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The Gringarican Handbook - stories about moving to Vieques, PR, life in the slow lane and becoming a Gringarican

Boxes, Malvina Reynolds, 1962

A big day today - we view the "pink house" at 10:30 and meet with contractor Ernesto.  We had viewed the house on line and there were no real surprises - good or bad.  Located near the lighthouse, the neighborhood of Morropo or Morropouse, was the headquarters for the North Shore fishermen.  These homes served as part lodgings, part machine shop and part fish market to each fisherman and his family.  Some changes had been made to modernize the house - opening up smaller enclosed spaces and replacing tile, but there is still much work to be done.  As long as there are no major structural defects this could be a good investment for my mother and a place for us to call home when visiting Vieques.
 
This house could be cute.  Ernesto checks the roof - he shows us how the under roof is crumbling and a new roof just was put over, rather than removing the old.  Okay for now, but could be a problem in the future.  In the back yard (is it still a yard if it is all concrete?) are two raised concrete pads.  Apparently one was the base of the old outhouse and one is the current septic system. 
 
So, as we see it, short term necessities are clean, exterminate and paint.  There is currently no hot water with the exception of the "puerto rican electric chair" or "suicide shower".  So, a tankless hot water system is needed.  The current furniture consists of an overstuffed loveseat (overstuffed, over large furniture is typical in small rooms in PR houses that we have seen), a double bed mattress and frame in one bedroom and a cot in the other.  The kitchen table is the plastic patio variety.  Anything will be an improvement.
 
There is no place for landscaping.  Everything will have to go in pots.  There is no outdoor sitting space away from the elements.  So much against this house, but the price is right and there is potential.  Calls back and forth to my mother in Florida, calls to the Realtor, calls to the owner.  Offers, counter offers, negotiations.  Spanish flying between the neighbor, the realtor and the contractor.  Within hours of our departure from Vieques, we have a deal.
 
You realize what a small island Vieques really is, when you start recognizing people, and even stranger,when they recognize you!! Much of the island holiday activity centers around the plaza in Isabel II. This year's parade theme seems to be cartoon/storybook characters complete with Flintstones and Cinderella - Cinderella played, of course, by Her Royal Highness the mayor of Vieques.  This is always an exciting time and EVERYONE attends.  And, what would an event on the Plaza be without a stop at the famous Bar Plaza for a drink?  If this doesn't but you in the holiday spirit, nothing will.
Unfortunately we are no further along on OUR property.  Now the attorney says he is hoping for a court date in March.

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