Around Santo Domingo

Leaving tomorrow.  Wouldn’t have missed this last weekend for anything.

Here’s some odds and ends I haven’t posted.


 El Conde in the rainy night.

my family 🙂

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I’m like, No, not really..

So in love with the nightlife in Santo Domingo.

Perfect mix of reggaeton, edm, 80’s jams and top hits.  Also, if I feel the need I can go find Salsa/Bachata/Merengue as well.

Everyone danced last night.  So. Much. Fun.

Until 4 AM.

Heard this song and went up to the closest dude singing along and made him tell me what it was.  Like I’ma be physically ill if I’m not able to  blast this song 30 times in a row when I wake up tomorrow.

Omi & Felix Jaehn – Cheerleader (Praia Del Sol and Renca Remix)

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mi amor

Soon begins my last week in Santo Domingo.

I want to stay, take my dancing to the next level…

They have a free dembow zembow (twerking essentials) lesson in the park (Plaza Guibia at 6:15ish) Monday-Friday, but I didn’t realize that till 2+ weeks in.

MEHHHHH

Half of my conversations are like this:  Them: Why did you come here?  Me:  In my city, it’s very cold, with no dancing.  So I leave whenever I have money.

(Only in Spanish)

Much of the cat-calling here is, “PSSSSST” PSSSST”, as if they’re trying to get your attention to tell you a secret.  Then if you ignore them they don’t usually pursue any further conversation.  But today I decided to respond to someone with “PSSST” as well.  We had a short chat in morse code until I was out of hearing range.

We went to some beach, near Las Salinas.  We went to a salt mine, where they extract it from the ocean.  Huge piles of salt laying everywhere.  Also sand dunes. Also beach.

SO HOT.

 Virgin beach at the end, which means you can’t swim there.

 self-explanatory

Salt mines/factory.

 The pools are different colors based on whether the salt is ready to come out.  Unclear on when that is, because as always our nanny explains things in Spanish and sometimes I don’t catch it all.

MMMM. ocean.  With Prince Royce in the speakers.

Las Tres Ojos

Went to this National Park with my classmates.  It’s quite near Santo Domingo.  Basically there are three lagoons of different colors, and some of them more or less underground.  You can take a little ride on a raft to get through one of the caves. 

Apparently it used to be a holy spot for rituals but now (surprise!) it’s a tourist attraction woohoo.


2da semana

Whenever I go someplace new, the second week is always  better.  I’m still not always entirely comfortable and my Spanish isn’t that great, but things are getting better.  I decided I’ll do my last week in Sosua, because then I can have the beach right outside my apartment.

It’s important for me to have women friends around me because I just don’t trust Latino men (which I partly blame on Romeo “King of the Douches” Santos)

Case in point:

Pretty typical of his videos.  He just wants your girlfriend and he can have whatever he wants because he is the KING (of douches.)

Also this was the first song that played in my dance classes this week hahahaha.

Soooooo here you can see the “beach” that graces my front door.

 There’s a street in the colonial zone with a lot of this art. 

Good ways to celebrate Easter weekend… Have a festival where people can swim in blow-up pools and make a Jesus out of sand!  Also have a rock concert for Jesus in the night.  Seriously I’ve never seen a religious rock concert outside of youth group activities.  It was interesting.

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.


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.

huh.

I’m actually getting mildly worried about my funds.

I’m only working 4 days a week this month.

Dropped 450 on a car repair charge.

Dropped 500 on roundtrip tickets to the Dominican Republic (plus will soon have to pay 2,000+ for my four week spanish course there).

Dropped 420 on  a Vegas trip (all inclusive accommodation and flight though).

Whut.

I need to hardcore work.  All summer.

Ayyyyyaaaa I feel really bad about all this money.  But doing a four-week spanish course was one of my goals for 2015.  Once that’s done, the only other thing I want to do is the El Camino Pilgrimage in Spain.  And that can wait if need be.

Can’t remember if I’ve posted this song before. If so, apologies.