The guests left on Saturday morning, with a loooong journey back to Sweden ahead of them (6 hour lay-over at JFK and another 6 hours in Brussels) and the weather has been really crap ever since! Rain and strong winds, with a few sunny spells as the BBC weather forecast would say 🙂
Today was fake-christmas-tree-shopping-day; we have decided that it would not be environmentally friendly to buy a real Christmas tree that probably has travelled hundreds of kilometres from the USA… I checked on the Wal-Mart website yesterday and most of the trees were really expensive and had features such as playing Christmas carols!? Not really our type of tree!
We headed towards Carolina this afternoon as O thought that he had seen a Wal-Mart there the other day… We found Bed, Bath & Beyond, Home Depot, K-Mart, Sam’s Club and my favourite PITUSA (I haven’t actually been inside this furniture store, but O and I keep discussing how it should be pronounced – I say PitUSA, he says Pitusa..), but no Wal-Mart! It has to be pointed out that I came to Puerto Rico with the strong conviction that Wal-Mart should be boycotted because of their terrible attitude towards their employees (as read in the book No logo by Naomi Klein), however there is not a huge choice of [good] supermarkets on this island and O says that they definitely have the best fruit & vegetable section. [Our closest supermarket Pueblo closed down the first week O moved here, and now we have to drive to Isla Verde to find the 24-hour Grande – 4 or 5 motorway exits from our place, not really walkable or practical for somebody without a car (me)!]
Home Depot became our first choice for Christmas tree hunting, and we found one that does not play any songs, is not sprayed silver, and it is 2,10 m tall (it actually said the measurement in metres, hooray!). However, it had green & red lights, when I would have preferred discreet white ones, but you can’t have everything, can you!? I also found seeds for basil, which is my next project – I want to have fresh basil on my salads! In K-Mart I ended up buying some ornaments (I have learnt all these new [American] words for interior design on HGTV, such as vanity (bloody hell, just call it a sink!), window treatments (curtains), half-baths (why can’t you just say toilet?? There is no bath as far as I can see) and ornaments), i.e some decorations for the tree, from Martha Stewart – who I by the way think is one of the most horrible persons on TV (she keeps interrupting people and seems to be so full of herself).
We still wanted to do our grocery shopping at Wal-Mart, just so that I could see what kind of selection of products they have, compared to our dear old Grande. I want to check it out before I decide whether to hang on to my conviction of boycotting or just succumb to good (or at least better) tomatoes that might even be red! O asked a guy at Sam’s Club (apparently owned by Wal-Mart) who said that there was a Wal-Mart in Bayamón, not too close to Carolina where we were but we decided to drive there…
On our way we got a little confused and almost ended up in Old San Juan (on a peninsula so a dead-end as far as driving is concerned) and then we took another few wrong turns but all of a sudden O thought he knew where we were. We crossed a road at the green light and BAM, a huge SUV* drives straight into the left-hand side of our car!! My second car accident in one week (last Sunday a drunk old guy drove into B’s car and then just left the scene, fortunately we got his license plate!), no wonder I don’t want to drive on this island!! Fortunately O managed to break as he saw the car coming but we got a big dent on our car and it was impossible to open the door on the side of the driver’s seat. The woman driving the other car said “But, it was green..” – hey lady, it was green for us too and we were driving straight ahead so you should have waited to turn! Oh well, good thing that we have a rental car paid by O’s company, so we drove out to the airport and picked up a new car! Voilà, easy peasy lemon squeezy!
Still convinced that we should find Wal-Mart today, we drove another, slightly more direct way to Bayamón, stopping at a Burger King on the way as I was dying of hunger… we finally found the store alright, BUT 55 minutes too late (they close at 17.00 on Sundays)! Ha ha, speak of having a crappy Sunday afternoon, crashing one car and getting lost, for nothing! In the end we bought our food at Grande in Isla Verde and drove home… No time for some cosy advent’s* baking as I had planned 😦
Well, we still have our Home Deport, non-singing, green & red lighted Christmas tree that I will assemble tomorrow with the Martha Stewart ornaments, my Indiska and Ikea decorations and wouldn’t it be great if I could find the beautiful hand-painted glass balls from Liberty’s that I bought last year when we were in London (they should be here somewhere)…
O is soon going to work, he has to supervise the night shift tonight but I hope that he will come home earlier than usual tomorrow so that we can try to find where the Spanish language school is. I am hoping to book an appointment with them later on this week but I need to know first where it is located, as I will have to take the bus there but the bus route is not very clear, so if I at least have some idea of where the school is, maybe I’ll be able to find it on my own.
*) I hate SUV’s, not just because they are NOT environmentally friendly but they are also very dangerous to other drivers as they are much bigger and higher than normal cars – not a good combination if one happens to crash into your car.. Furthermore, they don’t have a lot of visibility when reversing, which can be lethal if a small child is standing behind the car…
*) Sunday 2nd December is/was First of Advent (the last four Sundays before Christmas) and the Swedish tradition is to gather with your family or friends, have some nice Christmas cookies and drink glögg (Swedish mulled wine) – adventsfika.