1. Suspend everything you learned about traffic law, defensive driving, and courteous traffic behavior, because...
2. Stop signs, yield signs, and those pretty painted lines are only suggestions. Loose suggestions. You will be Public Enemy No. 1 for observing any of those, and...
3. Your valiant efforts at displaying proper traffic etiquette may result in an SUV literally trying to push your Toyota Yaris (aka a shoe box) into a very crowded intersection.
4. Public sobriety is illegal. Very illegal. Not a single packaged alcohol comes in pints and shots. In fact, the alcohol is cheap enough to destroy weak-hearted American livers.
5. The heat is deceptive. You might think it's "summer hot" in Mayaguez, but you realize the difference after your ankles swell to 4x their normal size. Bring flip flops. And water. But not tap water...
6. That UFO isn't a UFO. It's a roach. And it flies.
7. Black folks do get sunburn. Skip the sunglasses if you don't like the "raccoon" look.
8. Only stupid Americans swim on "do not swim" beaches. A 3-foot long stripped bass will use those stupid Americans as barriers while running from a 4-foot long shark. From this I learned...
9. Jesus is my brother. I can walk on water. RUN on water. I never exited a body of water so fast in my life. My heart pumped out of my chest and landed on the beach. It was good as new after I gave it a little rinse and parked my stupid a@@ with my fellow idiots at the resort pool
10. Lizards are actually cute, although not appropriate goods for a carry-on baggage.
11. Your Puerto Rican friends living in the U.S. will get you into some shyt. Meeting their family in PR means driving 5 hours to meet approximately 500 people. Thankfully, the hospitality, cooking skills, and fun-factor of those relatives induces selective amnesia. "Drive? What drive?"
12. Astronomers say we share the same sun. But the sun in Puerto Rico is different. It microwaves ish - cooking from the inside out. NASA should investigate this.
13. Spanish-speaking patrons behind you in line come in handy when you ask for Shrimp Salad and the woman grabs the Octopus Salad bowl.
14. When Spanish-speaking sweet-hearted older widows like you, they hand you bottles of expensive alcohol from their private bar. Insert your "PR liver" before drinking.
15. Vegas isn't the only "vegas." Some vacation pictures belong in the "private collection." That is... until blackmail becomes necessary. Don't mess with me. I have a camera and a plan.
16. Get gas for your car before you hit the mountains of the southern expressway. When you hit those mountains, you're shyt outta luck. It is very difficult to enjoy the scenery while watching the gas light blink. Neutral is your best friend during the ride down.
17. Don't trust National Geographic. Baboons open coconuts on rocks with amazing ease. People take at least 1/2 hour and come away with bruises.
18. Don't penny pinch if you venture to the Sheraton casino in Palmas del Mar. While you're dropping pennies, the lady behind you will hit for $13,000 at the dollar machine. SMH
19. If you rent a Toyota Yaris during your 8-day stay in Puerto Rico, you will forget how to operate your Honda Odyssey when you get home. You will turn on the windshield wipers to get the van in gear. You will question your memory of the route from the airport to your home. You will feel like a lost tourist on the local streets you used to know so well.
20. Upon your return home, you will rush to book your next vacation in Puerto Rico almost a year in advance - especially if it involves a milestone birthday celebration. I can't think of any other place I'd like to be.