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21.07.2013 Bulletin

by Marita
(Montevideo Uruguay)


"When a man who is honestly mistaken hears the truth, he will either quit being mistaken or cease to be honest!" ---- Source Unknown

Dear Folks,

It was mighty brisk last Sunday, so the kind waiter at La Papoñita took pity on us and moved us inside where it was nice and warm. He actually takes very good care of us, and if you haven't met him, come by on Sunday at 14:00 (2 pm), and get to know Sr. Torres.

Other items that may be of interest include::

1. De Picos Pardos, the birthplace of our merry bunch, is having a Paella special next Wednesday, July 31st. It is, of course, a seafood dish, and includes all manner of fish and clams. Usual parrilla fare is also available, but for those who want a treat, call ahead and let Miguel know you are coming: 098 607 475 (he also speaks English, so have no fear--just call him).

2. The topic of house renovations and dealing with handymen spurred some readers to add further imporant tips:
a) Your tips for dealing with tradies is a great idea, and I can add to it maybe the most important of all ie...
Never pay more than 30% up front, with a written agreement on when the balance will be paid, with the final payment of 30% to be paid on completion. Inevitably they will try to find excuses why they need more payment. Stand firm. Often the result of excessive pre-payment will result in the job not getting finished.

b) As an addition to the dealing with contractors information, it's always important to ask whether IVA is included and get that in writing also. Otherwise, they'll tell you that it is, then when they figure out that you're a foreigner or actually see your
house, they'll decide that you can afford it and tell you that it's not included. It's a 22% gouging option that they can exercise or not at the end of the deal depending on whether you look like a good mark. In general, when working with locals, it's safe to assume that they're looking for an angle. If you're putting things in writing, I'd include a statement saying that there will be no other hidden charges brought up later and everything must be in writing on that document.

3. A super flat for rent in Montevideo: This is a magnificent place in an exceedingly well kept older building, 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, with a large private patio--fully furnished, including all appliances, towels, internet access, heating, and everything you could want for your stay here, and even includes an optional garage, if you would like it. It is on Sarmiento, right next to the park and the beach. Pictures are available if you are interested.

4. Highly recommended butcher shop:

There is an excellent butcher shop at Perez Castellano 1473. The meat is the same quality as the other ones we have gone to in Pocitos but the prices are much lower. We have been very happy so far, as have others who have tried it. This shop has lamb on hand there too which I have found to difficult to find in the other butcher shops. Usually you have to special order it.

5. And mea culpa--last week, I referred to Independence Day, but a helpful Uruguaya set me straight: It was The Oath of the Constitution Day, referring back to 1830. Independence Day is coming up on August 25th, which will be a Sunday. However, plan ahead, because holidays that fall on a Sunday are usually celebrated (by which is meant that shops and offices remain closed) in a Friday or a Monday, so make sure your larder is stocked.

Cheers, Marita

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