So I am safe and happy here in Montevideo. Before I came, I searched Hospitality Club for someone to stay with, and ended up finding Javier, who, as it turns out, is adorable. He lives with his brother in a very male (read: messy) house in the center of the city, and they kindly installed a mattress, complete with sleeping bag, on their floor for my personal use.
The first night I arrived, Javier met me on the corner of his street, and we had to rush to drop my bag off at his house because he was in the middle of theater class. So I went with him to watch, and it was truly something. A roomful of Uruguayan twenty-somethings, looking for all the world like a roomful of American twenty-somethings, and rehearsing a play that I could not, in spite of my basic command of Spanish, figure out. But it alternated between being funny and serious, and as I watched I had one of those peculiar "how did my life bring me here?" moments that I relish but that only seem to appear when I´m traveling.
Yesterday, Javier had to work, so his brother, Martin, showed me around the city. We must have walked the entire length of Montevideo, from the large main street, through the Ciudad Vieja, and straight to the Ramblas at the ocean. My Spanish was serving me well, though there were a couple slip-ups. Later that night we went out with a bunch of people to La Verde, where Javier tried to help me work on my accent and I tried to teach him how to talk like a New Yawkah. This resulted in much laughter from all parties. Anyway, we stayed out late and I am sore tired. But happy.
More news from me when I don´t have to pay for it....