Sunday, January 11, 2009

I Want to Go Back to San Juan...I Know a Boat You Can Get On...

I have arrived in San Juan! But I realize that I have said very little about this trip on the blog. I was accepted into a workshop on Writing from Experience during the time last semester when I wasn't blogging much. It's a part of the same program at NYU that I did the workshop with last summer and the scholar-in-residence program in 2006. And it's through them that I'll be auditing a class this coming semester. But, for now, I'm in San Juan at the University of the Sacred Heart, and our workshop starts tomorrow.

I admit that I spent the past week quite anxious about this trip. I've never been to Puerto Rico, and new things scare me. At the same time, I constantly take advantage of such opportunities because I feel like I have an obligation to get out and take part in projects like this while seeing the world. Can I just say publicly that Da Man has been a saint these past few weeks? I've been pretty dificult to deal with, but he's been amazing, trying to calm me down without denying what I'm feeling and how this is just who I am.

At any rate, the alarm went off at 4:27 this morning in Connecticut. We had a snow storm last night that dumped six to twelve inches on us, but whenever I checked for my flight, it was on schedule. I was kinda hoping it would just get cancelled so I wouldn't have to deal with any anxiety. But we got through the snow, arriving at the airport only about twenty minutes or so later than it usually takes. The plane was there overnight, which meant it was covered in snow. It took forever to de-ice the plane. And the plane was packed! It was huge, and every seat was taken for this direct flight from Hartford to San Juan. But we got in the air, and four hours later, we landed.

It was eighty-two degrees here. Obviously, there's no snow in sight. Not only that, but everything is so lush and green. I got my luggage, and got a cab to the university. On the way, I found out that I really should have brushed up on my Spanish. It comes back fast, but I was embarassed not to understand the cabbie's polite questions once we got on our way. But he got me here, though not to the exact building. Still, I found it, checked into my room, and made it to the reception, where the only drinks available were alcohol and water. Everytime I turned around, the wine guy was pouring more into my glass. And I hadn't really eaten, so it hit, but I felt pretty good about it, I'll admit.

Yes, as I worried, this university is not within walking distance of a lot of places to eat. We got a list of places, and I think we're supposed to call a cab to take us. They provide breakfast and lunch, but dnner is on our own. And it's an ordinary dorm where I'm sharing a bathroom with two other guys, but the room is to myself, and it's nicer than what I had at NYU last summer. Connecting to the internet has been the big thing to put me into a better mood, though. Students in my online class have an essay due next weeked, and I felt bad about being out of the loop. And while my cell phone works here, I'm roaming, so I get charged for each minute I'm making a call. Being online makes me feel much less alone, so that makes me happy. Da Man is off for a few days visiting friends. And I hope he has a great time and enjoys the break away from me and my moods.

I'll keep posting pics on the photo blog, but I really need to go and get my homework done for tomorrow: an essay about our trip here. Which I guess I've already done now?

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