The Boricua Report

Road to AreciboCockpitSnorkeling at Parguera

I’m typing this as I fly back from San Juan to Dallas, since I have no more DVDs to watch. It was a very nice change of pace flying last Thursday to Puerto Rico (pronounced Puelto Lico) for a week on a recruiting trip with National Instruments. Luis Orozco, Nick Marquez and myself flew to the town of Mayagüez, on the west side of the Island. There is a big campus of the Universidad de Puerto Rico that specializes in Engineering (computer, electrical, mechanical… you name it).

While I could go on here telling you about our adventures involving missed flights (screw you American Airlines and your hour-long check-in lines), very small airplanes, giant radiotelescopes, man-eating plants, etc, I’ll just let you see the photos yourself (after the commercial break).

One thing that doesn’t show up in the photos is the night we went snorkeling to check out the bioluminescent plankton at La Parguera. You go in the water and move your body around, and little dots of light appear all around it. Way cool especially considering it did not involve any sort of mushroom eating (which they call “zetas”, not “champiñones”) to help enhance the effect – seriously.

But before the photos, allow me to summarize my experiences in a few concise points that will prepare you for any future trips you may make to Puerto Rico:

  • Everywhere you go they’re playing loud music. Even on campus they had a band playing all day.
  • Ever heard Reggaeton and wondered who the hell listens to that? This is it baby.
  • They play Shakira and even Gloria Trevi on the radio too, and I was shocked (and nauseous) when I heard Maná.
  • The coolest guy on the whole island was the Oakley-wearing bus driver of the internal University Trolley. He played very loud Reggaeton and every girl getting on the bus would kiss him (but not me – Note to self: make Reggaeton mix tape).
  • When you are flying on a very small plane just yourself and the pilot, he will fly around the Arecibo Radiotelescope and tilt the plane to help you get good photos. Cool! By the way, I got to fly both ways on the same plane with the same pilot (San Juan – Mayagüez).
  • They have “arroz con habichuelas” EVERYWHERE. It’s just like in that song (it is of utter importance that you follow that last link).
  • Puertoricans are very nice.
  • Outdoors it’s always insanely hot and humid. Your t-shirt will stick to your back in sixty seconds, guaranteed.
  • Indoors it’s always insanely cold. I’m talking blue toes cold here. With the amount of electricity they use in Puerto Rico to cool down the buildings you could send a large fleet of DeLoreans back to the future.
  • Local beer is called Medalla Light. It’s good, but no Indio. I grabbed a bottle for my collection.
  • Driving through the island is very, very slow. No MoPac-like highway anywhere.
  • Do NOT take photos in the Casino Tropical.
  • Lots of people look like Felix Trinidad. The guard at the casino was one of them.
  • “Mofongo” is not a term that refers to a part in the female body.

Ok, enough of this. Go see the photos at the MKX® Photo Central (if you care enough that you actually read this whole post).

Leave a Reply