After days of being outsmarted by the weather here in the Caribbean my friends and I finally caught a break. While Friday saw us finally comprehending the rain aspect of the rain forest, thanks so much, it's a trip AND an education, Saturday morning dawned bright and clear. While I stared intently at the sky, daring it to become cloudy again, Becca and Lisa packed up our bags and we hopped the bus to the beach. Finally. I mean, you can go on and on about the beauty of Old San Juan, the historical significance of the island, the forts and the museums, the cultural experiences and the charming homes, but come on, those are just things you talk about when the weather is being mean. In reality, people come here for the beach. Let's be honest. Thousands of sunburned elderly persons in bermuda shorts can't be wrong.
As the bus dropped us off and we wiggled our toes in the burning sand the pumping sounds of reggeton could be felt vibrating through the ground. While Becca and Lisa looked around for a place to settle down, I inwardly groaned. I had forgotten, or perhaps not wanted to remember the cardinal rule of beach attendance here in Puerto Rico, which is of course, don't ever, ever, ever go to the beach on the weekends from May to August unless you want to fight the entire population of the island for a spot on the sand. At 11 am in the morning the beach was already a strugglesome crowded mess, though frankly, I've seen it be way worse. It must be too early in May for most people, and of course, most Puerto Ricans wont make the trip in anything less then 95 degree weather, deeming the 80's too cold. Observing the landscape, I could see that not only was every rule printed on the beach's signboard being broken all at once, but that the life guards were too busy flirting with sunbathing teenagers to bother to save lives. Well, that's a kind of attentiveness, I thought to myself, and slathered sunscreen on Lisa's back to the delight of the middle aged men seated to our left, who were, I can bet you, already on their third beer of the morning. Between the birds and the music and the screaming children I have honestly no idea how anyone's hearing remains intact here.
However, as much of a struggle as the beach on a Saturday can be here, the weather remained calm (amazing how important weather can be, isn't it? I understand really why people put up with California...) and the water, as always, was fantastic. Our bellies full of bacalaito, a fried cod fritter popular here, we lounged in the sun, dodging the occasional football flying by our heads. Sure, the struggle abounded around us, but it's amazing how swimsuits are the great equalizer. Something about the combination of latex and sand makes everyone seem equally ridiculous. Or awesome. You decide.
I woke up this morning with the backs of my legs looking like very oddly shaped twin lobsters. I swear, it's always the silliest places that burn.
Feeling sassy? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BSg6mkCFyK8&NR=1 Shut the blinds. It's super danceable.
Leah Franqui is a fairly interesting person/director/writer/reader/eater/drinker. She likes ugly dogs and dislikes her hair in the morning. She's a sucker for environmental causes and plays hardball with deals on chewing gum. She is a struggle.