5 things I'm missing from home while in Uruguay
Kia Marie Hunt is doing a degree in Hispanic Studies at University of Birmingham, and is spending her third year abroad at the Universidad de Montevideo, Uruguay. To keep up with her adventures, check out her blog. Here she discusses the Top 5 things she's currently missing the most from back home.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m having a fantastic time, but there are a few little things that would make it even better…
Oh Aldi, a student’s paradise,
How I miss your implausibly low prices,
How I miss the moment of realisation that the cost of my weekly shop totals less than £15,
Never again will I complain about the ridiculous speed with which your staff scan my items, as I frantically attempt to gather them into my bags.
Only now do I realise how much I took you for granted, as I wonder the aisles of Disco, lost in an unfathomable maze of Uruguayan Peso price tags.
I look at my receipt,
I convert its total into Great British Pounds,
and I weep.
I log on to my bank account,
I check my balance,
and I weep.
Aldi, oh Aldi, how I miss you.
(…I know what you’re thinking, “Did that just happen? Did Kia just write an emotional ode to Aldi? …the supermarket?” The answer is yes, yes I did… deal with it.)
Okay back to normality…
So, another thing that I definitely took for granted when I was at home was being able to swim. I used to pop to the swimming pool a few times a week during the free hours as part of Birmingham’s Be Active scheme.
When I researched Montevideo before leaving, I couldn’t find any nearby swimming pools on the internet but I just assumed that was because there’s not really that much information about anything in Uruguay available on the internet. (All part of it’s mysterious appeal)
How optimistic, naive, and wrong I was, there isn’t a public swimming pool to be found! (Ok I think there are a couple but they’re part of these clubs that you have to pay a bomb for.)
Now I regularly think about how much I miss jumping into the water and gliding off. For me, swimming is the second best therapy (see number 4 for the first), I just get lost in my breathing pattern and swim countless lengths of the pool thinking about anything and everything. I did manage to go swimming once here, on a visit to La Región de Las Termas, and you wouldn’t believe how happy I was to get into that water, I never wanted to get out! In fact, swimming up and down in that pool is where I planned my most recent articles! Maybe the weather will eventually be good enough for me to consider swimming in Montevideo’s river/sea (let’s not start that debate), but for now I can only dream.
I know I just wrote an article about the Top 5 things I’ve grown to love in Uruguay and three of those were food/drink related, but that doesn’t mean I’m not missing some food from home too!
It sounds clichéd, but the food that I’m honestly really missing the most is mum’s home-cooking.
More specifically I could absolutely devour one of her chicken lasagnas or yummy curries. Mum, get ready to cook a lot when I come home! (I promise to do the washing up and not complain)
Another thing I’m weirdly really missing is hummus/humous, which I blame on my housemate for mentioning in like the first week we were here and ever since I’ve been craving it because it just doesn’t seem to exist here!
If only I could pop into Aldi and buy their triple humous selection…
4. My Art Supplies
If you know me you’ll know that I love to be creating all the time. Whilst I can still create memories (and blog posts) here, I’m definitely missing being able to get arty. Of course I still doodle all the time but just having a few pens isn’t enough. Art is the best therapy for me and oh how I wish I’d packed my lovely Faber Castells and some more sketchbooks! I’d really love to have the resources, and the time, to be able to bombard you with illustrations of Uruguay but I can’t. I suppose when I find the time I’ll actually have a go at learning how to use that mini water colour set that's still unopened on my shelf… watch this space for some amateur watercolours of Montevideo, coming soon (hopefully)!
And the last (but not least) and probably most obvious thing I really miss from home is the people there.
Shout-out to all the awesome people I have met here though, don’t get me wrong, you are all amazing and I’ve definitely made friends for life!
But there are still some people who I really wish I could be sharing this experience with, and I miss them every day. Being here really makes you realise who is important in your life, and to those precious people (you know who you are) I want to say that: I’m sorry I’ve been so rubbish at skyping you as often as I said I would, it doesn’t mean I’m not thinking about you! I love you lots and can’t wait to see you all again!