Que pasa

It’s Wednesday night… I’ve been here in Santo Domingo since Sunday afternoon.

During this time I:

Rode a guagua twice a day to get to my school.  This is the public transportation.  It’s about 20 cents for one ride.

These pictures are from the internet because I didn’t want people to see me taking pictures of a guagua like an IDIOT TOURIST…

….which I am anyways, because the first time I rode one of these by myself, I lost my wallet which had my id and my credit cards.  Good thing I didn’t lose my passport.  I rode a bigger one that time though, and it was super packed because it was rush hour I think.   I feel so stupid though.

I thought there would be some seriously obnoxious catcalling but it’s basically just “Que lindo.” Which means “how beautiful”. 

In Fargo it’s usually “show me your tits” or something similar so this is actually an improvement.   Although it does happen more frequently here, it seems less aggressive.

Maybe they are saying nasty things too but I just can’t understand them yet hahahah.

The problem is I really LIKE to talk to strangers, but I can’t because I don’t want to encourage creepy dudes.   I try to only talk to the non-creepy people, who don’t hit on me, but it’s a fine line from “how are you” to “do you have a boyfriend?” (sí, tengo un buen novio) to “where do you live?”  I can  handle them if they’re my age, but much older and I usually don’t talk to them. Except old people. I love talking to old people here.

So I’m taking Spanish classes in the morning and dance classes in the afternoon.  My dance teacher:

Yes he’s super freaking old.  And a super freaking good dancer… and I’m pretty sure he knows I can’t speak Spanish but he insists on giving huge complicated explanations of things and I just nod and say

“sí, sí, sí”. Next week I have group lessons so I will certainly be learning slower.
There is an ocean here, but no beach.  DANGIT. I should really research things better.
The grandchildren of my host mom: (they live here too)

 hamming it up for the camera.

 I taught this kid to beatbox. Well... I can't really beatbox, so he's probably better than me already.


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Arrival

I went to bed at 7 PM, which was great at the time, given how incredibly tired from 21 hours of travel I was (SERIOUSLY Fargo needs a direct flight to New York, that would be amazing).

So now it’s 3 AM and I feel well rested.  

ANYWAYS. I am officially in the Caribbean, Southside of the Dominican Republic (Santo Domingo).  Had a nice conversation with my taxi driver in stunted Spanish, with a lot of over-exaggerated facial expressions and gestures.  My Spanish classes start tomorrow at ICC Language Institute

I am staying about 30 seconds away from the ocean, with a host family consisting of Doña Christina, her daughter, and 3 grandkids.

Doña Christina speaks no English, and she’s the one I’ve been communicating with mostly.  I don’t speak Spanish very well, but usually I can get my point across.  I really really like her, despite the language barrier… Can’t wait till we can actually talk fluidly.  I told her I’d make her pizza, but dangit, I didn’t bring any pizza spice 😦 . Could be difficult.  I think after these four weeks are done, I will be at level two or three.  I’m about halfway through level one, WHICH MEANS.

I can once in a while get past tense right, or I can say that I am going to do something.  But other than that I have to speak almost completely in present tense.

I don’t have house keys yet, and I THINK she said I will have them tomorrow. Not too sure about that.

If I walk around I can hear Bachata music freaking everywhere and I love that.

There aren’t really buses here.  According to this website, basically what I have to do is flag down a mini-van called a Guagua.   I am scared to do that, because my Spanish is so so so so poor right now.

It would take about a half hour to walk to my language school.  But I’m awake anyways, so I could conceivably go, and watch the sunrise from the beach (if I don’t get hit by a car.)  But then I still need to get back at the end of the day.  Hmm.  I guess I’ll wait till the Doña wakes up, and ask her.  I need keys ASAP.  Necesito los llaves.

I’m not doing too badly though, the other girl I rode with in the taxi who is also going to this school only knows “Hola.”  I hope she makes it tomorrow.

 First view of the Caribbean!

Hmmm not my best photograph.  View directly outside of my house.