April 8, 2006

Full Circle
Condado, Puerto Rico

I've returned to Puerto Rico—the peculiar, illegitimate island love-child seemingly begotten from a moment of passion between Latin and North America.

I've come full circle. I started my Caribbean adventures in Puerto Rico last December, and in PR they will end—for now. It's absolutely amazing to reflect on the experiences I've had since I left the States; it's almost overwhelming.

At the moment I'm in a densely populated suburb of San Juan called Condado, staying at simple apartment with Jess and her friendly roommate Jennifer—and Jen's spoiled wiener dog, Blacky. Jennifer, a former stripper who was born in the Dominican Republic, knows about as much English as I know Spanish, which has lead to some fun single-word sentences mixed with descriptive hand gestures.

It's been three months since I've been in a Spanish speaking country, and Puerto Rico is providing a smoother transition for me than abruptly jumping from saying Bonjour! in French St. Martin, to Buenos Dìas in Mexico. I've got a very strong desire to learn Spanish (I dislike the feeling of being conversationally crippled), but I'm not the most cunning linguist, and wish I had formal exposure to the language at some point earlier in my life (either in high school or at least a trimester of it during my undergrad years).

I'll be picking up my ticket to Cancun this afternoon. Because of weekend fares (coupled with Easter and my intentional purchase delay) I've only got two departure days that I can affordably choose from at the moment. As of yesterday, those dates would be Wednesday the 12th, my birthday, or the 18th, almost a week later. I've got to give it some thought and then talk it over with Jess—who is currently MIA (again) this morning.

Looking back on the past few months, I realize that I don't typically write in great detail about the people that I encounter. The personalities, mannerisms, and stories they tell (both verbal and unspoken) blend together with countless other observations and experiences that I digest on a daily basis.

I often feel saddened to only be able to write about and photograph but a small corner of the ever-changing canvas that I'm living in. Sometimes it feels like I'm a tourist inside an exquisite souvenir shop, and only to select one or two items to take home.

But one or two items will have to do… For as much as I both enjoy and dislike the aspects of keeping a travelogue such as this, I can't imagine not having a medium like Travelvice with which to simply share and remember a small glimpse of my thoughts, experiences, hardships, accomplishments, knowledge, and adventures.

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