A list of things I miss [& wanted to remember] about PR

Puerto Rico.
Río Piedras

avenida universidad and it’s convenient bars
the atmosphere of old men staring
the enticing smell of arroz y habichuelas down the street
the humidity and the sun that made me golden brown

the rock hard benches below Torre Norte that snagged the lint out of your clothes
the ten random people you would find there in the wee hours of the a.m.
the Walgreens in Río Piedras with the cute shift manager
the guagua/bus and how people would stare at you
the stray dogs that roamed las calles
when girls would come in and ask for an accessory when we go out
the 16th floor and its common area
the screenless windows and my “haunted” closet
the rain that would sneak up on you and soak you like you’re a sponge

Culebra
the drunken tour guide
my classmates who’d fall asleep on our way home from excursions
sangria
spanish class
how the elevators in Torre Norte would decide to stop working at random times
how there’s always someone yelling in the dorm hallways
my roomie
my neighbors
los puertorriqueños
Isla Verde and its sand storms
borinquen land
piña coladas at the ritz
the manifestation of equipo Dasani
meaningful & political graffiti
thunderstorms and lightning
the broom man
the reggaeton, salsa and merengue
the respectful dominican boys and girl
the charming puerto rican boys.

I wrote this in 2006. I can’t believe I still haven’t gone back. It’s funny how you come across things in your past and they instantly evoke vivid memories of happiness. I decided to study Spanish in Puerto Rico so that I could find adventure. I ended up finding myself. 

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