Learning Uruguay

Every day brings ????

Say it with a sign

Posted by urufish on May 31, 2007


A few months ago I was sitting outside at a restaurnat (Old Maz actually), talking to my wife and I noticed a man scaling a tree at the corner.  To a Toronto boy, a grown man climbing up a tree is quite an event.  It caught my attention.  I watched him get up to about 15 feet and then he pulled up something that looked a like a big roll of paper.  Sure enough, more or less, that’s what it was.  He tied it to a branch and then he unrolled it to someone standing below.  That person grabbed it and when the traffic was clear, marched across the street with it – to another tree.  And he climbed the tree also.  After a few minutes, it occurred to me this was a sign… a very big sign…  being strung across a major street – 21 de Setiembre.  After a bit longer, I could make it what it said.  It was a birthday wish.  I asked my wife what that was all about.  She told me that it was a birthday card (Pocitos style) from a girl to her boyfriend.  She said that the boyfriend probably drives this way and when he sees it, it’s a big surprise to him.   She said that people can put up any kind of sign at all, as long as it’s civil.  Birthdays, anniversaries, proposals, you name it. 

I found that fascinating…  As the guys were leaving, an official looking guy came up to them and after a brief discussion, the original guys climbed the trees and pulled the sign down.  My wife said they probably didn’t have a permit.  So now I get it.  To do this, you need to buy a permit from the intendencia to put your sign up.  About an hour later, we were walking up 21 and there the sign was, a couple of blocks north.  So either they had a permit but it was for another corner or they walked up the street, waited for the other guy to leave and put it up without a permit. 

Today, we had to get a sign made to hang on our balcony to rent our apartment.  We went to one of the shops that make those signs.  We paid $650 pesos for a 3 meter sign, including the guys to come and hang it up.  Not bad.  I reckon the sign that goes across the streets cost around $1000.  Have no idea what the permit costs.  Dont know anyone who has put a sign up. 


3 Responses to “Say it with a sign”

  1. urufish said

    Hey Brazzie… dunno if you see comments for posts many days ago.. but I had to let you know that you were right… no one’s taking the signs down. they stay forever. until the next major windstorm anyway… I pass this one very day, saw it today..
    The ugly side of this is that now anyone puts up signs… there are 3 within a couple of blocks of the house promoting cellulite removal… gross..

  2. Keno said


  3. mink said

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