Friday, November 27, 2009

Frogs in the Mist

Were the first things I saw stepping off the 5-hour bus ride from Montevideo to the tiny fishing village of Valizas. It was raining lightly and dozens of frogs of various sizes were the only ones about as I searched for accomodation. Hostal Valizas was literally in pieces as they were remodeling in preparation for the tourist season. I fanagled the off-season price of 200 Uruguayan Pesos ($10) and befriended Pedro, a “seventeen”(probably fourteen)-year old who chain-smoked hand rolled cigarettes.

We started talking music and we exchanged reggaeton tracks via his MP3 player. Pedro mentioned that it had been a long time since he had been able to listen because his headphones had broken. Que suerte! For a month I had been carrying around a set of extra headphones I no longer wanted or needed. Noticing two Bob Marley songs on his player, I asked if he wanted some more Bob, he did and I complied. Every time I saw him after that, he would pull out one headphone and proclaim, “Bob, reggae Buena onda ey?”

Sharing different music is one of my favorite ways to engage when traveling. Not only did I get some interesting Uruguayan reggaeton, I showed him that there was more than just the late Mr. Marley’s “Legend.” Everyone could always use a little more Bob, which is why it’s a mainstay in the Rockstar Diplomat’s toolbox and perfect for relaxing in places like this:

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