Puerto Rico politics

Submitted by eagle on Thu, 07/25/2019 - 15:43

The governor of Puerto Rico just resigned, over some type of corruption protests. While I don't generally have an opinion on Puerto Rican politics, I've noticed that they're spending millions of dollars on the roads, which are already usable, while the water remains basically unusable.

More in Puerto Rico

Submitted by eagle on Thu, 07/25/2019 - 13:08

Can't wait to leave!

It's Thursday morning at seven AM, and there are numerous Puerto Ricans drinking and smoking!

There are disturbed neighborhoods in some areas. Often poor, sometimes artistic.

Things come into shape, patterns emerge. When you do something repeatedly, ignorant or forgetful of previous occasions, you often get comparable results. For example, I just added stuff to my calendar, and it turned out to fit in almost mathematically with items I'd added to my calendar years ago! Or seeing the same neighborhood I was in weeks ago, and having almost the same experiences and reactions.

Engineer (v.): To make something work more efficiently.

Writing (n.): Information & Inspiration!

Marketer (n.): Someone who deceptively panders to base emotions to manipulate people for profit.


San Juan notes

Submitted by eagle on Wed, 07/24/2019 - 19:23

Sitting in a book shop. Maybe going to RD today. Otherwise, stuck on this island.

Now in a part of San Juan, Puerto Rico that I've mostly seen already. Sort of a busy, yet not particularly nice, area.

There are enough things to see and do, but it's so dense that I'd rather get to a quieter place. However, I want to stay near enough to the ferry station that I can walk there any day that I decide to go.

Puerto Rico is a fairly noisy country. It's more like American noise, with cars and somewhat angry music (but also somewhat festive). I prefer Mexican loudness, which is more festive.

The island of Puerto Rico is a small chunk of America that broke off into the Caribbean.

People come in different shapes and sizes. Each shape or size is adapted to the place where it evolved. In Puerto Rico, there are facial features and body types which show some heritage from the first Asian settlers. The overall profile seems fairly Latin, with its mix of Asian and European features. Nowadays, numerous Puerto Ricans show typically American features, such as the obesity of an American diet.

One huge frustration of traveling on islands is getting onto or off of them. I keep getting stuck in situations where I'm ready to go, but for various island-related reasons it's impractical to leave. That can leave one feeling frustrated. However, it does also afford a chance to take care of some other things like unfinished chores. However, I'd still prefer just to go anywhere whenever I feel like it, as one can more reasonably do on a continent.

The humidity of the tropics is, as I've previously mentioned, really annoying me. Swollen sinuses, etc.

I feel like I've already commented on most of what I think or feel about Puerto Rico. I guess that ties in with the feeling of stuckness. If I still had different perspectives, then I probably wouldn't feel stuck.

Also, on returning back to the capital, I still agree with many of my thoughts and feelings from the first time. I guess I have some consistency, at least.

An island has a sense of sovereignty. Even if it's not sovereign, which often happens on islands, it's isolated enough to have a distinctness to it. The island is more independent (as its use in metaphors suggests). An island off an island, or an island off an island off an island, feels respectively more isolated, sovereign.

Are outside/inside reversed? Should we call "indoors" the wild, and "outdoors" the houses we build?

San Juan does have a large number of attractive young adults. I guess each place has its pros and cons.


Caribbean travels!

Submitted by eagle on Tue, 07/23/2019 - 13:01

So it looks like I won't be going to Republica Dominicana today. The ferry leaves every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I'm still aiming to go this week, if feasible.

While happily "stuck" in Puerto Rico, I plan to do some more work, and see a few of the remaining parts of San Juan, the capital. As I've mentioned previously, I already feel like I've seen most of what I want to see here, but there remain a handful of places of interest.

Map of Puerto Rico with Places of Interest

Some of my stuff continues to fall apart or remain broken -- e.g. the bike, which I plan to fix in RD, since I don't plan to do any more riding in PR. Other things seem to be improving, like my electronics, which have thankfully remained functional for quite a while.

Tons of rain, or as the weather forecast calls it, sunshine.

I like the tropics. Many of my favorite fruits and vegetables come from this region. However, my body does not come from the tropics, so I often find it hard to handle the humidity, and the more intense heat. I do, however, appreciate the lack of cold weather. An occasional cooler night for having a fire could be nice. Anyways, not complaining about lack of winter, which I've mostly forgotten!

Eagle Gamma - July 21, 2019

I also am coming to appreciate the advantages of small islands. While they're much harder to get among than a single large continent, the islands by being so also prevent many of the problems of the mainland. Also, it gives a feeling of satisfaction to go from one country to another so quickly.

Puerto Rico is a country of comfort. People here like their air conditioning, cars, sodas, soft foods, beaches, etc. Anything insufficiently smooth is removed.

I like it here, it's pleasant. I'd be fine staying here for a while longer. However, I'd rather go to more interesting places, which I have not yet seen.

The search for novelty. Is that what travel is fundamentally about? One goes to a different place any time one wants.

I get bored easily. I travel often. I think that people who rarely or never travel have not much boredom. I have a low threshold for boredom, and as such have much boredom if I don't do something about it. Travel requires a ton of different styles of thought and action, introduces different emotions, etc. Travel is my anti-boredom.

I don't think I can exhaust the novelty. The planet is so big and complex -- even a small part of the planet is so big and complex -- that I can easily find interesting things to do for as long as I expect to live.

There are so many possibilities, in travel as at the hardware store. Maybe it's all that possibility!

Any day, a traveler can decide to see, or eat or drink or dance or hear, a never-before-tried item. That freedom -- so many choices!

By contrast, in one place, one faces the same choices each day. Same walks, same shops and restaurants, same people, same languages, etc.

I guess it depends on your personality, what you like. As for me, I do like some routine, but I also have a serious desire for variety!

It's funny how opposite Puerto Rico and Cuba are in some ways, given how comparable the two are in other ways. Both share nearby locations, geography, ecology, heritage, etc. Yet, Cuba is communist and has no commerce with America, while Puerto Rico is part of the United States and in some ways more commercial than America.

Travel, as with many other activities, is an activity that responds to how one does it. Many people think that travel is too hard, or expensive, or dangerous, to do except in the most limited of circumstances. However, by basically pushing oneself out to the places where one wants to go, one can often arrive quite easily, affordably, and safely. Not to minimize the costs of travel (or other activities). It does include some added difficulty, cost, and danger. However, these are often manageable, and they're not totally absent from staying at home.

If you want to go somewhere, I say take a chance. Don't wait too long!

I find it interesting to watch (and participate in) how belongings develop. One maybe starts out with a bike that one picked up on a whim, then later one adds some more parts, makes some replacements. Maybe one replaces the entire bike. Likewise with other equipment -- also attitudes, thoughts, emotions. Eventually, one becomes a different person with different belongings!

I've often been shy. That's part of my basic personality. I do have an outgoing side, I'm not at the extreme of the shyness scale by any means. However, I think that my shyness has prevented me from undertaking some endeavors, making some sales, etc. Travel is an effective way to overcome one's shyness, although the shyness itself still remains underneath one's abilities to overcome it. Travel forces you to get out there, to interact, etc.

Puerto Rico mixes its cultural influences from native, Hispanic, white, etc. sources.

The Puerto Rican people seem to me smooth (sometimes bordering on bland). I like them, although I think I'm quite different from them. I have a hard time picturing Puerto Ricans eating spicy food, being moody, or doing some of the other things I do.

Biking seems fairly popular here as a recreational activity. I've seen numerous road cyclists, a few groups of mountain bikers, and maybe a handful of urban commuters (although not much bike delivery). I don't think I've seen any other touring cyclists, whether from here or abroad.

I'm recovering from my exhaustion after the first few years of travel. I'm now out there working and looking for more jobs, traveling and looking forward to more places, doing different activities -- and still spending some quality time at the beach. :)

It can sometimes be hard to relate to the more normal parts of society, after engaging in some unusual activity like spending a few years traveling. Not that I was the most normal person beforehand, but it's definitely changed who I am.

Overall, I prefer to have the experiences and outlooks from traveling.

Some of the costs -- not just financial, but also missing out on some normal things -- can occasionally feel sad, but in my opinion they're more than compensated for by the uncommon benefits. Plus, I can still do many of the normal activities, e.g. go shopping or ride a bus or whatever.

Each person gets to choose to a large extent what to do. Especially with modern society, technology, etc. Not just one choice, but many. I'm happy with some of my choices, sad about others, but overall positive. Looking ahead to make more decisions and take more actions!!!

There are many ways, and they are often confusing. In my humble opinion, it makes sense to go for your goals, adapting along the way.

Have fun! :)

Last night, walked to a park looking for a quiet place to camp. The park was fenced and locked, of course. Camped outside the park. As it got dark out, a bright light on the outside of the park wall went on. Fell asleep anyways. Woke up in the middle of the night to a huge motorcycle parade! Engines revving, music blasting. So much for the quiet night, but at least it was entertaining.


PR crime

Submitted by eagle on Tue, 07/23/2019 - 10:55

I'd heard and read that Puerto Rico is dangerous, but so far I haven't seen much crime. It doesn't feel like a dangerous place, compared to some of the other places I've seen.

Leaving Puerto Rico

Submitted by eagle on Mon, 07/22/2019 - 14:14

After a long day of minor mishaps yesterday, went to a forest for a place to camp. The forest was closed. Behind a fence, the city of San Juan had locked up the forest for the night!

My return to San Juan confirms my previous reaction. I feel like it's stuffy, hard to get around (huge highways divide the city), weirdly conservative in a liberal territory. I like it, but not as much as I love much of the rest of Puerto Rico.

Going to try taking the ferry to Republica Dominicana tonight. Not sure yet whether or not I'll be able to get on board. Don't know in which country I'll be tonight!

I'm feeling ready to leave PR. I feel like I've already seen basically every part of it that I want to. Now everywhere I go, I feel like I can't wait to get to the next destination! Felt like this also in Miami, Bahamas, Cuba, while approaching departure.

Excited to get to a new country, new city, new culture, new geography!

The older I get, the more I appreciate small towns instead of big cities. I still like the culture and population of large cities. However, it now feels like more of an effort, much more stress. I like the quiet, the slower pace, in the small towns. Kind people, relaxing, spacious!

I'm covered in scrapes and bruises. From camping, riding, etc.!


Submitted by eagle on Fri, 07/19/2019 - 21:07

Puerto Rico is actually quite a rocky island. It has fairly high mountains throughout.

Looks like there are no ferries from Dominican Republic to Turks & Caicos. I had wanted to go, not sure how practical it will be.

I learned that the early human populations on Republica Dominicana came from South America.

RD has had a contentious history, with different interests wanting independence or integration with various larger countries.

Looks like RD arose from the subduction of the American and Caribbean tectonic plates.

Sus dimensiones máximas son:
    • 390 km de este a oeste (Cabo Engaño a Las Lajas)
    • 265 km de norte a sur (Cabo Isabela a Cabo Beata)

From <https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rep%C3%BAblica_Dominicana>

Por cierto, prefiero leer en espanol!

Around half of Haitians are illiterate.

After taking a wild step to get going on this leg of the adventure, I'm now feeling much more confident about getting around the Caribbean. Still plenty of challenges!

For many days now, the weather service has predicted no rain, yet it's rained almost constantly throughout the day.

I've had numerous close calls throughout my travels. Thankfully, I've come out fine! In fact, as I've remarked before, often the problems seem to lead to new heights!

I've had numerous close calls throughout my travels. Thankfully, I've come out fine! In fact, as I've remarked before, often the problems seem to lead to new heights!

Puerto Rico river

Submitted by eagle on Fri, 07/19/2019 - 14:35

Walked some more. The rear wheel probably needs replacement, and there are no bike shops or the like around here. Now traveling through the large river area to the north of the capital. Beautiful trees, including tons of fruit trees. Have eaten fresh avocados, starfruits, and more. Would probably eat even more, but I don't know many of the trees here, not sure which ones are edible!

I thought of leaving Puerto Rico on Monday, but that now looks like it won't happen due to logistical issues. I'm happy about that, because I want to take this part slowly. Gorgeous area!