So, we were finally going to meet up with O’s friend J yesterday evening, first time since before Christmas! However, the timing for going out in Puerto Rico is apparently Spanish timing… we didn’t leave home until 23.30 – on a Thursday night! Boy, was I happy that I don’t have to get up early in the morning, poor O had stood up at 05.45 yesterday morning as he was flying back from New Jersey to San Juan. Fortunately the late timing meant that he could have a long nap after dinner 🙂
Dinner, by the way, was a success I have to say – I felt like Bree in Desperate Housewives, preparing a [semi-]full dinner for once for my man: toast with an avocado- & egg mix (från Under valnötsträdet av Anna & Fanny Bergenström, s. 25 för er som har receptboken!) as a starter and salmon with a carrot mash (boil carrots with lots of herbs and pieces of orange, and then mash them together, taken from Jamie’s dinners by Jamie Oliver) as a main course – simple food but so yummy that there was no place over for dessert.
We had decided to go out in the Condado area for once, and J had suggested the Marriott as they have a new Thursday evening concept. It suited us perfectly as the hotel is approximately 500 m from our home! The huge hotel bar is smack in the middle of the lobby, just outside the casino (it’s very popular to gamble in hotels in Puerto Rico). They had tried to make a small, improvised lounge area behind the bar with a few randomly placed sofas and curtains (or rather drapes as they are called in the US, ha ha) – I was not too impressed. J arrived and told us that the mojitos are among the best in San Juan, I was still sceptical – so far I haven’t had any good mojitos in Puerto Rico, which is really a disappointment as this is a Caribbean rhum island…
The drinks arrived and were surprisingly good, but very strong! At least the yerba buena (mint leaves) was fresh, unlike in some of the other bars where I have tried the mojitos. J told us that he’s going skiing next week in Vermont, which he was really excited about. He explained that many Puerto Ricans like travelling to cold places for their holidays, for obvious reasons (i.e for a change from the hot climate here). He is the third Puerto Rican that I meet who has been to Alaska on a cruise – isn’t that funny, Americans go to the Caribbean for cruises, and the locals go to the north for the same kind of floating holiday!
It was very interesting to do some people-watching in the hotel bar – the guests were a funny mix of shorts- & flip flop-clad Americans (why are you wearing shorts & flip flops in a hotel bar? I know that you are on holiday but c’mon, you are not on the beach anymore!!), Puerto Rican girls in the shortest dresses and the highest heels imaginable, Puerto Rican men with their plucked eyebrows… and O & I, of course the most normal-looking people around, ha ha!!
The music was a bit of a disappointment, we thought; oldies from the 80’s is not the soundtrack suited for a bar that is trying to implement a new lounge-concept… But it was fun to listen to a Rick Astley-medley (O and I discovered that we both have the vinyl album, from 1987*), Erasure’s Oh l’amour, Sweet dreams by Eurythmics and New Order’s True faith. It seemed that we were not the only things European in the bar – also the music was mainly European!! I had no idea that European [mostly electronic] music from the 80’s would be so popular among American holiday-makers and local Puerto Ricans!?
At 02 and after two strong mojitos each, we decided to call it a night… and walked home. As O said, even if the drinks might have been a bit more expensive than in other places in San Juan, we saved a taxi ride! Next week we will try some other bar in our area, maybe the new resort called La Concha, which according to our nightlife-guru J, is supposed to be a really cool for going out (let’s hope better than the Marriott!).
New visitors are arriving on Sunday evening, Swedish P and Cypriot M, who are right now travelling around Florida. Can’t wait to see them and show them around our island!
*) O was very disturbed yesterday when I said that he is now in his mid-30’s as he will turn 34 – he refused to admit it and kept saying that he will turn 33… Nope dear, that’s me who will turn 33 in 2008 – the horror! You do realise though, when you remember music from 20 years ago that yes, we are quite old. 😦