Much like Cancun, San Juan was also incorporated in my impromptu work flight I picked up while sleep deprived. However, unlike Cancun I did not know I was going to San Juan until I boarded the flight there. Now before you make fun of me, when we pick up trips to work it simply says the airport codes. We’ve been trained (and by trained I mean we took a 50 question test the first day of training over 8 months ago) and after working and flying places you eventually can pick up what code is which airport. That said, when I picked up this trip the only thing I cared about was the CUN for Cancun. The second city code read, what I thought was, SJC which stands for San Jose, CA. While in DFW airport about to board a plane from Dallas to “San Jose”, I heard someone say mention how they couldn’t wait to get to San Juan. Thinking they were wrong I politely corrected them by saying “Oh, you mean San Jose?”. Cue the roar of laughter and dumbfounded looks. Turns out the code read SJU, not SJC, and though it is only one letter turned sideways there in a big different between the island isolated in the Gulf and California beaches boarder in the coast. Sleep deprivation leads to hallucination kids which brings me to yet another poorly learned lesson.
Lesson Number Blank: Read your damn work schedule! I mean come on this is your life, you may not get so lucky as so accidentally end up in San Juan next time.
That said, my crew would not let me live this down for the duration of the trip, which How could you blame them? Upon arrival to San Juan I was immediately excited that I got to stay in yet another hotel across from the beach. Two beaches in a row on blind luck? Don’t mind if I do. Luckily Puerto Rico is part of the U.S. so not knowing English didn’t feel as embarrassing as the night before. Getting in late that night just ensured that I needed to wake up earlier that morning. Unlike Cancun San Juan was quiet, extremely humid but quiet. The apt buildings all sat on top of each other, the roads were windy and narrow, and the signs were all in Spanish so naturally I followed my ears to the sound of the ocean; this led me in circles until I grew a pair and asked for directions.
Lesson Number What: Don’t be too proud or embarrassed to ask for directions. Also don’t be too ashamed to ask them to repeat it if their accent is too thick. You’ll look even sillier walking around in circles, trust me.
Finally finding the beach I thought that maybe it’d be early enough to sit in a lawn chair facing the waves without anyone noticing but before you could even say yo gabba gabba a cabana boy came up and asked me for five dollars. Not having a big enough towel to lay on I obliged, then seeing him walk in the complete opposite direction of the hotel. I think the chairs were free but he probably needed it more than I did. As uneventful as my morning was I sat and read my book before walking down the road to get possibly the strongest coffee I’ve ever had and roamed around a used bookstore before grabbing breakfast. The people were all friendly, nearly everyone looked happy as though they were on vacation and I unfortunately had to cut my stale three hour adventure short to go back to work like a normal human being. Being a normal human being isn’t always fun but knowing that picking up a work shift while in zombie status can get me to San Juan in t-minus 24hrs I’d say I’ve gotten this human being thing down better than most.