The question many of you may be asking is “What happened in the DR???” Well, we have tried to break down our most memorable moments into two parts. Enjoy part 1!
Note: Alex had already been living there for a few weeks. Ayana was coming to visit for 7 days for her VERY FIRST international experience.
The first few days together in the Dominican Republic were hilarious. Let’s begin with the driving. Everything looked copacetic at first. There were street lights, traffic signs, lined lanes. . .the familiar works to city driving. That all changed when our driver decides to switch lanes. Our driver fails to signal, check mirrors, and check blind spots. Initially this did not cause alarm UNTIL he also failed to completely switch lanes and instead continued to drive as if the lines were his guide and honk at other cars to tell THEM to move out of HIS way. As we approached a traffic light where we needed to turn left, there were two cars also turning left and the light turned red – Whew! A break! . . .NOT! Our driver hatched the *brilliant* plan of pulling in front of the two cars (note: another car behind us had this same plan X_x), edging out slowly into cross traffic, and proceeding to turn against the red light. Ayana’s response: heart racing , eyes wide shut, we’re dead!!! Alex’s response: “Tranquila, Ayana! Relax!” Uhh, no ma’am!
Well somehow we made it to the apartment unscathed. Alex paid the driver, Ayana kissed the ground, and we proceeded inside the apartment to catch up on girl talk and the plans for the week. The next day was going to be a tourist day in La Zona Colonial, about 2 kilometers (~1.25 miles) away. Ayana was NOT getting back into another car and thought it would be safer to walk. Well, the walk was GORGEOUS. We basically walked along the edge of the island in El Malecón. There was a strip of grand hotels and restaurants overlooking the ocean. There were couples shooting the breeze and horse drawn buggies. All was well and good until the men started to get bold with their behavior towards us. First, a man under a tree called out to us as we walked past. Alex handled all of the suitors, and unfortunately for her as she handled this particular suitor, she also received an assault on her retinas. The man was fully exposed and “rubbing one out” as we walked past. . .Aye diablo! Then, a mototaxi driver (with a patron!) decided he wanted a closer look at us morenas, so he turns around and drives ON THE SIDEWALK to say hello. . .Aye coño! Lastly, when we thought we were in the clear, a guy whose only English lesson came from a Samuel L. Jackson movie shouted with some pretty convincing authority “Get the F*CK over here!” More like get the f*ck outta here. Whether from nerves or the randomness of the morning’s events, we couldn’t help but laugh at it all. And although walking was not necessarily safer than driving, we finally made it to La Zona Colonial and had a great time seeing the history and culture of Santo Domingo.
Vulgarities aside, we never really feared for our safety because no one pursued us or followed us. These first experiences together forced us to use our friendship to keep us comfortable in a foreign land. We had to trust each other for safety and protection. And we had to rely on each other for laughter and sanity.
This was the calmest part of our trip, so stay tuned for Part 2 to hear about Latin lovers and meeting Jesus in a hidden paradise! Until then, enjoy some of our snapshots from this part of the trip.
©2012 by Alexandria Dotson and Ayana Martin