Merry Christmas! I know I was supposed to keep up with a daily log of events. However, I have forgotten that los problemas con la luz and the unavailability of WiFi have hindered my ambitious goal. To keep things light, I will summarize the festivities of these past few days.
Part of the tradition of my trip is to spend the holidays in our native Pueblo y en familia with all 20+ members of the clan. There is a certain agenda to follow as far as discussions are concerned. If talking about politics, we start with ese ladronazo del partido tal se robo to’ los cuartos, a dialogue in economics command a la cosa ta’ mala or ta’ dura, and e’to se ta acabando. What is most interesting, is that in spite of los ladronazos and nos está llevando el mismísimo diablo, somehow the conversation always ends in nos vamos para Punta Cana para esperar el año nuevo.
I’m in a New York State of Mind
There are certain necessities that one must never take for granted: hot water, strong water pressure, good air conditioning, and free WiFi. I had none of the above during my two days in El Pueblo. Somewhere between praying for the toilet to flush entirely and showering by body parts, it dawns on me that no matter how basic of a trip I take in The States, one can be relieved que no se va a pasar trabajo. Did I mention that this lack of amenities was in a hotel that charged USD 90 per night?
I finally get away from everyone and go to Terrenas with a couple of friends. This group of low-maintenance people knows the ins and outs of the bay, including the best place to eat fresh seafood. Of course they are the rare exception who will patronize small chinchorros where other Islanders wouldn’t even condescend to sit and have a beer. For some, the lack of fine linens, crystal stemware and silver flatware is completely unacceptable (not to mention being seen with a couple of nativos). The important question though is, who is buying all the real estate that is so ubiquitously advertised? Y qué sé yo! responded one of my friends as I gulped my ron-coco.
Kiss The Ring Bitch!
I returned from Terrenas con un estropeo when I get call from a good friend insisting that I come over for a drink. Upon my arrival, I think I must have been hit by a sledgehammer when I saw a real live Yankee player sitting in the living room! I will protect the player’s privacy, but trust me when I say that it was the vodka tonic that kept me from screaming like a teenager when The Yankee allowed me to try on THE ring.
It has been quite an interesting couple of days. Enjoy the pictures and start making your New Year’s resolutions list.
When visiting the Island, there is always a sancocho to attend or a chivo to take part of. It is the ultimate gesture of Island hospitality. I happen to love both, not just on the Island, but also when my mom makes them back home. And as long as there is frozen sancocho, it will be eaten every single day. Chivo, on the other hand, not so much. A single serving when it is freshly cooked is just fine.
Today was Sancocho Day at one of my many tias’ house. However, it would’ve been much more enjoyable had I not seen a “jolopeo” in broad daylight on my way to her house. On George Washington Avenue, a small vehicle carrying sacks of rice, cans of oil, and many other provisiones was held up by what seemed to be a dozen motoristas. What was most shocking was not the fact that the driver had a machete to fight off the robbers, but how people watched in apathy as the driver was trying to protect his merchandise. Paralyzed by my intense shock, I completely forgot to take some shots with my camera. I asked my uncle: “Aren’t we going to help this poor guy?!!!” Y e’ facil… he said. Wow! I thought. For a country que ha cambiado muchiiiiiiiiiiisimo, never in my life have I seen such display hunger, crime and indifference combined. Thank god for sanchocho. It helped me suppress the memory of the poor guy resignado at the sight of his truck being looted.
Hello Nuala followers! I have finally made it to the Island and after sorting out the very expensive WiFi and making sure that there is plenty of hot water, I will provide you with the tidbits and snippets of my much anticipated trip.
I will start by saying that I once was told that the three most important friends to have are a doctor, a lawyer, and a cop. I will add to that list a friend in the airline industry. I guess it pays to be a pseudo-celebrity because upon my arrival to the check-in counter, I was escorted by a friend who offered me a free upgrade to business class. Wow! I haven’t even left JFK and already I feel like an Islander, you know… pretending to be have more status than what I actually do.
At the gate I play a little game of pinpointing the Islanders. I’ve spotted two girls. The giveaway clue: the long bangless hair and pouty face that says “I’m too good to talk to you.”
Upon landing, let the rat race begin: getting a tarjeta de turista, stamping my passport, filling out a customs slip, praying that the suitcases have made it, and most importantly putting the don’t fuck with me because you don’t know who my daddy is face so that the customs guys don’t open my suitcase.
Outside there is a swarm of people waiting for their loved ones while the AMET guy tries to control the out of control traffic.
I take a SICHALA cab to my hotel. The driver talks to me about the same ol’ same ol’ politics, corruption, el metro, and how el doble sueldo de la navidad ya se fue sin haberlo cobrado.
I get to my hotel and after unwinding and taking a nap, I now begin to call friends and family. The itinerary is set. Let the adventures begin.