Puerto Rico – The Low Down Adventure
Sun, surf, Sand(y) and lo-fi goods. The Hunt that wasn’t planned and definitely not meant to be. Two missions – huntin’ for dope-ass goods and perfect breaks to surf. And like a Puerto Rican highway, you don’t know what the f’uk is goin’ on but you make it work.
A few sourcing trips back, we hit up two countries and shipped goods back to Seattle from one of the countries. It’s not my preferred method of getting the goods back to the States, but hauling a ton of cargo for two weeks across multiple countries just doesn’t work. After massive delays and many phone calls, FedEx finally “delivered” our goods. But only 1/3 of our merchandise arrived and EVERYTHING was damaged! It was so traumatizing and sad to see all the amazing goods we were so looking forward to busted, broken, and missing. The worst part? FedEx won’t provide a refund ‘cause it’s a “customs issue.” Horrible, huh? So goes the life of a pencil pusher.
Maybe it was moral support that I needed or maybe it’s that I needed a “vacation” from plopping myself into random cities all over the world… the non-stop hustle of sourcing goods with limited resources and a super-crammed schedule. Who knows, but packing my bags and rushing out of Seattle just days after getting back required a trip with sun, surf, sand and good friends. Where did we go? The Enchanted Isle aka Puerto Rico.
I took a backseat to a seven-foot surfboard but it didn’t matter. All I wanted? To hit as many beaches and office supply shops as possible while cruisin’ the island. Didn’t matter that the car was crammed silly, I knew I’d manage to haul the goods (free of sand, of course!). In the trunk… possibly. On our laps, more likely. And every time we rolled next to a Jeep carrying ginormous, diamond-plated speaker boxes, rockin’ disco globes and scantily clad woman hanging on the hood as they cruised extra slow through town reppin’ a candidate… I was thankful for our ride. I mean… shit, the Jeeps were pimpin’ but I don’t know how long I could handle the boomin’ bass of Gangnam Style on repeat or the recorded voice of a candidate delivering his election speech over and over again.
Despite Sandy tearin’ shit up everywhere on the island and creating massive waves – waves waaaaay too dangerous to surf – we managed to get a few days of surfing in. One morning I woke up to a wave crashing on our balcony. Turns out the wave busted the hotel’s main water pipe… yeah, it’s cool. We’ll figure out how to get by with no running water for a few days… in comparison, it didn’t seem so bad. We spent the mornings glued to the TV watching Sandy tearin’ it up in the States (all of us on the trip have major ties to NYC). And the rest of the day searching for beaches and office supplies.
We hit 8 different beaches and double the number of office supply shops. It didn’t take long to discover that most of the goods in Puerto Rico was the typical stuff we find in other parts of the US. But there was a healthy dose of goods from Colombia, El Salvador, the Dominican Republic, and a bunch of other countries.
So what to do? What goods do I pick to rep Puerto Rico? A phat, bright yellow notebook rockin’ a thick cardboard cover, front and back, and purple gridded sheets that be smoooooth. Love the stitched binding and love the conversion and multiplication tables inside the back cover! The best part? The map of Puerto Rico on the front cover with the company name set in a script font, in ALL CAPS. Hellooooo – so bad it’s good! Paired the colorful notebook with equally colorful pencils. A US company rockin’ a bigass booty for an eraser? Yes, please! And lastly, a super cute, colorful protractor. Everything in the Puerto Rico Kit screams sunshine and good times. Just the thing to put me in a good mood (and hopefully bring a smile to all you East-Coast RAHstrs!)!