I was just getting ready to go and make some lunch when all this yelling and police sirens came up into my abode from the street.
There were at least 6 motorbikes with police and at least 5 police vehicles speeding down the road. Every police person in the area was standing in the street along with all the money change guys and many of the neighbors. All yelling and making a ruckus.
It took a little bit for my camera to turn on but these are the pictures I got out my window.
There was still lots of commotion so I decided to be a Dominican and go to the street with my neighbors and see what was happening because I could not see down Padre Billini to Calle las Damas from my balcony vantage point.
They said a thief was caught. I asked why did it take so many police to catch a ladrone. Then I got the story. Men (I did not get the answer as to how many men there were) robbed a Colmado, from what they said, in La Altagracia, but not really sure. The police caught them and brought them here. They were in a white truck and all the police were escorting them to the station at the Fortelaza Ozama. I still did not understand why they had to have so many police and then block off the street where they all were with the thieves and their truck.
Then it was explained to me that these bad guys were very dangerous and had weapons. The police had the guys outside of the truck, not sure what they were doing to them, I did not really want to stand around and gape at them.
So here I am back at my puter sharing the action. On the spot reporting from the Dominican Gringa. Many of the neighbors are still on the corner looking down the street and discussing the event amongst themselves. Teli, my brave dog, is hiding under her favorite shelf in the bedroom.
At least a few times a day Teli beckons me to get off my butt at the computer. She wants me to stop working and look out the window with her. She stands at her perch and stares at me until I get up and go to the window with her. We sit there and see what is going on in the neighborhood. This is what we saw today.
Shoeshine Boy, Money Changers and the ChuChu
This is a normal day in the Colonial Zone. The money changer guys are rubbing their index finger and thumb together at all passing vehicles hoping to find someone who has money to exchange for pesos.
The neighbor kid is out on most Saturdays shining shoes to get his own spending money for the week. He goes to school on the weekdays. If he is in the mood he goes out on the weekends to make a little extra cash. A little entrepreneur. His family does not let him out to work on school days.
The man that owns the gift shop across the street is getting a shoe shine while greeting a friend walking by.
The ChuChu Colon is passing by with its speakers on telling our history to the tourists in their own language. The train conductors helper gets out at every crossing to make sure the coast is clear for the train to enter the intersection.
There are some beat-up road blocks on the corner ready for who knows what reason.
Relaxing in the house then what into my resting ears did enter but a chorus of children singing in tune. I jumped up from me rest with my camera in hand. Opened the window and stuck out the camera. What to my wondering eyes did appear but a big fat Santa in a horse drawn carriage with tiny little people all following close behind in their own little rides. Santa was waving and so were the children. Music was playing and the chorus of young voices was joining in.
Coro de Niños de Rita Almonte 12-27-2012
OK. So I am not a poet but I did take this short little video of what I saw from my balcony. I thought Santa was a little late. I thought he was on vacation now after all the hard work delivering gifts on Christmas Eve. I guess he decided to show up just for the kids. What a guy that Santa Claus is!
A few weeks ago the big trucks came and the electric company put in a new pole and new electric lines. It was all good until I realized that the lines were passing directly in front of my window. It looks like if we get a big gust of wind or a big storm that the lines will be up against my windows. I can just image me being fried in my apartment when the lines tough my metal shuttered windows. But such is the life here in DR. And I still love it.
Putting up the pole and lines
While they were putting up the lines I was watching in amazement just waiting for the bucket truck guy to hit a line. But he was really good at controlling that bucket. I can always remember my dad who worked for a tree cutting company saying, “I hate bucket trucks”. Every time we would see a bucket truck he would say that. After a while we all would say the same when we saw a bucket truck. Now, when I saw these guys in their bucket truck, it made me laugh sitting here in my apartment with Teli thinking about my dad hating bucket trucks.
Bucket truck guy
Finally they were all finished and the electric lines appeared in front of my window.
Power lines out my window
Now, a few weeks later the local pigeons found everywhere in the Colonial Zone, like to sit on the line and coo their little bird hearts out. Before they had to park themselves across the street on the rooftop and I could not see their beady little red eyes looking at me. Well, now those rats with wings can sit really close.
I catch them looking at me while I am working at the computer (there is 1 out there right now as I am writing this). You know how you can feel it when someone is watching you? It is a very strange feeling it when you know you are in your home alone. Now when I get the feeling of being watched I can look out the window and see the birds, sometimes there is a row of them, at least 5 gawking at me in one window! That means 10 beady red bird eyes peering at me. They all seem to be bobbing their little nasty feathered heads in sync to get a good peek at me through the window. They perk up their heads when Teli comes into the room and usually fly away. They get really perky if I whistle then they disperse after that as well. That makes me feel like my whistler is not very good.
Sometimes I can’t tell if they are observing me or checking out the television behind me. I will have to record hawks catching birds and play it when the pigeons start looking at me. I will see what they do then. Maybe it will teach them a lesson not to peak into peoples’ windows. Their mothers did not teach them very well at all.
We have a nice steady rain today in the Colonial Zone.
Everyone is taking cover wherever they are able.
The people taking a little tour ride on the ChooChoo Colonial are getting a little bit wet but they are still having a good time.
I heard laughter coming from inside the train.
Peace back at you my friend.
It has brought a reprieve from the heat.
I like the rain at times.
Now is one of those times.
On this World Water Day it seems that we will have rain for the next 4 days, how ironic.
Do we really need it? No
Can we change it? No
So, here is what we do when it rains here in the Colonial Zone of Dominican Republic.
The view from my balcony right now.
The roads are filling with water. The pigeon is hanging out on the rooftop.
Politur abandons their motorbike and takes refuge in the Larimar Museum while the poor bike drowns.
The roads are wet. The large bus stops to wait out the downpour. The pigeon watches….
The motor bike passes, the humans are huddled under the porch of the Palacio de Borgellá hiding from the wetness. The pigeon is enjoying a free shower.
If you had a choice and you were not afraid of having to be “adult” or “grown-up” or “responsible” where would you rather be? Under the porch with the frightened hoards of humans or the pigeon on the rooftop enjoying the feeling of the water flowing down your back? I am with the bird!