So, I am finally here – La isla del encanto (the enchanted island). I arrived yesterday after a looong journey, from Copenhagen via Atlanta (10h) to San Juan (3,5h). It was so nice to see O again, we did have 5 days together in Europe end of October but this time we are back together for real after our 3,5 month separation and we have a new home together.
The new home is on the 9th floor of a condo with sea views from 7 windows (living room, guest bedroom and office) and it is furnished – something I was first very sceptical to, but we managed to find this lovely place with very tasteful decoration. We [or rather I, O has given me almost free hands 😉 ] are now busy trying to make the apartment more cosy and personal with all our stuff that we brought from Brussels. At the moment it’s a bit of a mess but I have another two days before our first guests, my 2nd cousin E and her boyfriend M arrive from New York where they are spending the first 3 days of their holidays.
My first impressions [or really 2nd as I wrote down my first impressions in June] include:
- FREEZING COLD! I assure you, compared to the airports in Copenhagen and Atlanta, the San Juan airport must have the AC on at least 5 degrees colder!
- Nobody was waiting for me when I got out from the arrivals’ hall – O had been watching the airport web-site to see when my flight had landed (the airport is 10-15 min drive from the apartment) and apparently the plane never landed!? Oh well, he arrived eventually… and I had some time to get used to the heat and the humidity (after arrivals where you pick up the luggage, you come straight out from the airport building so no more ice-cold AC!).
- The apartment is much bigger than I remembered (actually almost 200 m2) and it feels like I have been running from one room to another all day.
- I can see the sea from the computer, it’s a lovely view!
- I keep wanting to open the windows to get some fresh air – which I guess won’t work so my best bet is the AC (when will I get my first cold?).
- However, I was actually a little cold on the beach this afternoon when the sun disappeared behind the Marriott hotel, it felt goooood with some non-AC-freshness.
- Am I already obsessed by the AC??
- It’s great to be able to shop on a Sunday – we went to a computer shop to buy me a mobile phone in order to get a Puerto Rican number. It’s a Motorola and was only $ 29.99… ok so the phone calls might not be very cheap but I will try to use skype as much as possible. Like O said, at least I am reachable now.. I think he is a little jealous of my phone as he paid $ 100 for the crappest phone I have ever seen (it looks like a cheap toy!) but a better deal for phone calls. However, we still don’t understand why you are charged for incoming calls..
- The supermarket is open 24 hours a day and has most things I would look for, except fresh mushrooms (O hasn’t seen any anywhere!) and the tomatoes are really bad (hard, and not very red at all). I like how you can buy Swiss cheese, whatever that is – the Swiss have more than one type of cheese (Appenzeller, Gruyere etc) and American cheese (maybe the Americans only have one type??).
- All women wear high heels (O’s observation) and fake long nails – I will be the odd one out definitely!
- I tried the Puertorican dish mofongo for the first time today and it was yummy!
Mofongo is mashed fried green plantains pressed into the shape of a bowl leaving a well in the center. Either left as is or filled with chicken, beef, shrimp, or pork, the bowl-shaped mafongo is turned out onto a plate and resembles a dome. The top is lightly splashed with a tomato, peppers and onion “Creole” sauce, and a shredded lettuce salad is typically served alongside.
- I don’t know how I will ever find my way in the big maze of highways and I am just a tad worried about having to drive in this crazy traffic, arrggghhh.
I can’t think of any more impressions right now, O is snoring loudly and I should really go to bed as well. I told him this afternoon that I am sure that we will be very happy here, and I am looking forward to our Caribbean adventure.