Most of you are probably wondering how did it go with the fire on Friday… Well, the fire has finally / already been extinguished and the FBI is now working on finding the cause of the explosion. That FBI is involved is not necessarily an indication that there was a supposedly criminal intent behind the explosion, it is just normal routine after such a fire. President Obama has declared an “emergency” in Puerto Rico to free upp FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency – the agency that was involved after the Katrina hurricane) funds. Read more on this link and this one.
Nothing bad that doesn’t bring out some good: Maybe some more Americans have learnt over the last few days that Puerto Rico is in fact an American territory? I quote CNN: Federal agencies have jurisdiction over Puerto Rico because it is a territory of the United States. It is very interesting to notice that there is a need to explain this, while at the same time the article was found under the category “World” and not “US”.
The explosion on the night between Thursday and Friday was felt as strongly as a 2,8 earthquake and quite a few of my friends had heard it and seen the flames. However, O and I, who were both awake at 00.30 on Thursday night didn’t notice anything. Funnily enough I had heard explosions around “Grey’s Anatomy-time” earlier in the evening, but I was told that they were caused by fireworks somewhere in the neighbourhood.
I worked at the Book Fair until closing time (9 o’clock) on Friday evening and afterwards we just had a late dinner at home while watching the Puerto Rican news about the fire.
On Saturday morning we could still see smoke from the fire but we didn’t notice any special smell of burning or petrol. I told O though that I didn’t feel comfortable eating breakfast by the balcony, in case there were toxic fumes in the air (probably silly!), so we ate at the dining table instead. First “indoor”* weekend breakfast in a long time!
In the afternoon we headed to the central part of the island with Swedish B – some of O’s colleagues were playing a charity game of “bamboo ten”. I thought that the whole event was called “bamboo ten” but we were told that it referred to the game, which is a mix of softball and baseball, and played with bamboo sticks and a tennis ball! Hence the name “bamboo ten[nis]”. Has anybody else heard of this game? I tried to google it but couldn’t find any information – maybe I spelt it wrong?
While watching the game, and trying to figure out the rules – B and I were utterly confused, we had some fried bacalaitos (fried pancakes with pieces of dry cod – bacalao) and pondering why one of the teams was called Los Extraterrestre – wasn’t there a -s missing at the end? O’s theory was that it was written phonetically – Puerto Ricans have a tendency to not pronunce the -s at the end of words (the name Luis is pronunced [Lui] – almost like in French!) or maybe it was just a mis-print?
The game took place in a local sports park, with two platforms for spectators at the baseball field, and another one by the basketball court, plus a running track. We saw one typical Puerto Rican jogger in a sweat suit – with emphasis on sweat! It looks an outfit made from a black garbage bag and it supposed to make you sweat more – completely stupid and probably dangerous in this heat! Stupid, because what you lose by sweating you will gain by rehydrating afterwards. (we later on found the suits for sale in Marshalls)
O’s air hostess friend S arrived on Saturday evening and we had a lovely dinner with her in Ummo, one of our favourite restaurants that serves parillas argentinas (Argentinian grill). It was fun to have dinner in Spanish, especially as I had been practising my Spanish during the two days at the Book Fair!
Yesterday we visited the Book Fair since O wasn’t able to make it on Thursday and Friday when I was working. We saw typical student bands called Tunas prepare for their performance. I had never heard of Tunas until recently when I saw a group in the Old San Juan – they are hard not to notice since they are always dressed in traditional medieval clothes. The typical instrument is the guitar and the students sing and play traditional folkloric songs.
All (?) the Spanish regions were represented at the Book Fair with official publications, both scientific and more literary books. Imagine our surprise when we found a book about the castle in O’s small home village! We bought it, of course 😉
More about the book fair tomorrow!
Does anybody know what this flower, or rather tree, is called? I really tried to get a better photo of it but it was very windy and to my annoyance I didn’t have any photo assistance since O had walked ahead of me…
*) Since we actually eat by the balcony and not on it. We open the French windows though so it is almost as sitting outdoors…