Talking about schizophrenia in Colonia

Back in Montevideo. Bruno offered me to stay a full month at his place, amongst others because he was about to celebrate his birthday and invited me to the party. But that meant I needed to stay in Uruguay for another two weeks when I felt like moving on. Though there were still a lot of things I hadn’t seen in the capital of Uruguay. So I stayed for seven more days, during which I took time to rest, go to one or two museums, have some more chats with Valentina, the lady who welcomed me on my first day in the city and with whom I love to exchange ideas, meet again with Carlos, the guy who had hosted me in Punta del Este, take a Candombe class – afro-uruguayan rhythm and dance. In short, I was having a social life. That’s when you notice you really start to feel at home somewhere. But if you’re traveling, that also means it is probably time to leave on to your next destination.

So off I was to Buenos Aires. But not without a stop-over in Colonia, which is about 2 hours west from Montevideo. From there leaves the boat to Argentina. It’s quite different from every other city I had seen until then. The old town looks a lot more like what we are used to in Europe. Cobbled, winding streets. Because they were built from scratch, most cities on the American continent are made of parallel and perpendicular streets and avenues. To tell you in what direction and how far you need to go, people give you the number of blocks (in Spanish, “cuadras”, which indicates they’re referring to a square geometry figure). In Québec and Colonia, things look a little bit more messy. The weather was sunny and warm, so I took my time to wander through these little streets that looked so familiar to me.

Feline encounter in the sunny streets of Colonia
Feline encounter in the sunny streets of Colonia

Martin is who welcomed me in his house this time. Together with Mouna, his cat. However, the human made me much more welcome than the feline, who loved nothing better than attacking me and my bag. Martin is quite a character. When he came to fetch me at the bus station with his old blue Beetle, I directly felt I was in good hands. In my opinion, you basically can’t drive such a car and be a bad person. Even less when you’re playing ukulele and have an open fire – if I could, I would ask to be hosted only by people who have an open fire. And a hair dryer. The evening passed with nice chats, during which he explained how he was studying medicinal plants and that his 65+ female class mates were quite interested in the aphrodisiac properties of some of them. There’s no age to appreciate all the good things nature has to offer, is there?

Being half Chilean and half American – North American, as it is important to point out when you are in Latin America, because Colombians, Mexicans, Bolivians, etc. are all Americans too and you might offend the person you’re talking to if you fail to specify – Martin speaks English as well as Spanish. Therefore, the schizophrenia of bilingual people was another topic of discussion.

Martin playing ukulele
Martin playing ukulele

If you are interested in the subject, you can read this article:

Johnson: Do different languages confer different personalities?

Knowing that I speak 6 languages myself – 7 if you include West-Flemish, my parents’ dialect – this gives you an idea of what a complex human being I am. One language at the time.


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