I have found a Burger King close to the house we are staying at, and I when I wake at my usual 6:30 now I can slip away without waking the rest of the household. There, coffee I almost understand and a breakfast thingie I now understand very well indeed. They have wireless which my phone can use.... a blessing all out of proportion to it's cost.
I wish I could post photos of the adventure so far, but it's unlikely. The computer I am borrowing at the moment is a might skittish, and tends to self destruct regularly. I'd hoped to be posting cell-phone images all along.... but... well..... see the earlier post regarding Verizon. I've actually considered buying a no-contract smart phone, just to stay in contact these few weeks we are away.
The morning here is one of sounds. Roosters crow their territorial cries from under the bedroom window to as far away as sound travels. No one owns the chickens here... they are as rampant as squirrels are back home.
As the sun rises, dogs bark. Just one.. then another... then five more... and for a few moments one can here the barks fading in from the distance. It's an early morning canine wake up call, hello, and status report all in one.
Dogs roam freely. Most small, and most are scrawny. Few seem to have actual owners, although some seem treasured pets. I suppose if one wishes a pet, one just puts out a bit of food and eventually something joins the family.
Puerto Rico is a beautiful place... green and verdant, with raucus colors greeting a traveler around every bend. So far, everyone I have met is friendly, with a handshake or a hug, and knowing pity for the foolish American who cannot speak Hispanol. On the other hand, Puerto Rico is also a land of fences, gates, barred windows, and guards. Every home has it's fenced property, and gated driveway. Even the lowest hovel has a run of chicken wire spread across it's gateway, and the gates are used.
Where we are staying, the house and drive are open when people are out and around. It's friendly and welcoming, if poor. Yet, one notices the residents habits. In the morning, as people leave, they lock the door behind them carefully.... I suspect to assure no bandits enter the home as others sleep. The door.... it has no door knob, nor catch. It has only a deadbolt lock. Here the door is locked to guard or stands wide open. There is no between.
Our first night here, gathered in a circle of chairs in the driveway, electrin fan running, cooler stocked with Coors Lite on ice. I am handed cervesa after cervesa as they talked for hours, Princess managing to come up to speed on the language. Me... I just smiled, drank beer, and watched the world. As the cans emptied, they were tossed to the side.... something my Lancaster soul could not abide. Trash, on the ground! Tossed there without a care! I dropped my empties in the trash can, not understanding.
In the morning... there were no cans on the ground. They had been collected, scavenged in the night. It's all just part of the culture. Different from mine, but it evolved with reasons I don't understand yet. There is much trash on the street, in yards.... everywhere. I don't understand that either..... maybe I never will.
Hot..... the heat takes some getting used to, for a norther like me. Many here don't seem to notice it, although the late afternoon does get significantly quieter. Fans are the rule, and most bedrooms have an AC unit in the window. We bought our own, and the man of the house installed it for us, so we can sleep at night. Of course it's their's now, a gift we leave as thanks.
Windows.... something so startling to me I almost didn't recognize it. Many homes have few 'windows' (glass). Screens, yes, and metal louvers that open and close over the screens. Windows? Why have windows? Just something to break when storms come in. It never gets cold enough for the homes to require heating, and when the AC is on to sleep one just shuts the louvers.
Now, Princess sleeps while I quietly read... the house deserted but for us. Later, a distant relative (?) comes over and we all go out together. I am told I shall have a hair cut... imagine my excitement.