Saturday, November 21, 2009

Painting the Town Red

La Donna and I were adamant. We wanted to get to town. For the past couple of weeks, we had been cooped up in the suburbs of Jarabocoa. Sitting on the porch in front of my Dominican home surrounded by chickens calls and Dominican Spanish, we analyzed our problem of getting a ride into town. Finally, La Donna went over to talk to my mom. In a few moments, my mom was on the phone telling a taxi to come pick us up. Finally, we were going.

When the taxi van (also called a ‘gua gua’) pulled up, La Donna and I jumped it. The ride was to be only $130 pesos. That was a pretty good price because when converted to dollars it was less than four dollars for the ride. I have to wonder what the taxi driver was thinking as he drove along with his two English speaking white females. We were chatting back and forth. I always find it so weird that people cannot understand English. Of course, there are always those times when I’m listening to a Spanish conversation and feel really out of the loop. It’s just a strange concept.

In the midst of a bustling street of motorcycles, people, and vehicles, La Donna and I leapt from the gua gua into the street. We scurried to the sidewalk where we promptly ducked into a tiny boutique. It’s amazing to me at how many stores sell clothing from the United States. Wouldn’t you know that La Donna would be more attracted to those stores than any other store? Through our many miles of walking around in circles of the city, we continued to visit clothing stores that had clothes imported from the states. Of course, we did stop at a jewelry store that I liked a lot with good prices, too. During our shopping, we both settled on buying some Havaianas flip flops for our roommates that we had so kindly ditched before our trip into the city.

In America, the concept of roommates is one hundred percent different. In the States, I never bothered to worry about going off somewhere without my roommate. We sometimes hung out, but more or less, we saw each other in the room that we shared. Well, in another country, your roommate becomes your twin that is attached to you on your hip. We are almost never a part. When we are, we cannot help but feel as though we are missing some essential part of us. The people here are not even used to seeing us a part. It is a blessing that I love my roommate, Adrienne.

For dinner, La Donna and I ended up at Pica Pollo. This is definitely a part of the culture. It is the equivalent of a Dominican McDonald’s. This is the fast food place that one goes to. There are no choices except in what type of drink you would prefer and how much food you desire. The food is fried chicken and tostones. It is good. The best part is that we ran into two different sets of groups of Americans. The first group was a mother and daughter. They have been living in the Dominican Republic for about fourteen years. The second group was a group all from a boarding school called New Horizons. Of course, we talked to both groups because when you meet other English speakers, you are connected by language and skin color. It is fun to pick out the other Americans.

After our exciting dinner, La Donna and I headed over to Splash (an ice cream place). I needed my ice cream fix. We never get enough sweets for my taste here. Anyways, after paying only about a dollar fifty for two scoops of ice cream and a cone, we wandered over to an art gallery. The entire time, I thought the Dominican police were going to show up and haul me off to ice cream jail for eating ice cream in an art gallery. It was a pretty sweet place, but the icing on top of the confection was the fact that sitting in a prime spot of the art gallery was a naked woman. Okay, well, she did have nice piece of clothe over her hips and she was just reclining in some water. Yeah, it was interesting picture. The gist of it was that La Donna and I sat down and started creating stories about why she was chilling in some stream naked. It was an odd picture.

We returned in a taxi where La Donna told him that we would only pay him one hundred and thirty pesos. It was a lovely afternoon and evening. It was topped off by walking La Donna back to her house in the rain. What could be better than some delicious rain?