In Puerto Rico, the colorism of the island culture is as palpable as its tropic heat index.
Yet, the island culture despite its humanity and its blistering climate at times, is also just as inspiring.
Initially, the plan was to spend Thursday enjoying the beach and Friday touring the island, but B wanted to have sex so we woke up late. Alright, so it might have been me that initiated the round that lead to us waking up late, but blaming morning sex for tardiness is so cliché anyway. Let’s move on…
So, yeah, anywho, B and I made a mad dash for the Sheraton outside of Pentagon center to the park the car for the weekend. However, we arrived later than expected, which caused us to wait an extra thirty minutes past the time of our scheduled flight. Even with the choice of scenic route our shuttle bus driver decided to take, coupled with his Sunday cruise speed, we probably would have been late. So, instead of enjoying our hours in San Juan coasting the manufactured beaches of hotels owned by international capitalist, we were stuck waiting on standby at the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.
Not that I do not like airports with their overpriced exploitation of human impatience or the always lovely TSA hubs with lines that stretch twice or thrice around a double-deck A830, it is just that standbys of this sort are nerve taxing. There are no flights from DC to Puerto Rico, so we needed to catch a layover connection from DC to Miami. Miami is an extremely popular attraction in summer, possibly all year round, so waiting on standby for a flight with two empty seats felt a bit like playing the lottery. Our numbers that night were 5539, as in we did not get any seats from 9:30 am in the morning until 5:53 pm at night, roughly about nine hours of waiting.
On board, we found out our seats where sections apart. Luckily, there had been another Black couple on standby to Miami from DC that switched seats opening up a spot for me and B to sit next to one another on the plane. Miami is a gorgeous city even from 30 feet in the air, and a wonderful prelude to the city of San Juan, Puerto Rico.
We were greeted with a sign bearing our names in Puerto Rico around 10pm Puerto Rico time, which was roughly somewhere in the Central time zone. Our bags were whisked away and tossed in the back of a black Cadillac Escalade as we were chauffeured to the Condado section of the city of San Juan. During the ride there, our driver explained to us the socio-political nature of the climate. Apparently, there was a drought causing the citizens to have access to water for two days for an hour each day, then three days without. This statement left me dumbfounded the entire trip as I attempted to wrap my head around how people living on an island with rainforests could be going without water.
We tipped the driver and checked into The Condado Plaza Hilton. One of the few gripes I have with resorts of this sort and consumerist escape culture at this level is that we were asked to leave a fifty dollar per night deposit. Normal and understandable, if we lived on this island and this was more than an international travel locale that should inform its guest on its site the entire costs involved with doing business with them. We paid the deposit and headed upstairs to our room.
I looked out the window while placing bags in an area of the room out of the way. I noticed that the balcony was hidden from view by a ledge. I undressed and sat in a chair on the balcony.
Puerto Rico is beautiful, though…