The striking thing here is the coexistence of conservatism and liberal leanings. And no, I’m not sorry I didn’t begin with a remark about the weed.
If you know anything about Uruguay, it probably has something to do with the legalized recreational marijuana. There’s no shame in knowing that, of course, pero es una lástima, it’s a shame that that’s often the only thing people know (peep this amusing take on what it may be like to be uruguayo, Uruguayan, in the US).
So, we’ll start there: Yes, weed is legal here. In fact, Uruguay is one of the world’s pioneers in legalizing common sense, such as gay marriage and abortion, as well as one of the only countries to have elected an openly transgender senator. But I’d like to propound a more nuanced and varied perspective, one which Anthony Bourdain thoughtfully captures in Parts Unknown.
I’m currently living in Uruguay on the Fulbright grant. Speaking of grants, it’s granted — I’ve only been here for two weeks and am not uruguaya. But this is the beginning of my time here; I am soaking up and looking into everything (if you don’t believe me, see how I voraciously post under the hashtag #UruguayUmbrage on Instagram. I blame the frequency of posts (20 in 13 days) on an exiguity of iCloud storage, treating the ‘gram as my own warehouse — but really I just want to share with everyone what very few get the opportunity to know: La cultura, la gente, la comida, y todo lo demás que tenga yo ganas de compartir de Uruguay, desde mi perspectiva. There will be more articles than one, so if Uruguay piques your interest, get clicking.). A few photos to introduce: