Raul stopped by for a bit earlier this week. For those not in the know, Raul is our landlord. He does sound production for movies all over the place and is currently working in Mexico. He was in town and called to see if he could stop by and check on The Little House. He came over and we hung out on the patio for a while. Among many other bits of knowledge and wisdom to be covered in other posts, he told us a bit about the land in which we live.
“You know that Uruguay isn’t the name of the country, right?”
I guess we all looked a little dumbfounded, he took that as his cue to educate us. He proceeded to tell us that the official name of the country is the Oriental Republic of Uruguay. Now, to the uneducated (that would be us), this sounded like a perfectly reasonable country name. As it turns out, as this name is further analyzed, it’s really just a description of a geographical region. Oriental meaning of or to the east. Republic.. pretty obvious a country with elected representatives. Uruguay is apparently the name of the river running by us here in the indigenous tongue. So, we’re actually just in the country to the east of the river.
To compound this he continued, “Well the city you’re living in doesn’t also has no name.”
Raul informed us that Montevideo can actually be broken down into Monte VI-D-E-O. Which was the Spanish Navigational Shorthand for Monte VI de Este a Oeste, meaning the sixth mountain from east to west. Saying anything around here is a mountain is a bit generous but we’ll let that slide.
All together now! We’re living near the sixth mountain from east to west in the country to the east of the river. It may be a bit overly dramatic to say we’re living in a land without a name, but etymology is always interesting.