Uruguay (The Vices): Gambling, Prostitution, and Drugs

There are three things that are legal (well, one is semi-legal) in Uruguay that you may not be able to do at home:  Gambling, Prostitution, and Drugs.  With such vice-availability, I began to call Uruguay The Amsterdam of South America. 

Gambling in Uruguay

gamble in montevideo uruguayBack in the good ole’ USA, I have been to Las Vegas a time or two, or three, or more, but who’s counting.   And so, as I was reading up on Uruguay before I visited, I had read that casinos are legal in Uruguay. 

I’ll have to be mindful of this one, I thought.  I am going to South America to experience the culture, the people, the history…not another casino.  However, like any good investigative journalist, I had to take one for the team just to report back to you, the reader. 

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Richard CummingsUruguay (The Vices): Gambling, Prostitution, and Drugs

Extend Uruguay Visa | How To Extend Your Stay in Uruguay Beyond 90 Days

extend-uruguay-visaIn this article, I will tell you how to extend your stay in Uruguay if you would like to stay for greater than the 90 days that you are allowed when you enter the country.

In the article, Uruguay: Visa Requirements, Visa Extensions, and Passport Information, I wrote about how you can simply pay at the airport if you have stayed beyond your 90 days. But, after living in Uruguay for some time, I have the need to simply extend my 90 days to 180 without going to the airport.

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Richard CummingsExtend Uruguay Visa | How To Extend Your Stay in Uruguay Beyond 90 Days

Spanish Pronouns: “LaLeLoSe”, A Simple Explanation

spanish-pronoun-la-le-lo-seI am going to give you a simple explanation of Spanish Pronouns and when to use “La” vs “Le” vs “Lo” vs “Se”. In fact, it might be too simple so I will also give you resources that make it more complicated.

Spanish Pronouns: What Did She Just Say?

One of the most difficult things when learning Spanish is understanding the use of pronouns. And, learning these pronouns academically is only part of the battle. The other part is actually understanding native speakers when they string all of these pronouns together.

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Richard CummingsSpanish Pronouns: “LaLeLoSe”, A Simple Explanation

Uruguay: Visa Requirements, Visa Extensions, and Passport Information

uruguay-visa-requirements-extensionsIf you want to visit Uruguay for an extended stay of longer than 3 months, read this article to find out what you need to do.

I initially planned to visit Uruguay for approximately 4 months.  However, when I read the Department of State’s Uruguay page, it said:

All United States citizens entering Uruguay for business or pleasure must have a valid passport.  U.S. citizens traveling on a regular passport do not need a visa for a visit of less than three months.”

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Richard CummingsUruguay: Visa Requirements, Visa Extensions, and Passport Information

Living in Uruguay, Arrival

uruguay-arrivalMy arrival in Uruguay began fortuitously — with Uma Thurman. Any trip that begins with Uma Thurman begins well.

Though I live in San Francisco, I began my journey to Uruguay from LA after staying at my friends Hermosa Beach house for July 4th.

On the way to the airport, the taxi was diverted from the main roads because they were filming a movie of some sort. Then, while proceeding to my gate for the flight to Miami at about noon on a Sunday, I spot this very attractive blonde women gracefully but hastily making her way through the airport with some guy who was probably just on the cover of Men’s Health.

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Richard CummingsLiving in Uruguay, Arrival
bikini uruguay

Punta Del Este, Uruguay: Summer on The Gold Coast

punta del este summer bikinis

Summer in Punta Del Este

Returning to Punta Del Este, after being there during the winter, was like returning to a ghost-town and finding it filled with people laughing, drinking, sunning, and enjoying every moment.

The wealthy set from all over South America and the world descend on Punta Del Este immediately after Christmas and the party lasts for a few months.

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Richard CummingsPunta Del Este, Uruguay: Summer on The Gold Coast

Cabo Polonio, Uruguay: Serenity Now

cabo-polonio-horses-beach-2When I am asked, “What is your favorite place in Uruguay, the answer invariably is Cabo Polonio.”  It’s a little slice of Heaven on Earth.

Like Heaven, it is also very difficult to get to-you have to pay attention to what you are doing or you’ll miss it.

My friend Vicky and I had decided to rent-a-car in Montevideo because we were visiting several beaches on this journey.  (See renting a car in Uruguay for more information.)  However, if you intend to just visit Cabo Polonio for a few days, it is much easier to take the bus from Montevideo if not but for one simple reason:  The bus driver knows where Cabo Polonio is!

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Richard CummingsCabo Polonio, Uruguay: Serenity Now

Uruguay: Bills, Bidets, and Boundaries

bidet-uruguayThere are 3 main cell phone companies:  Ancel, MovieStar, and CTIMovil.

Like most South Americans, nobody here makes a phone call.  If you receive one, it’s important, or the person is rich and lazy.

It’s comparatively expensive to make a phone call.  Everyone WhatsApps everything-it’s kind of hassle.  It’s not uncommon for someone to say “oh, my phone is out of money.”  You refill your phone through phone cards.   Many people buy these at these stores called Abitab.  I could not figure out what these stores really did at first.  I thought they were just places that sold lottery tickets.  I have since learned that many things here are quite…Antiquated…

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Richard CummingsUruguay: Bills, Bidets, and Boundaries

Uruguayan Nightlife

uruguay-nightlifeI once read, when I traveled to Madrid, Spain many years back, that the Spaniards embrace nightlife unlike any other culture. I believe the exact statement was…”if you think New-Yorkers know night-life, you will quickly realize that the Spaniards know better”.

On my first day in Uruguay, after arrival, I ventured out at about 5pm to begin my language learning quest. And what better way to begin than at a bar, striking up conversations with the local patrons? I walked a few blocks and saw few bars but they were all closed. Must be the neighborhood, I surmised. I’ll go more downtown and hit the after work crowd. I passed many bars on the way there-nada. All bars were closed. When I got to Ciudad Vieja-the old city, a bustling touristy/work area, I found one bar with a couple of old cronies. Even the Irish Pub I found was closed.

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Richard CummingsUruguayan Nightlife

Living In Uruguay–Richard’s Freakonomics

uruguay-freakonomicsThis is an article I wrote about the Freakonomics of Uruguay back in 2007. Some of the observations would no longer be accurate today (like the tattoo one!) ……but some would. Thus, I leave this article about Uruguayan Freakonomics here for a glimpse of the past and perhaps some revelations about the present.

I met a girl named Maria the other day which is not unusual because a large number of girls here bear that name.  What was unusual is that Maria had a tattoo, or as Vince Vaugh’s character in Wedding Crashers says, “might as well be a bullseye”.

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Richard CummingsLiving In Uruguay–Richard’s Freakonomics