Lost In Old San Juan

Wrong Turns

Daily Post, 2 July 2014

When was the last time you got lost? Was it an enjoyable experience, or a stressful one? Tell us all about it.

It was August 1963 and I was hopelessly lost in the pinched, cobblestone streets of Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, searching for the airport. Barb and my first daughter were scheduled to arrive there about 7:05 the following morning. Not wishing to brave slow and crooked highway, PR2, in the dark, I was preparing to leave Ramey AFB the evening prior. As added precaution, I asked a fellow airman in the Comm/Nav shop how to spell airport in Spanish.

“AIRPORT! How else?” he answered.

So, off I went, armed with my few words of Spanish – si, nada, and hola – to brave the busy road filled with publicos and banana trucks.

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A publico is attempting to pass a truckload of tropical fruit on a curve.
These publico drivers are fearless, but judging by the brake lights,
this fellow has lost his nerve.

By this time the hour was late, and I had yet to find my first clue pointing to the airport. Before total darkness settled over the city, I found a place to park and then asked an white-headed man for directions. He understood the word airport, but little else. Anxious to help, he hailed a boy about ten, who was fluent in both Spanish and English, but he knew nothing of any airport. Together, the two of them explained the way to get there.

Soon, I found the sign reading: AEROPUERTO.

4 thoughts on “Lost In Old San Juan

  1. We take communications for granted until it suddenly does work. If it weren’t for people who knew my language, more than once, I might still be stranded in another part of the world. πŸ™‚

    That’s another subject worthy of a posting. I’d like to see you post your experience in India.

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  2. Hi Scott πŸ™‚ Thank you for stopping by and following my blog, it’s appreciated. I love your blog setup; it’s very uncluttered and simple in design. I do like some of the screaming blogs with their blinking signs and lots of color. I never seem to read those.
    Keep up the great work ❀

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    • Thank you very much. I have a test blog on the side that will remain private until it’s smoothed out. I hope it’s better than the one that’s active.

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