Rafa\’s Corner of Nonsense, Part Deux

… where Rafa\’s thoughts see the light of day…

Travelling while Puerto Rican

Having flown to and from Puerto Rico this past weekend, it occurs to me that, as air travellers, we Puerto Ricans have several distinguishing features. I shall try to list some of them:

1. Every member of the family needs to come to the airport to say goodbye — if the aisles in a Puerto Rican airport seem crowded, it’s because 90% of the people there are not travellers, but actually their families and extended families: they will accompany the actual travellers to the security checkpoint and stand there watching until the traveller has completely disappeared from view or landed at his or her destination, whichever occurs first

2. Puerto Ricans never travel light. Ever — this whole FAA mandate of allowing only one carry-on luggage and one “personal item” clearly doesn’t apply to Puerto Ricans: we need 4 bags per person, since we’re bringing pasteles and quesitos to no less than five relatives on the mainland

3. Everyone must travel with a baby — presumably since Hispanics are dead-set on taking over the United States one unwanted teenage pregnancy at a time, all Puerto Ricans must travel with at least one crying baby: note that it doesn’t matter if the Puerto Rican in question doesn’t even have a baby: it’s a little known fact that 90% of kidnappings in the country are a direct result of baby-less Puerto Ricans with an upcoming flight

4. The right time to board the plane is now — it doesn’t matter whether the airline is trying to board the plane by row numbers, or more quaintly, by group numbers: Puerto Ricans will stand up as soon as they start announcing the boarding process and will try (repeatedly if necessary) to board the plane regardless of the section currently being boarded (someone, after all, may take their seat if they don’t board right fucking now)

5. Everyone must clap upon landing — to thank the pilot for not smearing their bodies on the landing strip, Puerto Ricans will clap after the plane has landed (to the embarrassment and chagrin of the younger generations)

All that said, on my last flight this was an older gentleman that made a cellphone call to someone (presumably his daughter or grand-daughter) just because he hadn’t been able to properly say good-bye to her, to wish her well and give her his blessing: I found that to also be a typically-Puerto Rican gesture that kind of made me nostalgic for my long-gone grand-parents.

So, did I miss any? 🙂 I’m sure I did, so post away!


August 15, 2005 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. Puerto Ricans do not believe in traditional luggage. While in the baggage claim area you will see several cardboard boxes tied with rope and tape. Usually the boxes are gigantic Pamper diaper boxes, or as I call them Puerto Rican Samsonites. I guess we just have a lot of leftover diaper boxes from kidnapping children each time we have to travel.

    -Lynnette (yes, I still do not have a blog)

    Comment by Anonymous | August 21, 2005 | Reply

  2. Proud to be a clapper!

    I appreciate getting to my destination in one piece so I clap happily. Maybe it has to do with the fact that I just started vacation and I will get to see my family. I never clap when I land in the US, there is not much to be happy about in those occasions (specially if you arrived to 0 degree weather!) 😦

    ~ eli

    Comment by Anonymous | August 24, 2005 | Reply

  3. Wow, this “Anonymous” guy really has very diverse points of views, and even different names!


    Anyhoo, addressing Anonymous #1: judging by the stench of self-defecation permeating the stolen Puerto Rican babies, I’d say bringing diapers is very low in the list of concerns of these parents.

    As for Anonymous #2: I suppose being able to clap after a landing is cause enough for celebration, sure. Sometimes I feel like clapping just because I’ll be getting away from the crying kidnapped babies stewing in their feces and the loud girls singing in the aisle behind me.

    Comment by Rafa | August 24, 2005 | Reply

  4. OMG you guys ARE Indian. No point in denying it now.
    Except we don’t clap on arrival – we wait till the terminal building is in sight, then leap up and start opening overhead compartments, forgetting to be careful because objects may have shifted during flight. Guess we really don’t want to lose all that curry powder ; )

    Comment by Lil | September 2, 2005 | Reply

  5. Lil, you uncovered our secret! Puerto Ricans are nothing more than Indians who can’t take spicy food.

    See, a long, long time ago, Indian stow-aways on Portuguese ships made it to Portugal, and, apparently enjoying the whole stowing-away business, stowed away on Spanish ships bound for America, which of course landed on Puerto Rico. Thus, your rich heritage of generally rowdy air travel behavior was passed on to many Puerto Rican generations to come.

    We may not have inherited your love of curry powder, but doggone it, we don’t give a damn about airline regulations just like you guys, and we’re proud of it!

    Comment by Rafa | October 5, 2005 | Reply

  6. now-a-days, boricuas get on their cell phone to call whoever to tell them “we landed” it is the clapping for the 21st century.


    Comment by lrj | November 17, 2008 | Reply

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