ruthless compassion (aroraborealis) wrote,
ruthless compassion

Old San Juan

It's curious to find myself knowing my way around Old San Juan. "Oh, there's the piragua stand where I got a piragua last year!" "Ah, here's my favorite dress shop!" I mean, sure, the whole city is 5 blocks by 10, but even so, it's not like I really know anything about it. Still, desiringsubject and I had a very wonderful wander around today, and I had piragua de coco, and we walked to El Campo de Morro and watched tons of kites (I counted 42, but I wasn't wearing my glasses, so there might have been more) flying over the vast expanse of grass that leads to the fort, and had a bunch of really interesting conversations.

We also went to my favorite dress shop, where I stocked up on awesome dresses, including some for the folks who had made requests. I also got a couple of different styles, including a white one that's very sweet and might be awesome for tie-dyeing. The shopkeepers, an older couple, were very nice and helpful, and the woman complimented me on my pretty Spanish, which is a fast and easy way to make me well-disposed to someone. It's utterly delightful to be speaking Spanish, even a little, and even with the vast confusion of when to use which language.

The dress shop, for my and others' future reference, is:
Miss & Mrs. Boutique (Egrein Aviles & Teddy Cancel)
Fortaleza #154; Old San Juan, PR 00901. 787-724-8571

They have expressed a happy willingness to take orders over the phone, but they pretty much only speak Spanish, so that's kind of tricky. But they're great, and I'm not just saying that because she told me she likes my Spanish.

Then, down the street, we went into another shop that had belly dancing supplies. On a whim, and with the encouragement of desiringsubject, I tried on a belly dancing outfit, which I liked a lot. I decided to buy it if it was under $X. As I was coming out of the dressing room, an old woman accosted me and told me I was going to buy it. I asked how much it was, and she said it was more than that. I regretfully declined and she said she could give me a discount! The discount wasn't enough, though, so I said I'd browse their other items. Then, driving a hard bargain, she said it could be as little as $X. I still felt waffly and wanted to see what else they had, but when I said that, she herded me to the checkout and insisted that I shouldn't look any more and should buy it. Uh, okay. So, I bought it. And then she gave me and desiringsubject free soap, which tells me I paid too much. But that's okay, because it's a super fun outfit. Even though I have very, very few places to wear it. I will have to invent some excuse.

We caught the bus "home" and were the last to board, leaving us without seats. The bus driver started to pull away from the stop and then stopped, yelling something that we interpreted as, "Hey, no standing!" But then men jumped up and gave us their seats, and it became clear that the issue was, in fact, that it wasn't okay for us to be standing. Later, the full bus did travel with women standing, but at that point, it was both men and women, so maybe it was okay? We were unclear.

We got home around sundown, but I still wanted to swim, so I coerced desiringsubject into joining me for a night swim. Night swims! So great!!! The last time I was night swimming was at Walden with moominmolly (and 500 other people) last summer. There's something so beautiful and peaceful to be in the water at night, for me. It was also really fun and interesting to share the experience with M, who doesn't have the same associations with night swimming. I like to think she will come to, though. Because we're going again tomorrow, though she may not know it, yet.
Tags: español, shopping, travel

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