A postcard from San Juan

To San Juan, capital of Puerto Rico and a sort of sun-baked, spanish-speaking  Belfast. Substitute plantain for potatoes, overlook the difference in temperature, and imagine all the houses painted brightly rather than built of brick and the two cities are remarkably similar. The population of San Juan is about the same as that of the Belfast urban area.  Both cities are ports and industrial and commercial centers. And both, of course, are the administrative capitals of sundered statelets—sort of part of the UK and the US, and sort of not.  Here there is a love/hate relationship with the US, whose years of investment have laid the groundwork for today’s prosperity–Puerto Rico is one of the world’s major (prescription) drug manufacturers. And of course the citizenship comes in handy. But still, but still… people are divided about whether they want closer integration with the US, or complete independence. Sound like anyone else you know? Here, there is no history of trouble but the Crone definitely recognizes (and celebrates) the eccentricity bred by years of isolation, ambiguity and entitlement. San Juan may be 4000 miles south of Belfast, but here the Crone feels very much at home.

About Liz Barron

US Peace Corps Volunteer in Armenia. Permanent address in Washington DC. Deep roots in Northern Ireland and persistent Belfast accent. Blogger,cook, mother, grandma, Scrabble-player and enthusiastic world traveler.
This entry was posted in Culture with the Crone, The Traveling Crone, You can take the Crone out of Ireland and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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