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My wife and I are watching, amused and a little befuddled, as this laid-back nation of almost 4 million people has become the toast of the continent.
From gushing travelogues in major dailies to starry-eyed profiles of this country’s sandal-clad marijuana-legalizing president, Jose “Pepe” Mujica, the world’s attention has turned in the past few weeks to the country we moved to six months ago. This is a bucolic place, where cows outnumber humans and the people are warm, sweet and generous.
The results helped trigger a national debate here about a “crisis in education.” So, parents looking to move down here, start saving for some serious school fees, upwards of a few thousands dollars a semester. You’ll love the unspoiled, empty beaches (at least away from Montevideo).After that, we turned our heating off and huddled around the fire instead. (Miguel Rojo/AFP/Getty Images There is a lengthy bureaucratic process for everything here, from setting up a phone line to getting a local ID.To leave the country, whether on a 10-day reporting trip to Brazil or a weekend in Buenos Aires, I have to wait hours at a chaotic office in downtown Montevideo to pay a fee for permission to leave and re-enter the country.This country’s nice and all, but it’s also got some pretty significant downfalls that have been mentioned in the briefest of terms among all the recent fluff. Here’s some bitching and moaning from someone who’s spent more than a couple of expense-fueled days in Uruguay, and who reckons most of you should actually think twice, or thrice, before packing your bags and moving down here. The interior of the country recently reached 122 degrees Fahrenheit. (Miguel Rojo/AFP/Getty Images) Uruguay is a progressive place: legalized marijuana, legalized abortion, legalized gay marriage.South America means beach parties and caipirinha cocktails, right? But when it comes to keeping stuff clean, this country’s stuck a few decades back.