(Note: This is one of those boring, "here's what I've been doing so you know I'm not dead" posts. If you're looking for action, look elsewhere. If you're looking for bus drama, post-Christmas gratitude and skimpy bikinis, you've come to the right place.)
As you may or may not have heard, Christmas was last weekend, and as such, I received a great many gifts from my admirers.
Okay, that's not entirely true, but I did get a few crucial gifts from some people who are very important to me. Because we're not sure how to get mail to me, these gifts were mostly in the form of checks deposited into my bank account. Very much appreciated.
Of course, that money was (figuratively) burning a hole in my pocket, so I went straight to Punta Shopping, the local mall. My intent was to buy at least one very versatile outfit for the polo on Monday and Tuesday, plus some riding boots if possible, new headphones, chapstick, mascara, and chocolate. All essential items.
I decided to take a tour of the mall first to get a feel for prices. And wouldn't you know it, a surf shop caught my eye. They were having a sale on last season's bikinis. They were supposed to be from summer 2010, which here was last January, but that whole thing confuses me so much that I figured they might as well be brand new. Plus, I've run into this problem of being the most conservatively dressed person on the beach here, even in my string bikinis. There's just too much coverage on my backside for such a liberated continent. Obviously, this needed to be fixed.
I walked out of the surf shop with two brand new bikinis, from Roxy and Rip Curl. Let's just say I will have a significantly tanner bum once I wear them out on the beach. Assimilation has begun. I also bought a third suit at a different store, and it was even cheaper. It also offers a little more coverage and security, for when I (hopefully!) start learning to surf. Aunt Becky and Uncle Dave, I'm crediting you with my new swimwear. To you I say: "Thank you! This is exactly what I wanted! How did you know?!" (Thank you though, seriously.)
I did eventually get two dresses at a two-for-one sale at Urban Outfitters. Not sure if this is the same Urban Outfitters that we have in the US, but it feels sort of similar. That covers me for the polo matches. I also bought a pair of sandals (heels are just not practical enough for the amount of room I have in my suitcase and the number of times I'll wear them here), a Seventeen magazine (I've been reading it since I was fourteen and I'm not going to stop now just because I'm almost 23), some chocolate, and those headphones. Grandmom and Granddad, your Christmas gift to me covered all that, plus my bus tickets home, with a little left over. Thank you so much!
Somehow it took me about four hours to get home, in part because of misinformation and in part because I wasn't outgoing enough to ask for help when I needed it. I ended up sitting at the Punta del Este bus terminal for two and a half hours, and talked to a few strangers who were just as confused about the incorrect bus schedule as I was. Two people told me that my Spanish is very good. I've got the strange new verb tenses down now, and my accent is getting better.
The rest of the week was pretty uneventful. There were some beach days, and a lot of running, and a cat attack, and just things of that nature. I think I'm settling back into the country life very nicely.
Oh! Thank you to everyone who took part in the last poll. Voter turnout was almost unprecedented, and I shall take your opinions into account. Operation Seduce Nacho Figueras shall commence at dawn.