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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Life Without Fusca

As you may remember, the fusca (VW bug) has been out of commission for more than a week. But life goes on and fortunately, we are within walking distance of many things. We also remembered that Tienda Inglesa (a large food store about 5 K's away), delivers your order for a little over $5, so we were able to keep in food. We even enjoyed an evening at a friend's house this past weekend, all within walking distance.

Our friend, Zully and her daughter (and son-in-law) live just a few blocks away from us. They have the large, main house, and also a casita in the back, where the daughter and son-in-law live. This casita is very nice, with one generous bedroom, bath, kitchen and living room. They share a lovely private patio, with a parrilla, partially covered. I wish our house had such a lovely casita. It was very livable. When we lived in Hawaii, we rented a casita, a little cottage, which had been built for the man's son to use, until he was able to get a home of his own. It seems to be common for many cultures to provide this security.

As with all evenings, it began with tapas and when I saw all the little meats, cheeses and olives, I thought we had way too many for 8 people. I was mistaken. In short order, with lots of conversation, they were all gone and we sat down to dinner.

What a spread. You could have fed 15 people with all the food that was provided. I was introduced to a cut of meat that I will be buying every time I shop- colita de quadril. This is the Uruguayan name for beef tri-tip. Tri-tip is a rather unknown meat for BBQ'ing, even in the USA, but it is a rather well kept secret of meat lovers. It was made more popular in Santa Maria, California and now enjoys a rebirth, as more and more people find out about this triangular cut of meat just below the sirloin. Now you may wonder how I got so interested in meat (other than loving to eat it). Well, meat is cut differently in Uruguay. They butcher the animal for cuts that are not usually sold in the US. You can get T-bone steaks, tenderloins and filet mignon, but many cuts are just not available here, so you have to learn and explore.

After a wonderful evening, we were able to walk home, under the stars, past our stationary VW in the driveway.

Each day I have been doing a little something on the car, as weather permits. Little by little I have been replacing parts, in the hopes that it will spring to life. I have had several suggestions on the website and through email. Here is what I found. The last part that you replace, is the part that makes the car run.

Yes- after replacing: coil, fuel pump. a carburetor shut-off valve, spark plugs (and cables) and completely going through the carburetor- I finally got around to replacing the $2 capacitor. Now, Denise asked me why I didn't replace that first. "It looked shiny and new" was my lame reply. Anyway, my new rule of car repair is this:

1. Make a list of parts you are planning to replace, then go to the end of the list and replace that first- it will probably fix the problem.

So we are back on the road and thanks for all the suggestions.


Anonymous said...

Hello! I've been following your blog over the last months with interest. I live in France with my family and we are considering to move to Uruguay next year. As we have two children (11 and 15 years old), we have been analysing this very carefully. Would you mind to get in contact with? My email address is
Congratulatins for you very nice blog.

Wally said...

Thanks for watching, Geraldo. I have sent you an email and you can ask whatever questions you would like.