I’ve started to put online again my travel stories from my year in Dominican 2003-2004. Its unfortunately in Estonian, as when I wrote them, I had very few opportunities to speak my mother tongue, so I wrote my travel diary in it.
You can find the stories with links to the photosets in Flickr in the “Republica Dominicana 03-04” category. Scroll to the end if you want to start from the very beginning. It starts with a little fiction about Columbus and how the little nation came to be. Take also a peek at the photoset “El Dominicano“, that I shot over the year spent there.
But here’s a little something also for my international readers. The list of 50 things that you’ve done if you have been living in Dominican Republic, courtesy of Facebook’s “You know you’ve lived in the Dominican Republic…” group.
Carajo, how familiar all this sounds, this list brings a big fat grin on my face. :-D And I can really tell that most of this list is a spot on, I’ve done pretty much everything mentioned there. If you don’t get the jokes, I can explain the things in detail the next time we meet. :-)
So here we go.
You know you’ve lived in the Dominican Republic when…
- You use words like vaina, chin, and jevi as a part of essential vocabulary, and don’t care if other people don’t know what you’re talking about. – *CHECK!*
- you’ve been waken up by the aguacate man. – *CHECK! Aguacaaate, aguacaaate!*
- you fear the dreaded news “se fue la luz…” – *CHECK! Coño!*
- …because you’ve showered with a bucket when there’s no water. – *CHECK*
- you love the bandera. and pica pollo. – *mmmm CHECK*
- Brugal and Presidente did, do and will always make you happy. – *nope. non-alcoholic*
- You befriended or were friends with people who befriended street kids, street people, or schitzo street crazies. – *CHECK*
- e’ pa’ adelante que vamo’! – *CHECK (e’ pa’ fuera que van!)*
- mofongo mix makes your mouth water. – *mmmm CHECK*
- you’ve contracted some sort of amoeba or parasite. – *almost, had diahrrea several times*
- the sight of a white belt makes you snicker. – *nope, don’t know this one*
- you still find yourself checking your outfit and accessories to make sure you match, down to the color of your earrings. – *nope, girls stuff*
- you are familiar with the term “sankipanki” and have either done it or had it done to you. – *CHECK!*
- you loved having an inversor, or wish you had one. – *CHECK, wished I had one. juiced my TV and laptop with regular UPS*
- you don’t think it’s unnatural to sing while traveling on public transportation, and think its weird when buses don’t have the radio on full blast. – *CHECK! For a publico – a stereo is a must, other cosmetic parts as mirrors, doors, windows, roof are optional*
- you know at least the basics of merengue and bachata and can burst into song of many random merengue, bachata, salsa, and reggaeton hits. – *CHECK! bachata is basically my middle name*
- entonce mamita a que tu quiere – *CHECK! Used it myself ;-)*
- you know what a carro publico means and fondly remember being squished between a fat women, her groceries, and a skeevy little dominican man in the backseat. – *CHECK! Experienced it exactly this way on my first day there, but on the FRONT seat.*
- in spanish, you refer to “the bus” as the guagua. – *CHECK!*
- if you’re a girl, you remember mentally prepping yourself before leaving the house to prepare for a barrage of piropos.
- … piropos have made you either extremely uncomfortable, oddly pleased with yourself, or made you burst out laughing.
- you classify yourself as: rubio/a (even if you’re not blonde), india, morena, or one of those crazy inbetween tones because dominicans just love to define race, but never, ever call themselves negros. – *CHECK! I was rubio*
- you’ve rode in the back of a pickup truck. – *CHECK! Basically only public transport option in many areas*
- you’ve driven or been driven on the malecon in the middle of the night or coming home at 6am. – *CHECK!*
- the colmado is the center of the universe and you desperately miss being able to get dulce de leche and limon chips and presidente at any hour. – *CHECK! Had colmado 100m from my front door.*
- you love the MOTOCONCHO. – *I HATE motoconcho! I was terrified to run these and I still have a burn mark on my right leg….*
- you have spent a good part of your dominican social life seated in a plastic chair on the street. – *CHECK! Basically all outdoor places use them and 100% of colmados.*
- you could always say, “i’m out of minutes” if you didn’t want to call back one of your dominican stalkers. but you could always go to the colmado for a new tarjeta to call your papi/mami. – *CHECK!*
- you’ve used the “viper” method to communicate. – *don’t know this one*
- you miss the yelling cobradores on bolivar and independencia, especially the boca chica guy. – *CHECK!*
- BON! – *mmmm CHECK! Best Ice cream!*
- you’ve eaten, and enjoy, chivo. mmm. – *mmm CHECK!*
- your spanish lacks “s” in many words. – *CHECK!*
- you’ve had first hand experiences with cucarachas, ratas and tarantulas. – *CHECK! Didn’t see tarantulas though, just some other enormous bugs*
- ‘ta full y ta’ bueno/a make sense especially when talking about a good club or a hot guy.
- don’t be a mamaguevo. but if you’re lucky you’ll get a mamasota.
- you have heard someone yell, “es un abuso!!”
- duarte, sanchez, mella, 27 de febrero= la patria, and streets in every major city and town. george washington, abraham lincoln, winston churchill. also streets, not la patria. – *CHECK!*
- boca chica, and other such beaches mean: pescao, platano frito, jonnycake, and cueros x 1000 with fat gringos. – *CHECK!*
- you know and LOVE festival presidente. – *CHECK! Saw Milly Quesada, La Ley, Ricardo Arjona, Ricardo Montaner*
- maceta papi maceta
- necio, nitido. chevere, chulo. concho, cono, conchole. all necessary words to communicate with a dominican. – *CHECK!*
- you got pushed out of the way by 30 people trying to get on the guagua, but once you’re on, people will hold your binder, chicken, or baby if you have to stand up and they’re sitting down. – *CHECK!*
- “vamo a hacer coro” does not mean we’re going to make a choir but actually probably involves drinking and travesuras.
- you’ve gone out on the street to drink with everyone in your neighborhood during an apagon, because there’s nothing else to do. – *CHECK! Dominoes!*
- no te quilles mami! = no estes encojonada = don’t be balled = don’t be mad
- traffic laws are purely optional, and honking at intersections at night is much more common that stopping at lights. – *CHECK!*
- mangu: the staple of the dominican diet, for breakfast, lunch or dinner, with cheese or meat or onions on top. mmm. – *CHECK!*
- batido de mango, lechosa, or pina. as good as sex? probably. – *CHECK! The BEST was Batido de Ciruela that I got in Barahona*
- you’ve eaten so many platanos you practically have turned into one. – *CHECK!*
ya tu saaabe.
Ajj, all those memories from the Domi! Gotta get back there soon…