are regulars at that group, and that group has never accepted our multiple offers to pass along their news. That was why we originally launched that site, to donate it to them with them having primary editorial control, but our offer was refused. We’re now an independent voice, with occasional posts about Expat / Immigrant life in this immediate area, events of interest, news, and commentary, when it has a local angle better for here than for our primary Uruguay Expat Life site.

We do want to pass along, from that group, this very late notice, that we only got in our email from one of the regulars in that group (not the organizer) late last night – Due to the May Day Holiday today, their regular venue, the excellent El Autor restaurant in Centro, is closed for the day. Since today is the first Thursday of the month, there still is a meeting, and they are holding it at the Indigo Restaurant on the Playa Brava ramba. We already Tweeted that via our @UruguayForMe Twitter, but we know there are 60 or so readers of our site regularly here, and many are not otherwise social media users except perhaps for one Facebook group we’re not in.

With that independent editorial voice we will say this: Continue reading “Happy May Day – Expat Lunch Moved For This Week”

Need a cheap trip back to USA? Grab this $627 round trip while it lasts

TAM baggage rules example

You heard right. $627 US dollars round trip, only if originate from Montevideo and only to Miami.

Getting back to the USA, for many of us who are immigrants here to Uruguay, who are expats from the States, is often a problem. Uruguay is a great place to live in many ways, and there are even ways to make it affordable. But flights back “home” are a big problem in the expat economy. Almost always very expensive. Not today, not for a few days, not if you jump on this deal while it lasts. Double miles for half the trip, and extra baggage allowance weight for the return from the USA, if you do it exactly how we explain. Continue reading “Need a cheap trip back to USA? Grab this $627 round trip while it lasts”

First Thursday of April – another luncheon

We haven’t seen the latest mailing from that group, but if current schedule holds, the Atlántida English Speakers will again be meeting for lunch. Normally every 1st and 3rd Thursday. 1300 hours, or 1:00pm for those still using norteamericano timekeeping.

Current location still El Autor in Atlántida Centro, on the Calle 11 Peatonal. Keep in mind the Peatonal is not in fact “peatonal” (pedestrian) during daytime hours!

Gente en Obra (Men at Work) sign in front of an earthmover and the nearly-smooth and at-grade repaired dirt rebuilt rambla road in Atlantida Playa Brava.
It’s almost finished!

As for the “Derrumbe Update”, the crater was patched and the road undersurface graded last weekend, when Mark Mercer chatted with the workers. As of a Tuesday latenight dog-walk, Mark and Whistler el Galgo report that the road is not yet open, but is nearly ready for them to start the repaving. Expect smooth sailing down the Rambla road by the next meeting in 2 weeks.

Organic Gardening classes and Organic Frutas y Verduras near Atlántida.

Gate leading to a flower garden section of the farm

Reblogging this from our Facebook Page, where we shared this info from the Atlántida English Speakers Newsletter. It starts tomorrow as we write this, but Pilar is accepting ongoing students.

The following is a re-sharing of the Atlántida English Speakers newsletter of Atlántida expat and expat-and-local events, curated by Katherine Hine. We at Uruguay Expat Life are happy to share this further, with a few photos added by Lisa Marie Mercer from when we were blueberry picking there. Our blog and social media sites have some of the same people as Katherine’s list, but we also have a different non-overlapping group of members and followers, so we want to get this out to as wide an audience as possible.

Pilar Milesi, who opened her organic farm up to many of us for blueberry picking in November and December, is commencing a course on gardening. In conjunction with this course, she will be selling organic vegetables and fruits.

The outdoor grill patio, parilla, of the farmhouse
Pilar’s farmhouse

WHERE: Continue reading “Organic Gardening classes and Organic Frutas y Verduras near Atlántida.”

Happy Fall! Expat Lunch this Thursday

Old manor house with brush on ground, against grey cloudy sky

Fall starts here in Uruguay this Thursday. The March Equinox this year is on March 20th, at 1657 UTC (Greenwich Mean Time), which puts it at 13:57 UYT (UTC/GMT -3). Right when many local expats will be enjoying lunch at El Autor in the Centro of Atlántida again.

Important note: we’ve had the time wrong at least for the most recent lunches – they are at 1pm (1300), not 1:30pm (1330). Next expat lunch in:

Add 57 minutes for the start of Autumn. Or for the families and friends of many of us who come originally from the Northern Hemisphere, start of Springtime.

By the way, if you’re always having trouble keeping track of time in “home” cities and countries, or your loved ones there are – you should definitely check out the flexible customizable calendar at TimeAndDate.com – The Personal World Clock. We at Uruguay Expat Life keep this multi-city calendar covering our business and personal contacts, as a bookmark right in our browser toolbars. No cookies, no Java app, nothing special required, just the link. You can customize it by city number for your far-flung family / friends.

As for the “Derrumbe Update” – the CAT earth movers and the Canelones public works crews have been working hard on filling in the big hole on the rambla road, but they’re not done yet. Take Ferreira if you’re driving in from Parque del Plata. Maybe in 2 more weeks…

Next Expats Lunch this Thurs March 6 – mind the gap!

Washed out road with big crater leading to the gully to the beach - with children playing in it!

Going by the usual schedule, the next meeting of the Atlántida English Speakers gathering will be this Thursday March 6, at 1:30pm (1330 for those fluent in non-USA timekeeping). At the current location selected by that informal group’s vote, in the Centro of Atlántida on Calle 11, at Restaurant El Autor. Very nice restaurant both as to food and its owner and staff, in our opinion as well here at the Uruguay Expat Life and Uruguay For Me Site Network (the owners of this website).

As always, Thursday is also feria day in Atlántida, so it’s a great time to come into town from the campo or one of the other balnearios along the coast. The feria is on Av. Roger Balet, starting just a few blocks from Centro north on that main road. It begins at Calle 7 two blocks north of Artigas, continuing up through Calle 2B.

Yes, the “derrumbe” (crater) is still blocking the Rambla road into Atlántida near Calle 2B. As of yesterday March 2, there is a big Catepiller Earth Mover on-site, and several dumptruck loads of dirt, so the departamento of Canelones is getting ready to fill it in, ending Atlántida’s latest tourist attraction and children’s playground!

Washed out road with big crater leading to the gully to the beach - with children playing in it!
Washed out road with big crater leading to the gully to the beach - with children playing in it!
We should sell tickets to the playground!
Washed out road with big crater leading to the gully to the beach - with children playing in it!
Grandfather brings his grandkids to the new play-place, The Crater of Atlántida! The little girl with him went in the crater too!

If driving along the rambla from Las Toscas and Parque del Plata, please be advised that the rambla road is still collapsed as you come into Atlántida, with the big gaping hole near 2B. You’ll want to get onto Mario Ferreira a couple of blocks inland before then.