This one time I went to Puerto Rico for Labor Day weekend. Even though I didn’t know anyone there, I went by myself. I bought my ticket when I was in a get-me-out-of-DC rut during the summer. The flight times and ticket price worked perfectly and I wouldn’t have to ask off any time from my job. I initially assumed that I could find someone to go with me. That was in July. Flash forward to the end of August and I realized that all the people I could bear traveling with are either “poor” by their standards or flaky (or just don’t want to travel with me). So, I boarded my flight to San Juan with a dream, a cardigan, and a prayer that this tropical vacation wouldn’t be a waste of my time.
After my oh-so-typical anxiety attack about flying, I arrived in San Juan at 1:30 in the morning. I finally reached the hostel I had booked online and was shown to my room. It was pretty small with two sets of bunkbeds complete with two sets of pale European asscheeks staring right at me. These were to be my roommates. After flying for hours, this wasn’t exactly the most welcoming sight, but I crawled on top (to the top bunk, I mean) and prayed for good beach weather.
I woke up the next morning determined to have a good time. It’s really easy to feel lonely when you plan a vacay by yourself but I knew I had to suck it up. I first went to the beach to get my tan on. In the afternoon, I went to old part of San Juan where there are forts and colonial buildings, etc. Very pretty. I came back to my hostel worried that I would spend the night reading my book alone. But, while walking back, I ran into some of the people working at my hostel. They invited me to go out that night, which was super exciting. Friends! Here are some of the highlights of the night:
1. I went to a bar where the only drinks came out of slushie machines.
2. I found out all of the guys working at my hostel were gay.
3. Someone twerked me. This means he jiggled my asscheek for me. Afterwards, I thanked him.
4. I heard a girl say that she is SO high that her weave smells like weed.
It was a really fun night. I met people from all over and didn’t feel so lonely. The next morning, I was invited with some of my new friends to go to the rainforest (casual Puerto Rican hangout). After some extensive planning and cancelling and planning and cancelling, we finally got on our way. Our driver was a bipolar Puerto Rican (via New York) lesbian who enjoyed smoking pot with all the windows up while driving. Jesus helped us get to the rainforest in one piece. There, we relaxed and splashed around in the river (again casual).
That night, already my last night in PR, I was introduced to the San Juan gay scene. This is a big deal for Puerto Rico. I mean it’s Ricky Martin’s motherland! Again, it was a great night. I saw some drag queens, some thongs, some male strippers…everything I expected and more. Someone even hollered at me from their car but eventually turned me down because I had an early flight the next morning. Bummer. He probably would have lasted 30 seconds.
I came back to the hostel pleasantly drunk and passed out on a couch in the common room. The hostel manager was asleep on the other couch when I lost consciousness. I work up the next morning to pee, stood up too quickly, and passed out in the bathroom. I hit my head on the sink and got this nice little souvenir:
Pause. Look at that beautiful green eye one more time. Now, continue reading.
I didn’t have time to inspect my gash so I ran through the streets of San Juan looking for a taxi with a wad of toilet paper held to my forehead. I eventually made it the airport, where the paramedics bandaged me up. I talked to them completely in Spanish, gracias! They sent me on my flight and I got four stitches right when I got back to DC. All in all, I had a great trip but wish that I hadn’t been such a clumsy lush. After a brief freak out, I am now 95% sure that the hostel manager didn’t take advantage of me while I was passed out. 5% of me still has my doubts.
I’m a failed model/international peace mediator. I like telling stories, traveling, and guys. Besides becoming Oprah, my biggest life goal is to be able to do the splits. All the way.