>Dominican Republic Transportation
Do Dominicans travel in herds? Or would it better be called a gaggle?
If you have ever gone any place with a Dominican you will agree, in general, Dominicans travel in herds. If its going to the beach, to a bar or to a park or friends home to just hang out. There is always more than 1. Always.
I have had so many experiences with this. It used to REALLY bother me. Now it just bothers me a little, sometimes. I was always used to, when going on a trip, to get things ready before the trip. Have the oil and gas tank filled. Have all necessary items ready to go. Including humans.
Almost every trip I have gone on with Dominicans, most of the time it is the same.
Going to the beach. I say leave early so we can hang out there all day and then get home before dark. For me early is about 8 or 9 in the AM. I have never figured out what the real meaning of early is in Dominican Republic. So anyhow, I wait. I call. The driver is just getting out of bed. He has to stop at his mothers house before he comes. Then he has to get some dumb thing done that he could do anytime, not on the day we had planned to go on a trip.
The wait is not that long. About 2 hours. He arrives with 2 people I don’t know. His sister and her friend. That’s fine. Its just the beach. Then they have no cooler for ice and they ask me to cook some food to take. ME? COOK? No way. When I go to the beach I want to eat there. Not be bothered with the role of the domestic and feed and clean up crap. I don’t do that.
That out of the way. We need a cooler. Shouldn’t they have thought of this before. He has one in his house. I just got mine. Then they have to discuss what to drink and when to buy it and where to get ice. When there is a Colmado on every corner selling the drink, snacks and ice.
During this discussing one of the group gets a call and has to leave the circle to talk. Then another phone rings. And here I am waiting to get to the beach..the sun is high in the sky! The phone calls say someone is ready. Who cares if someone is ready. But it seems that whoever they are they are ready to be picked up by us! More people to drive around and get.
So we drive all the way beck into the heart of Santo Domingo. Very near where the guys mother lives. He was just there an hour before! Why couldn’t he have picked up this person when he was there instead of heading back into traffic to get someone?
So another hour has passed. Waiting for this person to talk to his mother. Run to the Colmado for bread for her. Then stand and talk a bit. Couldn’t we talk in the car on the way to the beach?
While they are discussing “the plan”, it’s noon now and I need a beer! Something to calm me down and it (and I) was hot. I walk 3 buildings away to get 2 grandes for everyone to share. I can’t understand half of what is being said anyhow. When talk is fast I can’t get it. I am gone for 5 minutes! I come back and they are all on me because they want to leave! Now my blood is boiling! It takes everything in me to try and act normal. Not to pick up the broom stick laying in the street and beat them just to get some sense into their heads!
I hold back and smile. Not easy but it’s Ok. I’m the foreigner here. We all get in the car, moving around a little until everyone is comfy with their positions. Were off! Finally.
We still have not got gas or the refreshments. So we stop at a gas station where everyone has to get out and talk more on their celulars. Then were on our way. Vamanos a la playa!
As we exit the highway for the road that takes us to the beach I suggest getting the liquids. Of course there is the discussion of why didn’t we get them in the city because its cheaper there. I suggested this many times and got the hand held up, the Dominican wait hand motion. I said nothing. What was the use.
We got all the stuff. Of course very slowly.
YEA!! We’re at the beach. Its 2PM. I can’t believe it!
We get all settled in so I can have sun and they shade. Enjoy a dip in the water. Play with the vendors. Eat some beach food.
Then comes 4PM and one of the girls says she has to get home because she has something she has to do. Now my slightly red glow on my skin is not from the sun. Its from boiling blood! All the hours of getting ready to spend almost 2 hours sitting on the beach! That’s just wrong. So we all packed back up and left. I didn’t talk mush on the way home. Afraid of what I may say. Anyhow I didn’t know all the words for what I wanted to say in Spanish.
This is just one example of going out with friends in DR. Things like this happen all the time.
Once taking a bus to the beach with friends. We are half way to Boca Chica and the bus stops at some make shift terminal. There is only 7 people on the bus and he won’t go until he has more people. All the people keep getting on other busses and they fill up and pull out. Here we are sitting for about 20 minutes. We tried to get off the bus and there was a heated discussion that we were not permitted to leave. Well, 2 of my friends are very opinionated Dominican women and they get us off the bus. We get on another and continue on our way.
Another time after we get all the people together and before we get to the gas station we run out of gas. The guys have to walk to get gas then when we get the gas they have to drive to the gas station and spend 20 minutes discussing it with the attendant. Then on the way home we get a flat tire. On the side of the highway and of course no spare. And we were drinking beer and had to pee! So we were there for over an hour. Got the tire on and this time it was dark and he had no head lights. We made it home but it was a real experience.
There are many more stories like this but I have to get to work on the web site now….
>Dominican Republic Transportation