No matter who we spoke with in San Juan, a driver, a shop keeper, the receptionist in City Hall where we went for directions, Hurricane’s Maria and Irma were not far from anyone’s mind or lips. We saw damage from the blows everywhere we went. The Hilton and Ritz Carleton in San Juan have still not opened. Stucco was blown off the sides of buildings exposing brick, there are roofless buildings, vacant lots where there used to be a home. There was still plywood in windows. Longshoremen had to row out to the end of the pier to tie and untie the ship because there were missing sections of cat walk. The “Jet ways” from the ship to the pier were down so we used the old fashioned gangways. And San Juan did not take the direct brunt.
I don’t know how this will play out, but I suspect that it will have political implications. I don’t know what these will be beyond dumping a couple of hundred thousand citizen voters on the mainland where they will influence politics, especially in Florida.
I wonder if we can find a clue of those implications in some of the graffiti on the walls in San Juan. It’s pretty well done. I don’t know what it means and given the poor Internet on the ship I can’t really get Google Translate to work. I gave up after translating after trying one although another is conveniently in English. So I am asking for some crowd sourcing here. If you read Spanish can you shed some light on the meanings for me?
San Juan has a row of statues showing each sitting president who has visited Puerto Rico from Teddy Roosevelt to Barak Obama. I will just note that there are no statues between Gerald Ford and Barak Obama. That’s a long stretch of time, no Reagan, Bush, Clinton or Bush. They are planning one for Donald Trump with jokes of how to get his hair just right in bronze and his pose. Will it show him tossing a roll of Bounty brand paper towels at Barak?
And we come to hero cats. There are cats all over Old San Juan. People leave bowls of water for them and sometimes little bits of food. The residents believe the cats keep down rats and mice and so celebrate them in wall art and sculpture.