The essay series
My little sister chose to go to a school in Puerto Rico for college.
I was somewhat surprised she chose it, because although some members of our family had gone to that school, I didn’t think she’d give in to the pressure. Now, selfishly, I’m glad she did.
Through her experiences and overall journey in a foreign yet familiar place, my thirst for reminiscing is quenched. We were raised a little differently, as I had the privilege of visiting the island with our grandparents many times as a little girl. She doesn’t realize that whenever she sends me audio messages of the coqui frog’s whistle-like song, I feel a mix of emotions ranging from sadness and jealousy to nostalgia, pride, and happiness for my sister and all that my mother’s culture represents.
Even though I miss PR with its salty air and the smell of dozens of grilled meat restaurants near the house, I wouldn’t change it from my place now. Now, I’ve moved even further up north, where the crisp air kinda cuts you at times. Where my sister lives, she can easily walk into a bakery and be overwhelmed by the smells of guava, coconut, and rice pudding desserts. She has direct access to the freshly baked aroma of cheese and fruit fusions called quesitos, with the fruit jelly oozing out of the turn-overs. She also has direct access to the freshly squeezed jugo de parcha (passion fruit juice), which the whole island is obsessed with.
But, I’ve got autumn, which is very “October” of me.