Uraguay Here I Am

By Matthew Bamberg / May 19, 2006

Colina, Uraguay–what a place. My perceptions of this country–one where I’ve always wanted to go–are vastly different than how this country really is.

Getting there in a ferry was a comfortable snap. I rode from Buenos Aires to Colonia, a quaint little town just an hour away.

When I walked on the boat a huge lobby with a fully supplied duty free shop shocked me–this was by far the most luxurious ferry I’d ever seen. I felt like a passanger on Carnival Cruise line when my feet were cushioned as I walked on the red carpet. When I lined up for the full course meals from which you could choose in a large serving area, it was not the sight of the food, but the smell that made feel I was in a country kitchen.

After I saw Colonia and now that I’m in Montevideo, I’ve found out my perception of places I’ve never been aren’t usually valid. I can confirm that my mind was full of it. It being sterotypes of South Americans and false assumptions of modern South American life.

My Perceptions of Uraguay

1. Third World
2. Poor People
3. Cars from the 50s and 60s like they drive in Havana.
4. No good coffee or coffee shops
5. Rough-and tough neighborhoods noone would want to walk through

The Reality of Uraguay

1. Awesome colonial architecture
2. Mid and early century cars, but not used for driving, instead, they are used as flower pots and outdoor sculptures.
3. Food as good as, if not better, than any European country
4. Cheap, but not as cheap as Buenos Aires.
5. Beautiful landscaped downtown and neighborhoods (okay, not all of them, but many)

About the author

Matthew Bamberg

Matthew Bamberg has provided photographs and written articles for various Southern California newspapers and magazines, including The Desert Sun and The Press-Enterprise. More recently, Matt has been teaching at UC Riverside while also authoring several books like the Quick and Easy Secrets book series (Cengage), Killer Photos with Your iPhone (with Kris Krug and Greg Ketchum, Cengage), the 50 Greatest Photo Opportunities in San Francisco (Cengage) and Digital Art Photography For Dummies (Wiley).