– Public transportation and walking, and the fact that public transportation is cheap (about $1 to ride the bus and about $7 for a 20 min taxi ride).
– Fresh pasta.
– The Ramblas.
– Fresh produce and farmer’s markets.
– The new friends that we’ve made.
– The laid-back attitude.
– Being able to pay for everything in one location. Paying bills, charging cell phones, and buying tickets to events can all be done at the Abitab. And there is never a shortage of Abitab locations.
– Well behaved dogs everywhere. They don’t harass people, they run around without leashes, and they even know how to cross the street without getting run over (which is sometimes challenging for their human counterparts).
– Game night group.
– Face to face time with coworkers (Asa).
– Uruguayan greetings.
– Lack of excessive rules, regulations, and safety measures. People generally seem to be smart about what they do like driving, walking down sidewalks laced with construction, or traversing near open windows in 9th floor apartments.
One of the perks about the farmer’s market near our house, other than being super close, is that there is the added benefit of lunch.
There is a pair of people that set up shop on the corner each week to sell fresh empanadas and torta fritas. What makes this even better is that they are fried to perfection.
We can’t figure out if the empanadas are made by them or picked up at a store prior to their farmer’s market appearance. Regardless, they usually have “carne” (beef with some hard boiled egg – yeah they put hard boiled eggs in a lot of things, especially empanadas) and “jamon y queso” (ham and cheese) empanadas.
Torta fritas are basically discs of fried bread with a hole in the middle. It is a traditional Uruguayan food to eat when the weather is nasty or rainy. If people don’t want to make them at home, there are plenty of these little stands that get set up to sell them. Usually there are at least one at most farmer’s markets.
At our little farmer’s market, this pair does great business. Regardless of the time we arrive to claim our snacks, there is always a line. It’s definitely worth the short wait!
One of the other great things about empanadas and torta fritas: the price. A single torta frita sells for 13 pesos (about 50 cents US) and an empanada costs a mere 23 pesos (about a dollar US). I can easily get a lunch for a buck fifty US!