At the end of a thirty minute cab ride, I am deep inside the old city of Montevideo, close to the Port.
Maria meets me at a corner and walks me to my studio apartment at the top of a flight of winding marble steps. She speaks Spanish but no English and I speak English and only a little Spanish. She shows me the bathroom, kitchen and linens, and leaves me with a key. On Monday, I will take care of rents and deposits at her bosses office.
It wouldn’t be surprising, from a quick look at the surroundings, to hear a troop of zombies pounding on my studio door wanting me for dinner. I didn’t want to go to a tourist hotel by the convention center with room service, a bar and restaurant, and cable TV so I have to live with my choices.
I lock my front door to keep out zombies who never learned to tell time, plop on the comfortable couch, cover up with a blanket, and vow to quit watching SYFY on cable television as I hatch my Montevideo game plan.
There are voices on the street below that keep me awake, and a pigeon lands on a balcony railing in my line of sight.
I’m eager to meet Montevideo, even if this place isn’t yet showing me its best old world charm, looking just old and disheveled.
Sometimes places are different in person than they are on the internet.
Close to the Montevideo port, I can hear booming deep horns from cargo vessels coming in to drop off goods.
I know now why little kids cling to their blankets so tightly.