I’ve now been in the Dominican Republic for about a week and a half and so this post is going to be a complication of a few different thoughts and fun adventures I’ve had since I’ve arrived here.
Driving in Latin America
I’ve heard so many stories from different people about the driving in Latin America, but, you just don’t understand until you’ve experienced it yourself. Basically, there are car lanes, traffic lights, and the rules are mostly the same here in the Dominican Republic. The main difference is that people aren’t very obedient to the laws. You really have to be an aggressive driver if you want to drive here. It was pretty scary at first, with all the guys cruising around on their motorcycles, with cars getting closer than I knew they could get to each other without touching, and with the constant sound of car horns filling the air every other second.
However, now that I’ve gotten used to it a little, I’ve actually been surprised at some of the benefits of the driving. The main benefit that I can see is that drivers HAVE to pay attention here. You can’t just mindlessly drive your car around town here – you have to pay attention if you’d like to drive again tomorrow.
A Latin Girl’s Phone Number
Ok, so one of the first few nights I was here, I went with my new Dominican friends to a small store. It was kind of a hybrid bar/convenience store where you could buy alcohol or other little groceries inside, and there were tables and chairs outside to sit and drink with your friends. I wasn’t drinking, but as we sat chatting, I noticed this really attractive girl that I wanted to talk to. I was really scared and I didn’t know how to approach her in Spanish, so I kept procrastinating.
Eventually, she got up and left. I was really upset at myself, but then decided that maybe I should run after her. So, I did. Luckily I was able to catch up with her and I stumbled through my horrible introduction, trying to tell her that I had to track her down because I knew I would regret it if I didn’t. She was really cool and understanding and helped me feel really comfortable. I was able to get her number to connect with her later.
After that experience, I think I should probably put myself in more situations where I might feel like an idiot. It’s healthy.
One of my first items of business after arriving in Santo Domingo was to get myself a cell phone. Since my cell phone from the states is a CDMA phone, I can’t use it here, so I just decided to buy a cheap one for $20. That didn’t last long. After a day of using it I decided I couldn’t go back to using one of those old school cheap phones, so I determined to buy an iPhone 4s.
The Dominican Republic has their own version of Craigslist called eMarket. I found a good deal, met up with the guy and bought myself an iPhone 4s. The only problem? Yeah, it was an iPhone 4, not 4s. I got duped. It’s my fault and has nothing to do with the Dominican Republic or anything, I just didn’t do my homework before I went and I trusted the kid who sold it to me, haha.
My Dominican Fever
I’m not one to worry too much about the “dangers” of travel, so, I don’t really look into them at all. However, my brother did send me a quick email letting me know about some potential sicknesses I could get from mosquitoes here and that recommended I get some insect repellent. That’s good advice. Although the bugs didn’t bite me at all, that second night I got eaten alive. Because of my brother’s email, all of a sudden I was worried I was going to contract some disease and die. Well, not really, but kind of 😉
Then, there was a certain day where I walked outside for a long period of time and I got a really bad sunburn. After that day I started to feel kind of sick, and I wasn’t sure if it was the sun that had affected me or if my mosquito death sickness was started to over take me. On Thursday of this week, that feeling reached it’s climax and I started getting chills. It was my first day in Punta Cana, and I ended up laying in bed all day sleeping. I was burning up, and at this point I started to really worry about my health because I rarely get sick like this.
Well, after spending probably 18 hours in my bed, I woke up yesterday morning and felt much better. In fact, I felt so good that I ended up going out with my Dominican friends last night until 5 AM this morning, haha. Probably not the best idea right after getting better from a fever, but at least I don’t have the fever anymore.
Oh, and I guess I still may have some sort of crazy Dominican sickness, but I’m pretty sure I’m over it
I decided that I’d like to go visit the countries in Central and South America, so I booked a flight back to Vegas on April 3rd. I have some things there I need to take care of, and then I’m thinking of heading back out to visit the rest of Latino America. We’ll see, those plans aren’t set in stone yet.