Small Differences Between Puerto Rico and Home

27th July 2009

First, the crucial beverage differences:

  • On the whole, pre-packaged beverage servings are much smaller — serving-size cans of juice are only about 4 oz. The photo above is of big juice cans. I love that label design.
  • Related: you can get tiny Coronas called “Coronitas.” They are adorable.
  • Stores sell milk in juice box packaging. Which wouldn’t be that unusual I guess, but they’re everywhere.
  • A “fruit punch” is likely to be made up of actual tropical juices, even if you buy it in a can. This makes rum punch dangerously easy to mix, even if you have no business mixing yet another rum punch, Maggie.
  • Melissa orders a beer. The waitress just pops the top of the can and sets it down in front of her. I’m amazed by this. I’ve been living in a big city too long.

Non-liquid differences::

  • That burrito? It’s full of hummus. Melissa ordered it knowingly, despite vigorous head shaking on my part.
  • Cars drive by open-air restaurants blaring advertising out of speakers on top.
  • Our airplane ticket for the ride back to Old San Juan was handwritten.
  • There are iguanas crawling through the grass on the side of the road.

  • I took this photo from the car. Wild horses are everywhere in Vieques, often standing in the road.
  • Little lizards are everywhere too. Like on the wall behind my pillow. Where I sleep at night.
  • People grow cacti in long rows to use as fences for small livestock.
  • Had I not made a When Harry Met Sally point of it, my nachos would have come with corn on them.

  • The pool at our hotel wasn’t chlorinated, so swimming was like taking a bath.
  • Bats swooped over the pool at night to eat insects off the surface. This made Melissa nervous at first, but I assured her that they could see us, and wouldn’t come near us. On our last night we lingered too long in the pool, and the bats got frustrated. So one dive-bombed my face. It came inches from my mouth, and I could hear the leathery wing flaps, and feel the leathery wing air.

*Intel is giving me more to write about by sponsoring my Mighty Life List over the next few months. They paid for my trip to Puerto Rico, so they’re indirectly responsible for any bat flashbacks I may have for the next several months.

21 thoughts on “Small Differences Between Puerto Rico and Home

  1. Kelly

    Puerto Rico sounds like heaven. They should hire you as their PR person!

    That insidious corn has shown up in nachos in Austria as well and on pizzas in Russia.

  2. The Bug

    Mmm – corn! I love corn. I think I’ll start adding it to my nachos. And I like hummus – but not sure I’d want a whole burrito full.

    If the bat thing happened to me I might never swim again!

  3. Becky

    I love this post. It’s the small differences that really make up so much of the whole travel experience.

    And you can get those Coronitas here! Our joke is that they’re Happy-Meal sized.

  4. Liz

    You can find those Goya nectars around if the the Mexican food aisle of some stores. Yumm!

  5. jessica

    ooo, did you stay at the hix house? so dreamy that place, and the pool, ugh, i want to go back. stat.

  6. El Gray

    I can confirm the existence of Coronitas in Mexico, too. Puerto Vallarta, at least.

    I like corn on my nachos! You can get that as a topping at Qdoba, if I remember correctly. MMM. CORN.

  7. gesikah

    Does the bat thing not happen everywhere? We have the same thing here in Louisiana, it never occurred to me that it was out of the ordinary.

  8. sarah

    why don’t i get the hummus/burrito/san fransisco joke?

    probably because i’m from ohio…?

  9. Lindsey @ I Run in Heels

    Bats completely freak me out. I once went to a zoo exhibit where they were flying around, free to roam wherever they pleased, and I lasted about 5 seconds before I made a run for it. Aaah! I impressed you can write about it so calmly. Without exclamation points.

  10. Brianne

    Oh how I miss Vieques. I could have stayed at Red Beach forever.

    And the Iguanas. Awesome….. until you see them as road kill.

  11. Brianne

    p.s. You don’t know me. Is it still cool that I comment? I’m clearly not current on blog etiquette.

  12. Jen W.

    Wow, that horse looks fairly healthy for being wild in a somewhat urban area. That’s a good surprise! Bats divebombing, however, are not. :)

  13. Molly

    That last thing? About the bat dive-bombing your face? Yeah, I would have had a seizure and died on the spot. I almost did just reading about it.

  14. Vanessa

    I was dive bombed by bats while staying at a dude ranch outside of Yellowstone — that has got to be one of the freakiest experiences EVER!

  15. Meg

    I vacationed to PR not to long ago and as a midwest meat and potato girl, I have to say I am still dreaming about yucca, rice and beans, plantains, and mojitos. Yumm!

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  17. Carmen

    Oh how cool you went to PR. One of the best things about growing up over there myself is not being scared of bats (or lizards). When I lived there there would be a bat hanging during the day in my storage place. Didn’t mind…they eat mosquitoes and those are real evil animals!…

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