Big cities should be a worker’s paradise because there is too much construction and maintenance needed to match equally with people who will work a long hard day for little pay and no recognition.

Walking near Constitution Plaza, on Sarandi street, I come across a fellow painter working in a doorway. He has applied paint remover and is scraping softened varnish off a door jamb with a scraper that won’t damage the wood.  

His next step is to take sandpaper and smooth the surfaces. Then, after cleaning, he will apply a thinned down undercoat, lightly sand and wipe with a tack cloth, and finish with two coats of exterior polyurethane and a flourish of his three inch sash brush.

Painting is not without honor but, at the end of the day, it is a relief to clean brushes, fold drop cloths, seal up paint cans and load the van.

New doesn’t last long in a city of several million and paint makes glamour girls out of a lot of plain Jane’s.

Working men keep this world operating.

It takes a lot of Gustavo’s to keep Montevideo fresh and sparkling.


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