Saturday, December 31, 2011
It was an ordinary day. I had left my sister’s apartment and was about to get on the eight-lane highway in front of the airport. There were three lanes between where I was and where I needed to be. I checked if I had enough distance between myself and the car behind. In fact, I waited for a car to go by, and there was a clearing and in my judgment I could change lanes without endangering anyone. I turned on my signal light, accelerated, and changed lanes. Remember this is something I routinely do.
A red compact car, which had been at least six car lengths behind me, accelerated abruptly and positioned himself behind me and honked his horn, while I continued my movement to the right. I thought briefly that this reaction from the car behind me was uncalled for and there really wasn’t much I could do to say I’m sorry since there isn’t a universal hand signal to say pardon me or I’m sorry. Knowing it had been a minor offense, if any, I moved on. He’ll get over it. Next thing I know, the red car suddenly moved in front of me. Umm, red flag. Road rage.
I was expecting him to give me the famous hand signal, the finger, but it didn’t come. Instead he drove a normal speed for a few seconds and then deliberately put on the brakes in front of me. There was something funny about it. Actually, it was not funny at all. He had abruptly slowed down yet his brake lights did not come on. Next he went real slow, and then did a devil type of hand signal with long skinny fingers. I gasped inside realizing what had just happened. Seeing no reaction and no accident, he moved on.
I felt like cursing him while observing him suspiciously, but instead I prayed for him to repent. He moved two lanes across the road to his left and I did not take my eyes off of him until there was a concrete divider between us and he could no longer come into my lane.
I couldn’t figure this out. It was a sparkling new car. Shiny. Sparkling. Spick and span. Yet, I knew his brake lights hadn’t come on but it wasn’t until this morning I realized that he probably has his car souped-up to take off those brake lights deliberately. He wanted me to crash in to him or give me a big scare. In any case, it didn’t work.
What I did find alarming is the malice. No longer is it just the expected sloppy driving but now the ploys. I later spoke to a friend and he says this is a ploy that is being pulled on unsuspecting drivers to make them bump into the car in front of them, pull over, and then rob them. It makes sense since I was on the road to the airport where many tourists drive to return their cars.
Fortunately, I am returning home soon. In the meantime you can be sure I will be praying and changing my routine while watching out for that little red car that is on fire.
Dios nos proteja!
Friday, December 30, 2011
One of my favorite plants: the bougainvillea...am I spelling that wrong? Any way, just like Juliette would by any other name a rose would smell as sweet, more or less, and bougainvilleas are beautiful in white, tangy orange, beige, or magenta...feathery, paper like, and lovely. Thorns that secure a safe hedge, but nevertheless scratchy and a tad threatening all wrapped up in one.
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
These are some guava colored Cruz de Malta or Maltese Cross flowers that I found in a garden in Villas del Faro. I thought they were lovely so here they are. The funny part is that the batteries in my camera had basically expired or died and a few minutes earlier had refused to open the camera or take a shot. I let the camera rest for a few minutes and it worked long enough for me to take these quick shots!
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
An occasional red leaf
among a sea of green,
grasses gracefully holding their ground,
washed up bamboo
peeled off branches,
a hairy coconut,
a solitary pelican gliding along
as he watches us
walk along the beach.
Friday, December 23, 2011
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Christmas in PR is lively and religious with either going to a candlelight service on Christmas Eve or Midnight Mass (Misa de Gallo). It also includes family get-togethers with good food and one of the most traditional foods is Pasteles. It is a tradition for family members to get together earlier in the week to put all the ingredientes together, so my sister, my niece, her husband, and I did just that this afternoon. We gathered around a table and started the assembly line. At the head of the table was the wax paper, with a seared plantain leaf on top, then you have to spoon some oil melded with achiote (annatto), next la masa or finely grated green banana mix with chicken broth (you can purchase this mix pre-grated at many grocery stores), then add garbanzos, olives, a raisin or two, and a strand of red pepper.
Tradición familiar indiscutible en la Navidad ademas de las luces navideñas, lechon asado, parrandas, y coquito es hacer una pastelada. Esta tarde mi hermana, sobrina, su esposo, y yo nos unimos para hacer los pasteles tradicionales de Puerto Rico.
Los pasteles tenian todos los ingredientes esenciales incluyendo, la masa de guineos con caldo de pollo, con un toque de calabaza y papa, ademas de pernil guisado y pollo, el aciete con oliva con achiote, luego las acietunas con alcaparas, garbanzos, unas pasas opcionales, las hojas de plantano amortiguadas y con un cierre de oro con un cordoncito en lazo.
Monday, December 19, 2011
Sunday, December 18, 2011
Saturday, December 17, 2011
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