One might think getting peanut butter in Uruguay is easy.

When your taste buds get the best of you, it becomes a scavenger hunt to satisfy your suddenly nostalgic taste buds.

The only place I have found peanut butter has been at the Frog, a small mini-grocery you find in small Montevideo neighborhoods where Americans hang out.You guess the Frog carries peanut butter because tourists want it, but I want to shake the purchasing agent’s hand, or give her a kiss anyway for having it.

Uruguay is one of the most kissing places on the planet. Men kiss women, men kiss men, women kiss men, women kiss women. It is natural as breathing to see citizens place a big smooch on an open cheek, like a mosquito coming in for a landing. There is little sexual about it. It is sweet but disconcerting to an American who doesn’t see much public affection in the states, where everyone tends to look straight ahead and walk like they are models.

You know you are ready to go home when you are thinking of a salad bar, a great American hamburger, some barbecue ribs, a plate of green enchiladas with salsa and chips, a Chinese buffet with General Tao’s chicken and great green beans.

The peanut butter jar goes into my suitcase to Costa Rica tomorrow.

I am especially looking forward to the breakfast buffet at the Hotel Aranjuez.

Waking up to a fresh cup of Costa Rican coffee, a made to order omelet, fresh fruit and pastries you cannot not like, is long overdue.

I can’t stay in a country that doesn’t feed me right.

 

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