Uruguay? That’s random!

The girl who cuts my hair knows I keep an odd travel schedule. She looked at me in the mirror last week and asked, “Got any trips planned?”

“Going to Uruguay on Sunday,” I said.

She scrunched up her face. “Uruguay? That’s random!” This was the same girl who just a couple of months ago said, “Cool” when I told her I was going to Chile.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve mentioned to people that I’m going to Punta del Este for a week. A couple of the responses I’ve gotten:

“I can’t remember if it’s Uruguay or Paraguay. Have fun in…guay.”

“Be careful in Kazakhstan. Will Borat be there?”

I’m not sure what it is about Uruguay. People didn’t see anything odd about me going to Chile. Uruguay, however, really confuses folks.

Door-to-door, my trip looks to be about 22 hours. That’s three flights and one fairly long cab ride. I’m happy to take the trip, but am getting increasingly anxious about leaving the family. (Case in point: my pregnant wife just missed a step going into the garage and fell. She’s fine, but, you see my point).


Occasionally, people around me worry that I’m going into parts of the world that aren’t safe for one reason or another. It’s not like I’m going anywhere that’s very dangerous, but just to be on the safe side, I always do a quick safety assessment before I leave. Uruguay is as peaceful as Peoria, near as I can tell. Other places aren’t always as nice, but those are stories for another day.

Of course, it’s impossible to get a real feel for a place without actually being on the ground there. I mean, really, if you weren’t from America and you saw the video below without any context, what would you think of America’s biggest city?

Yep, that’s the crush of people in a near-riot trying to get into the auditions for America’s Next Top Model. I’m not sure whether the above is an indictment of the entertainment industry, the American work ethic, or both. Regardless, it defines the past ten or so years in America: be part of a crowd, get plucked from the crowd, get famous long enough to say you’re famous, and then fade (or fall) back into the crowd. It defines disgusting and it’s one of many reasons we as a people are so messed up. If this is our generation’s version of a bread and soup line, then everyone needs to shut the hell up about the economy. Again, it’s a rant for another day.

For now, it’s off to Uruguay. What I do is not sexy, but it’s work. I’ve done okay with it, and I can’t complain. I may not be producing much of worth, but at least I’m not rioting to be noticed by the producers of a reality TV beauty contest.

At least, I don’t think I am.

Brad Willis

Brad Willis is a writer based in Greenville, South Carolina. Willis spent a decade as an award-winning broadcast journalist. He has worked as a freelance writer, columnist, and professional blogger since 2005. He has also served as a commentator and guest on a wide variety of television, radio, and internet shows.

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4 Responses

  1. change100 says:

    Showcase was so confused about Uruguay he thought it was in Europe. No joke.

    Seeya in Miami for the long haul to Montevideo.

  2. Jim The Knife says:

    I watched a “passport” trip with Samantha Brown on the Travel Channel a few months ago and it was Uruguay. It looked lovely and I’m sure you’re going to have a grand time….. work.. not withstanding..
    Can’t wait to read your report…

  3. MGM says:

    …and now I have a particular “They Might Be Giants” song running through my head (“The Alphabet of Nations” if I remember correctly).

    Thanks for that…probably be days before I can purge that one.

  4. Da Goddess says:

    You need to discuss your upcoming travel plans with 6th and 7th graders. They all know where Uruguay is.

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