You never really know a city until you know its nightlife. In Rome, its late-night coursed dinners that went well past midnight and then off to a laid-back wine bar or a rock dance club. In Vienna it was drinks at the pub and then club electronica. In Madrid you took a little rest after dinner and headed out at 1am to the cocktail clubs where there was dancing and discussions. As for Nashville? We just drank a whole lot of beer and bourbon while sitting around and talking.
I love nightlife. Not only do you get to meet the young crowd, but you always come away with fun stories and a glimpse into an underground world of the city. Uruguayans save their nights out for the weekend, especially during winter months. They also don’t start dinner until 9:30pm. The Americans/Canadians started dinner at 7:30pm with the director of our school (Matt), his wife (Julie) , and his secretary (Mariel). Even though we started the evening on the early side of Montevideo time, we didn’t finish until well past 10pm. Mariel had a friend celebrating her birthday that evening and invited the newbies out for some drinks. So we started our evening out walking to the Montevideo Brewing Company (a.k.a. my new favorite hangout).
Montevideo Brewing Company is a very hip bar mainly filled with 20-30 somethings. They have a wall of craft beers and a few wine options. The inside is very rustic modern, with wooden tables and floors and room to room separation. I think they took an old house and turned it into a bar/restaurant. The place also has a fairly large open outdoor space with more wooden tables and barrels. It is the perfect place to meet the younger crowd and have conversations without screaming over music.
So we met some of Mariel’s friends, who are absolutely lovely! They all speak perfect English, which was super helpful for me, and they are lively and fun and beautiful people. The birthday girl, Pilar, is the ringleader. She organizes the get-togethers for everyone. However, she is moving to Geneva to get a masters degree, so I am going to take advantage of every opportunity to get to know her while she is here for the next two months. Alejandra had a host family who lived right outside Nashville! We had lots to discuss. Everyone was in his/her twenties or thirties and everyone was into traveling, meeting people, and enjoying being young. So…my people!
Mariel, Katie, Alex, and Stephanie decided to call it a night around midnight, but I wasn’t finished with my nightlife experience. I opted to stay (shocker, Kyle! I know) and Pilar, me, Mariana (my caretaker and translator for the night) and seven others hopped into taxis and zoomed down Boulevard España towards the night clubs. The first stop was a two story club – room number one was packed to the brim with people dancing in the dark and room number two was a little more chill with lights and tables. While there, we saw an Uruguayan celebrity – a finalist for the Uruguay top chef. That really impressed some of the girls, but as Mariana told me, “He is just the finalist! Come talk to me when he wins something!” (I love this girl!)
The second club was even more fun! It was a little smaller than the other one, which made it a little more intimate. It also wasn’t as crowded. Now, for the dancing. Uruguayans are not huge dancers. They kind of bob and sway. The women are much better at it than the men, but still. They usually listen to 80s and 90s music from the states, but in the clubs, it’s all about the Spanish pop. There are numerous drum beats and a very salsa-esque sound. It’s also very 90s boy-band (that kind of whiny, you are breaking my heart vibe). Uruguayan music is its own beast, but the ladies knew every word! Of course being the foreigner, I got swept into dancing with numerous people, both men and women. It always pays to be the exotic one. The ladies informed me all about Uruguayan men and how “dating” works in this country. The consensus among them…”Uruguayan men are cowards. You have to hit them over the head to get them to do anything.” Ha! Mariana stayed by my side the entire time and explained all of the songs. Pilar made sure everyone in the party was having a great time. I feel truly lucky to have these beautifully kind women in my new life!
By 5:30am I decided I didn’t need to close the place down (clubs close at 7am on the weekends) and hopped into a cab to find my way back to the hotel. The night and morning were loads of fun and just want I needed to celebrate my first weekend in Montevideo.