4:45 a.m. Being an eternal optimist, I will entitle this post: At Least I Got The Toilet To Work. I am writing from a gas station somewhere in Puerto Rico. Here are a few things that have happened so far since I arrived.
It takes four hours to get from the airport to the car rental place and then to my hotel. When I finally get the bag that they made me check, I drag it outside and as soon as I leave the air conditioning almost pass out from the humidity. Dang. It's hot here. I feel like I'm wilting. I hear you get used to it, but I can't imagine ever feeling comfortable in this.
So I spend a couple of hours at the car rental place and am now stuck on the freeway. Traffic is stopped. I figured out the mystery of why PR highways are always so jammed up, though. It is because Puerto Ricans need better cars. There were three stalled vehicles abandoned right in the middle of the road during afternoon rush hour.
So, I get to the hotel and they give me a room on the 10th floor. I can even see the water from up here. Nice. I run a bath of tepid water, which is as hot as I can get it. The French Restaurant in the lobby doesn't open for an hour yet, but I am famished. I haven't eaten since the bag of peanuts on my flight. I look in the phone book for delivery. Papa John's!!!! Just like home. I call and it takes me at least 20 minutes to make my order. I DID attempt to speak Spanish, but the lady just seemed more confused than ever so I abandoned that tactic and just started speaking loudly into the receiver. That always works. Eventually.
I was disappointed in the Puerto Rican sausage, by the way. They don't have very flavorful cow parts here.
So, I discovered that the toilet doesn't flush. Huh. A quandry. I take the lid off the tank and look around inside. I will not be sticking my hand in there, uh uh. Green algae goop is all over. Yuck! Looks like something those crazy Califorians would drink because they think it's good for them. That's five servings of vegetables right there!
I move on to other things. My computer is not working very well. It's connecting but it's VERY slow. I set the alarm and crash. I got an hour of sleep last night.
I am awakened by loud voices in the room next to mine. The walls are paper thin. A couple. They are giggling and happy. Shut up, happy people. They woke me up a few times, but I made up for it with my loud alarm clock at 4am. I hear somebody over there groan. Take that, happy couple!
I walk into the bathroom and have an epiphany. I pull UP on the toilet handle. It worked! Things are starting to look up. I get dressed and pull my hair back. I call down to the front desk and ask them to bring my car around. I gather up my equipment and head to the bank of elevators. I hit the button. And wait. And wait. 5 minutes. I hit the button for the fourth time and realize the elevator is not stopping at my floor. Great. I gather my bags and head to the stairwell. Five minutes later I am huffing and puffing as I enter the lobby. The doorman is there waiting for me with a big smile on his face.
"I....the... elevator isn't working." I huff. He smiles and says, "Yes. Not on the 10th floor." Huh. Thanks for that update. When I have more time I'll be moving to a different room on a different floor with a flushing toilet and everything.
I get in my car and take a left onto the street. (or calle, as we say here in Pwerrto Reeco!) I drive for a little while and pass a van. It blinks its brights at me. Damn. Is that a cop? I can't tell. I pull over and a van full of strapping young police officers pulls up next to me. He rolls down his window, so I do the same. I smile my most charming American Gringa smile and say, "Can I help you?" The guy nods knowingly when he hears me speak and says, "You are driving the wrong way." Oh. He continues, "This is a one way street, but I will let you go this time. If you are going to the freeway, take a left at the next light." I thank him and continue driving the wrong way on a one way street. This is not a good start. I am anticipating several traffic related mishaps.