CHASING THE MAP

10 Things I’ve Learned In My First Week On Vieques

 

1.Horses in the road don’t move. Period. You figure that out pretty quickly when you just sit in your car expecting them to mosey along. It’s you, my friend, who goes around them.

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2.The neighborhood dogs don’t like the vehicles with the huge speakers on their roofs blaring political messages or other advertisements. They bark. Incessantly. When one starts, they all start. Though, there was one car that went by which was much quieter and sounded to me like an ice cream truck….Which then made me crave ice cream.

3.When you see something you want at the grocery store, buy it. It probably won’t still be there tomorrow. Case in point…I should have bought that brand of crackers I wanted to go with my gourmet cheese. Now they’re gone. And I’m sad. Lesson learned.

4.Yield the right of way, even if it belongs to you in the first place. Some of these roads are ridiculously narrow and you have to pull off into the bush to get past each other. Other cars will drive over you before they move over.

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5.For the first time in 43 years, I accurately read a road map. I couldn’t wait to share this with my husband, the resident map reader in our house. Yeah, yeah, so the maps here are pretty basic, and eventually I’d loop around anyway….

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6.How can you tell the difference between mouse poop and lizard poop? Lizard poop has a white tip at one end. I bet you always wanted to know that, didn’t you? Of course, you probably feel better now knowing that a lizard is taking up residence in your home rather than a mouse.

7.Roosters on the island don’t just crow in the morning. Yes, they crow at sunrise, but they also crow ALL DAY. They also call to each other, I’m convinced of that. If you’re a light sleeper like I am, invest in a descent pair of earplugs. Best purchase ever!

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8.The mosquitos here on the island are supercharged. They fly faster than a speeding bullet. Biting bugs have always found me to be a tasty meal, which doesn’t help matters. Couple that with the fact that I can’t swat at the damn things fast enough. My OFF! isn’t working so well, and it’s a brand new can. The mosquitos mock me.

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9.El Sombrero Viejo, or Kuhns as it’s known to the locals, sells the cheapest beer in Isabel. Mr. Robert Kuhn owned the bar for quite some time, and locals honor his legacy as such by continuing to use his last name when referring to the bar.

By cheap beer, I mean inexpensive, not crappy tasting. Though I’m sure they’ve got some of that, too. You can thank me by buying me a beer. You know how to reach me.

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10.The iguanas here are larger than my cat. This one was found eating leftovers at Cafe Mamasonga’s. Some even rival the size of my dog, an Australian shepherd / husky mix. Ok, not really, but man are they huge!

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