Despite being away from family and friends, I had a pretty good Eid. After work yesterday I went to my friend Meriem´s house and spent the evening with her, Amina and Amirah. It was a pretty good get together.
I left the 3 of them around 10:40pm in order to catch the last bus from Bario Pocitos to my flat. (disclaimer to family, I was not walking down some dimly lit street. I walked along the Rambla (boardwalk) with plenty of people out and about). On the way to the bus stop I passed a few people walking and didn’t think much of it. Two of the guys tracked back and asked me if I was Indian. Ironic since one of the guys asking was Indian. I never thought I had any resemblance to Indians. Regardless, after discovering I was not Indian and that I speak English, they were both anxious to figure out what the heck I was doing in Uruguay. The two guys who I initially talked to (Javier and Viyay) were from Colombia and India respectively. They both worked for TATA (the Indian Software company).
After 5 minutes or so of talking to them, they told me that they are on their way to a restaurant across the street for a farewell get together. Their friends were waiting across the street and asked if I wanted to join. After briefly deliberating, I decided why not, go for it and meet new people. So I joined them and their friends at a restaurant called Che Montevideo.
So many things come to mind when thinking about that scenario. The fact that the group of people I met all worked for TATA; a sign that Indians are everywhere and their using software to dominate. Secondly, only in Uruguay would I feel safe enough to join a group of people that I just met. Not that I am naive and would run off with anyone I talk to but honestly, it is something about the people and atmosphere of Uruguay. There is always this feeling of comfort and safety (relative to a lot of other places I’ve been to).
As the night progressed, I got to know Javier and Vijay´s coworkers. There was Colombian girl, A Uruguayan girl and 2 other Uruguayan guys. The majority were software developers. Diana was an economist (but mainly dealt with accounting). We had a really great time. Left the restaurant around 1:30 and all this time I kept thinking I have to work tomorrow. Someone suggested ice cream. So the entire group walked a few blocks to La Cigale (in my opinion some of the best Italian-style gelato around). I was amazed that it was still open. Conversations continued at the heladeria. We stuck around for a while since one of them was catching a flight back to Bogota at 4am.
All in all I ended up grabbing a cab and getting back home around 3 something. Met some really great people and now have an open invitation to visit Colombia. I might very well take them up on their offer. I think the fact that you can easily start up conversation and join in on gatherings speaks volumes of Montevideo. I was pretty tired at work but definitely well worth the late stay out.