Sunday, August 30, 2009

Japer's Race, Zona Colonial, Being Chased by Wild Dogs

We woke up really early this morning to go to J.P's Triathlon. Somehow he managed to find one within the first month of coming here, another in three weeks, the national federation of triathlon, and a team to train with. I think he was a bloodhound in another life. Anyway it was shockingly well organized and setup and it was on this really pretty beach inside the city. The beach inside the city normally is quite dirty and the waves are really rough, but this was inside a little harbor with blue water and no waves. It was really nice. For those of you who are interested in the details you should read J.P's blog, which is The name is because he gets honey all over things, not because we call each other by disgusting pet names. 

Anyway, after the triathlon we came back to the apartment, showered, I scoped out my redneck sunburn, and we went to wander in Zona Colonial. I know you guys probably think we never go anywhere else in the city, and the truth is, you're right. We still haven't really figured out where everything is. You know how when there is a flood or a storm or something you are supposed to follow the rats or the little animals to higher ground? Well, in Santo Domingo we are basically doing the same thing only the rats and little animals are other gringos and higher ground is pretty buildings and places to buy souvenirs. We tried today to wander a little bit off the beaten path though, and we ended up in a residential neighborhood where we were followed down the street by a snarling female dog (those of you who have been to Ecuador may be able to guess how we knew she was female, hint to the rest of you, unspayed dogs eventually develop something akin to udders) and J.P. picked up a rock to throw at her if she got too close to us. Unfortunately, he kept the rock in his hand after we went around the corner and a Dominican guy who was sitting on his steps ducked and covered his head, thinking that J.P. was going to knock him out. J.P. surrendered the rock after that. I showed J.P. that cool restaurant where we went the other night, and we found our way back to the gift shop part of the city. The gift shops are kind of cute, but there is a really good restaurant near there where we had dinner, and then wandered around some old monuments. It was a really cool trip because we saw some parts of the Zona Colonial which were less touristy and a lot cooler, and also got delicious food. 

After that we came back, I did some grading and lesson plan writing, and our power went out 5 times during that time. I am quickly learning to charge my computer whenever I can, and preferably at school where we don't pay for electricity. I have also been trying to satisfy my craving for airconditioning at school, hoping that if I use enough there I won't need it when I get home, but so far that hasn't been working out so well. Overall, except for the sunburn, it was a really good day in the city. I told J.P. that instead of teaching here I would just like to go to the beach and have weekends. I wonder if I could get paid for that? If you hear of anything let me know. 

Oh yeah, he also wanted me to blog about a story I told him today. So a couple of weeks ago Melissa and I went over to the botanical gardens in the city to wander around. We were right outside the gardens about to cross the street when a funeral procession drove by. As many of you probably know catcalling is incredibly common in Latin America, and women are constantly accosted by a deluge of calls by nearly every man they pass. If they are not actually called to they are at least stared at. Well, as Melissa and I waited (respectfully I thought) for the funeral procession to pass none other than the hearse driver rolled down his window and called "Hola rubias" (which here means any white person) or something to that effect in a creepy voice. Now the catcalling is normally annoying and at times very uncomfortable, but never would I have thought that I would get it from a man driving a hearse leading a funeral procession. It was amazing. 

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