Life in Puerto Rico is one of my blog categories and if you click on the category widget on the right-hand side you can read in various posts that life in the Caribbean is most of the time not about going to the beach or the rainforest, or having exotic experiences (getting excited over finding fish stock in the supermarket!?) every day.
Here are some photos to illustrate our not-so-exotic Puerto Rican weekend (for exotic blog posts, check out the Travels in PR category). Oh, and don’t misunderstand me – I love my life in Puerto Rico and it would probably be just tiring if every second of it was extraordinary and different!
You might remember this dirty window… Washing the windows in our apartment is not easy, since you have to lean outside to reach the external window panes. O has told me not to attempt to do it, he’s afraid that I would fall out. Instead O washed the windows a few months ago, but as they rapidly get very dirty again due to the salty winds from the Atlantic, we haven’t bothered to do it lately…
See why O doesn’t want me to wash the windows… especially when I am home alone!
So imagine how pleased we were when our landlady decided to send three handy men to help us with cleaning windows, the ACs and fix a few things around the apartment. They arrived on Saturday morning and were very efficient and they even swept and mopped the floors afterwards! In a few weeks’ time they are supposed to come back to prepare for the new wardrobe interiors to be installed. I can’t wait for this because there are almost no shelves in our wardrobes, not practical at all.
The windows were so clean on Saturday afternoon and we were very happy to enjoy a spotless view again! The sliding kitchen windows (in photo) are especially difficult to clean since you need to have very long arms to reach all the way!
On Saturday evening we decided to go out for dinner and thought of pizza… However, on the way to the pizzeria, we passed a sushi restaurant and I asked O if we could change plans, which he agreed upon! We have been to this Asian restaurant before, Cherry Blossom, which is part Japanese steak house, part sushi bar but we always went to the right at the entrance for the steak house. This time we went left to have sushi – and we had a great, [for San Juan] exotic dinner!
It started pouring down during our meal and after having paid the bill we sat at the entrance for 15 minutes hoping that the storm would pass… It didn’t so we were trying to find alternative plans – maybe dash across the street to have ice cream at Häagen Dazs or coffee at Starbucks, but then one of the waiters told us that we could reach the Marriott through the backdoor and the parking, which sounded like a perfect [and dry] option! In the Marriott hotel we had a mojito before walking home [in the rain – but at least it wasn’t pouring down any longer].
On Sunday morning we had breakfast on our balcony / or almost at least! The balcony is tiny and the newly bought balcony set fits perfectly just inside by the big windows in our bedroom. This way we can see the view better than if we actually sat on the balcony itself, and we sit in the shade so it doesn’t get as hot!
Our Sunday breakfast usually includes porridge or cereal (Special K), juice (OJ for O and cranberry for me), cappuccino, and toast prepared by O with cucumber and cheese!
The balcony set was bought in one of our favourite shops, Marshalls a few weeks ago. This weekend was an exception, as we didn’t go to any of the many shops around San Juan, and I have actually introduced a new shopping rule, “Marshalls only once a month”!?
Many of our weekends seem to be dedicated to searching for things – marzipan, Wal-Marts and Costco (for a while we would drive to another town because we just couldn’t find the same Costco twice in the San Juan metropolitan area!), and on Sunday – hair colour! O dyes my hair every 4-5 weeks (tengo canas) and the hair dye (without ammoniac) that I am using is being discontinued😦 Since I happened to participate in a meeting with L’Oréal last week, I took the opportunity to ask about this specific product. They told me that some K-Marts were still selling it so voilà, another wild search. We didn’t find the exact colour but at least the same hair dye, so I think that I might just go a little darker…
The San Juan airport is passed on the way to and from our closest Costco (big supermarket) in Carolina, and it seems like there is a plane coming in for landing every time we drive here on the weekends! (my photos on Sunday didn’t turn out that great so these photos are from a previous weekend)
Our shopping done, we drove home and O went to have a nap on the beach! I have realised since moving to Puerto Rico that I am not a huge beach person, and I am far too worried about my skin to spend too much time in the sun. The difference between O and I is that I get a lot of fresh air and sunshine every day when I go for my mornings walks and errands during the day, while O spends his days in the office and the car. We usually try to go for a walk on the beach every weekend but on Sunday I preferred to stay at home. O came back up after just 25 minutes, but still happy with his weekend beach-fix.
And it was now time for our Sunday ritual: fika at Borders with our Swedish friend B! We meet every Sunday at the café in the book store and the ritual includes not only coffee but also a few gossip magazines – most importantly, Spanish Hola (Hello magazine)! B and I order the coffee while O goes looking for the magazines; Hola and usually one on computers as well.
The fika looks more or less the same every Sunday: B and I chat about what we have been up to during the last week – first in English and then in Swedish when we realise that O is completely immersed in the computer magazine. While we chat and sip our coffee, we flick through Hola and keep interrupting O’s reading to ask about the famous people on the magazine pages. O explains in Spanish who’s who in Spanish society and very often makes cross-references the woman you saw on page 10, used to be married to the duke so-and-so on page 35 and their son was killed in a skiing accident etc etc). Our favourite Spanish celebrity who is in every edition is la Duquesa de Alba, it is impossible not to be fascinated by her botchy plastic surgery and young[er] lover. New Spanish word learnt on Sunday was noviazgo – engagement!
Every now and then I will look around us, and there is almost someone in the café staring at us with curiosity – I guess people are very confused by our mix of languages, and trying to figure out which language B and I are talking! Or maybe they are just impressed by O’s profound knowledge of the lives of Spanish celebrities, ha ha!
PS The windows are no longer spotless… the storm on Saturday night and then another one on Sunday evening took care of that😦