“You got stung by a jellyfish, and you kept asking me to pee on you,” Eric claimed in a recent conversation about the trip. “You were mad that I wouldn’t do it.”
“That never happened,” I retorted. “That is not something I would forget.”
“I swear. No joke.”
“Look, if it did happen,” I rationalized, “I would have found a bathroom and urinated on myself before asking a friend to do it. I wouldn’t risk that type of ridicule.”
“Maybe you got stung some place where you couldn’t piss on yourself,” he countered.
“Like on my back?” I said. “I would have emptied a beer can, pissed in it and then poured it on my back. I certainly wouldn’t get on all fours and ask you to urinate all over me.”
“I’m just telling you what happened,” he said. “You wanted me to pee on you.”
While I am certain I never asked Eric to make it rain, the party that night involved a situation I cannot deny. We spent the night in downtown Punta visiting the casino and drinking at popular bars like Tequilas. In between watering holes, we saw a group of women by the harbor. I walked up to the most beautiful woman in the group and introduced myself. She smiled and flirted and told me they were visiting from Brazil.
“I really like you,” she said without a demoralizing “but…”
“I like you, too,” I replied with an air of cockiness.
“That is why I want to be honest with you,” she returned. “I was born a man.”
Apparently my year living in West Hollywood did little for my deduction skills.
“I would have never guessed,” I replied as the beer goggles abruptly fell from my face.
“That is what I thought,” she said with a smile.
We exchanged a few friendly words, and I rejoined Eric. He looked surprised. “What are you doing? She’s hot, and I think she likes you,” Eric said, per my crystal-clear recollection. He denies saying this, claiming all he saw was me running for a taxi “visibly shaken.”
Night three: New Year’s Eve. After spending the day at Bikini Beach, we broke out our button-down shirts and headed back downtown. That’s when Eric dropped a surprise question.
“You want to do ecstasy? I brought some with me from the States,” he said.
Uruguay is now cannabis country, and if it were Thanksgiving, a sweet sativa would be perfect, but MDMA and alcohol made more sense for New Year’s Eve. We both popped a pill and spent the next six hours walking the boardwalk and drinking at Moby Dick’s bar near the harbor. I even attempted to dance, though not even the MDMA could improve my Ewok-y dance moves. Right before midnight, we headed to the beach for the fireworks, but overall, the night was relatively event free. We crashed out sometime around two in the morning and flew home the next day.
On the surface, the trip seemed like another face-flop in the romance department, but it was actually what the religious folk might call planting a seed on good soil. Remember the “table and bottle service” woman from the bus? She transformed into a backpacking road warrior visiting 100+ countries, and we randomly reconnected three years later and spent several months traveling South America. During a stop in Medellin, Colombia, she made friends with a group visiting from Bogotá, and in that group was the woman I would marry.
My future wife and I exchanged information after pounding aguardiente shots at a debaucherous, sexist and politically incorrect Medellin nightclub that claims to have “the largest staple of midget performers in South America.” But we’ll save that story for the next _de_Generation X.
Photo: Juan José Richards Echeverría, CC-BY
David Jenison is a Los Angeles native and the Content Editor of PROHBTD. He has covered entertainment, restaurants and travel for more than 20 years.