Friday the meetings at school got cancelled so I had all day to do some work and set up my classroom which was nice. When I came home I read for awhile, and then J.P. and I went to the mall to get a few drinks with some of the teachers from work at TGI Fridays. Not only was it weird to go to TGI Fridays in Latin America, but also it was weird to go with teachers to a place called TGI Fridays on Friday. I felt like we should all be decked out in seasonal sweaters. I don't know if I told you guys, but J.P. is applying for a position there (The Ashton School not TGI Fridays), so hopefully we find out this week if he gets it or not. He'll either be a permanent substitute or an elementary art teacher, more likely the former even though the latter sounds way better. Anyway, we went out and spoke in Spanglish for a few hours and then came back with Doug and Stacey to our apartment. We had a few more drinks here, I posted my Friday blog, I tried to show Girl Talk to an unwilling audience, and then we went out to a few bars in the city.
I thought that we were going dancing, and we went to these bars where I think the people there thought they were dancy, but really they were just yuppy hipster bars. The first one reminded me of a bar I went to in Silver Lake in L.A. where everyone looked like they were in Where's Waldo the flannel shirt and fedora hat edition. We got ID'd there too which was weird, (but none of us had IDs and we still got in, I showed them my health insurance card) and Doug couldn't get into one of the bars because he was wearing shorts. We did find one bar that was kind of cool and a little dancier, but the music was ridiculously loud and by then we were really tired. We snuck into the VIP section, but when J.P. sprawled out on the couch we were ushered out. It wasn't the best night out ever, but these things take time. I have some other bars in mind for next weekend or whenever we go out again. It's all a weeding-out process. The bad clubs are to Santo Domingo as students like me were to Chem 141 at MSU. (Does that make sense?)
On Saturday I was the laziest I have ever been in my life. I read almost the entire book The Kite Runner and laid around. If you haven't read it you should. The one productive thing I did was go for a run with Melissa and J.P. We ran to these botanical gardens in the city, and I think I will be going there more often. Unfortunately, we ran the wrong way around and didn't find the entrance until it was getting dark and the park was closing, but I think we'll go back tomorrow. It seems that running here is something only very strange foreigners do, so we got a lot of catcalls and yells and a lot more weird looks. Oh well. We came home and planned on going out, but ended up all going to bed before 12 instead.
Today I was much more productive. We got up early and went back to the Zona Colonial. We sat down at this restaurant which is across a small plaza from the oldest cathedral in the Americas. I guess there was some big event there, I think it was one of the Dominican Independence Days today (they have 4 I think) and there were a bunch of camera crews and people watching. I think the president of the Dominican Republic was there and we saw a procession of people exiting, but I didn't know which one he was. Can you guys imagine sitting at a cafe in D.C. and watching Obama come out of some ceremony and just walk down the street? It is hard to picture. Anyway, I bought a really cool painting from some Haitian artists on the street and came home and hung it in my room. I cleaned a bunch and did some laundry, and Melissa and I did kick-boxing without music for a half an hour in the living room. I can only imagine what a spectacle that was. Now I am blogging, cooking dinner, and thinking about how I should be doing work for tomorrow.
Back to school tomorrow, and things are about to get crazy because this week the orientations start. I will meet my students for the first time on Wednesday, which I am looking forward too. I don't even really know what size sixth graders are, let alone their mental capacity, so it should be very informative. Miss you all, write me if you can!