We sat and talked at the beach for hours. We talked about life, food (I explained what PBJ was), travel, our favorite tv shows (she knew US shows and we found out quickly that we have very similar taste!) and other pop culture (I explained what a ‘chick flick’ is).
We also talked about cultural traditions like weddings, marriage and last names (most people in South America have two last names).
Men and women take the last name from their mother AND father. So they start with three (or four, if a middle name is given) names! When they marry, they choose which one they want to continue with. So if is the daughter, Julia, for example, is the daughter of (her mother’s maiden name) Rodriguez, and (her father’s last name) Bruno, Julia is given the name of Julia Rodriguez Bruno, and whatever middle name she is given. Then when she gets married to Pablo Garcia she can be Julia Rodriguez Garcia or Julia Bruno Garcia. Can be confusing but pretty cool to have so much history in one name.
Laura told me that when I get travel through Argentina, I might think that Uruguayans are lazier but in fact they are more relaxed than their neighbors across the Rio de la Plata. She said Argentines are always in a rush.
I laughed and from my experience in Argentina the prior year, I had told her that their ‘fast-pace’ was nothing compared to New York City. I told her that we rush rush rush with everything and that one of my goals with this trip was to finally, slow down. She told me Uruguay should certainly help with that.
Through all of our hours of chatting, I quickly began to realize that while we are from different places and have different backgrounds, we enjoy, and want, very similar things.