Thursday, March 03, 2011

More mate in Montevideo

It turns out that Uruguayans are even more steeped  in mate than Argentinians.  On the streets of Montevideo, one can be sure to spot mate paraphernalia constantly, in the stores or walking down the street.  We went into the National History Museum.  There it was in paintings.

This is the middle of the summer.  All I can think of is eating ice cream;  yet they insist on this hot drink.  Mate toting Uruguayans nestle their thermos in the crook of their arm, hold their gourd in their hand, twiddle the straw with their fingers.  Some do have spiffing looking carrying cases, but those must weigh a ton.  Walking around it in the city, I want to be unencumbered as possible; I load all my junk in my day pack. I probably would just have some strapping system.  This mate business is so unintuitive for me that it is simply adorable.

Mate is a traditional drink of indigenous South Americans as shown in this painting in the National History Museum.
Montevideo, Uruguay

Gourds, silver straws, cases, and thermoses for sale at a street market in downtown Montevideo.
Montevideo, Uruguay

Some photos of "mate men" at the Sunday street marker in Montevideo.
Montevideo, Uruguay

Montevideo, Uruguay

Montevideo, Uruguay

Montevideo, Uruguay

Man with mate case.

Montevideo, Uruguay

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

this is really intersting report and pictures. must be addictive and socially expected. but a metal straw in hot liquid? maybe we can design a two compartment shoulder bag to free their arms and hands?;) do they drink coffee or beer or any other beverage?
--wq

Sun-Ling said...

@wq, yes, they drink coffee & beer here. As you know, they produce wine. Coke, Pepsi, and Fanta are all big here. We have also been turned onto a pomelo drink, with or without gas, for one hardly ever drinks a drink :(

Crash Eddy said...

Googling pomelo drink, hits include instant tang and mango but no description of pomelo. What is that? A fruit?

Sun-Ling said...

@Ed, pomelo is a fruit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pomelo, but when you buy a pomelo here (Argentina) in the supermarket, it is really a grapefruit.