Thursday, June 9, 2011

A Land Between the Lands

Puerto Rico is an interesting place. Christopher Columbus claimed it for Spain on his second trip to the New World, and it was a Spanish colony for 400 years.  It became a part of the United States over 100 years ago, and for more than 40 years English was taught in its schools.  Now it is in what is called a free association, which means that it is a posession of the United States, with voice and no vote in Washington.

Culturally it stands in-between as well.  The official language of the island is now Spanish, but English is a required course in every grade.  The language of the street is Spanglish.  Signs are in both languages, or either, doesn't really seem to matter.  The US mail service is the mail service of the island, and my cell phone is on the American grid.  Driving is much more like Mexico City than Killeen, Texas.  Grit, guts and certain abundance of hormones makes life full of color and drama.  And so on this island freeways with clear signage criscross banana plantations and lush, green tropical forests.

I found myself feeling strangely en casa

No comments: