Sunday, April 25, 2010

Apartment Voyeurism and Xiomara Fortuna

Yesterday Rebecca, Stacy and I wandered around Gasque (a neighborhood near mine which is much more residential) looking for apartments for next year. We saw a wide range, from am ultramodern one that is just being built with a really nice balcony, to a dark one with furniture that your grandma would pick out if your grandma had horrific taste (mine doesn't). The latter apartment was in a really nice new building, but after seeing the furnishings Stacy said, "I think this place is haunted." We also went into one where the maids had a separate elevator, and there was a private elevator that opened right into the apartment. It had a huge ocean view and was enormous. It was possibly the nicest apartment I have ever set foot in, but apparently they knew that because the rent was $3000 a month. Ah, well. A girl can dream.
After we had seen a number of apartments we went back to Rebecca's and Doug joined us. We ordered a pizza, and then attempted to go to a folk dance. We ended up in line at the Palacio de Bellas Artes, and it turned out to be a concert of this lady called Xiomara Fortuna. We decided not to go, but then a guy came running after us and "invited us", meaning that we could go in for free. I think they understood our hesitation to enter as that we couldn't afford the tickets. Anyway, it seemed more awkward to refuse than to just go in so we went in.
It was the weirdest concert I have ever seen. I feel like I was missing something because the audience was going wild. Maybe this woman is a really famous Dominican icon or something, but I have to tell you all I didn't get it. She was wearing this extravagant constume and no shoes, and none of her songs were any good. It was all very strange and all 4 of us were counting down the songs to the end (there were 16). We didn't want to leave early and be ungrateful that they had let us come in, so we waited until the very end at which point we escaped into a cab and went home. Today I am going to go to mass if I can get my lazy self out of my apartment, and then to the beach.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


So I have given up the idea of getting an IPhone in favor of getting the inferior and far less expensive Blackberry. I haven't been able to track one down yet, but apparently someone's cousin brings them back from the states and sells them cheap (legit). I just found out this morning though that you can tether them to your computer and they provide internet which is pretty sweet. Has anyone actually done this? Does it work?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Fighting the Good Fight

Not to be a drama queen, but I really miss JP around here already. The hardest part is that our apartment seems half empty (not half full). I'm sure I'll get used to the emptiness soon, but I won't get used to JP not being around. Worst.

Today after school I went grocery shopping, went to the bank, was told by our landlord's assistant that I could move into my new apartment and promptly told her I would rather move in with Brigitte, and then went over to Brigitte and Bastien's for the Swiss version of fondue. I ate roughly 3 times my stomach's normal capacity and drank my body weight in white wine (not necessarily a health night), and had a great time. It turns out the Swiss eat something akin to fondue as campfire food, while we Americans only eat things that come manufactured in factories and that we can put on the end of a stick, so uncivilized we are. The meal was a delicious salad, pickled beets (which I like for the first time in my life), boiled potatoes, and some delicious Swiss cheese that is baked and then eaten with the potatoes. I don't know about you guys, but I have never had anything close to that within a ten-mile radius of a campfire.

Anyway, the day was good, although I am still moping about a little, and I am going to poke around online, read Ender's Game, and then go to sleep. Overall a successful second day living alone in Santo Domingo.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Weekend in Boca Chica and Japer Leaves Tomorrow

We decided to go to a city about 45 minutes outside Santo Domingo called Boca Chica to go to an all-inclusive resort for a day. We wanted to do something all together because JP is leaving tomorrow morning. We booked the hotel through this Canadian travel site called Please, for the love of all that is holy, do not use this website. We all got confirmation emails, and then a phone call and another email saying that we had to fill out some form. The form was asking us to send them all of our credit card information as well as two forms of government ID copied front and back over email. We, obviously, did not do this. When we got to the hotel our reservations had been cancelled. After  3 hours they eventually sent a representative and we finally got into the hotel system, except Brigitte had to pay the full hotel price because she did not have her credit card (it was stolen). Nice. Once all of that was worked out we waited an additional 2.5 hours to get our room keys. It was literally the worst service I have ever gotten. The hotel was called Oasis Hamaca, in case you want to put that on your list of places that you should be wary of going. The hotel itself, actually, was great. The food was good, it was huge, there were a bunch of things to do, just the service was a bummer.

Anyway, the good thing was that all 10 of us (Matt, Becky, Sarah, Sean, Doug, Stacy, Brigitte, Bastien, JP, and I) were there together for the night. We had some drinks and dinner at a Mexican restaurant there, hung out on the beach in some strange and probably dangerous beach hammock/swings, looked around for an illusive karaoke and then went to bed. This morning JP and I went out in one of their kayaks to a little mangrove island, swam, tried to play tennis without shoes and got kicked out of the tennis courts, played miniature golf, and over-ate. Basically we had a full-scale all-inclusive resort experience. We are home now and JP is packed and ready to go. Worst. I think I'll try to sabotage his departure somehow. I have to go to dream up a solution to this problem.

Love you guys.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Keeping Up With The Jones'

I make it a big priority in life to not buy the newest, coolest thing just because it is the newest, coolest thing. I try to use things until they wear out, and buy things that are good values.

That being said, I want an IPhone.

I don't just want one, I want one bad. Ask J.P, I have been searching the internet for days getting all the specs about IPhones and other ridiculously overpriced electronics. I think the idea of staying here has set into my brain and this is my weird way of nesting. It would be very expensive to have one, but I could call home on Skype from anywhere, and I would always have a little piece of internet in my pocket. Blogging community, what's a girl to do?

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Cafe da manhã

Morning coffee is how you say "breakfast" in Brazil. Those people have got things really figured out down there. I am going to go to sleep tonight thinking about my very own cafe da manhã for tomorrow.


Happy Easter Everyone!

This morning marks the end of Lent, during which I gave up coffee. As many of you know, I like my coffee. As a teacher coffee is as essential to productivity as books and whiteboard markers. Without it I have to say I was not my best. Substance abuse? I think so. Anyway, this morning I had my first cup and savored it lovingly. I was surprisingly uncaffeinated afterwards (disappointing). JP and I went to mass, which was very brief and delightfully unorganized (ex: "Okay, everyone who wants to take communion come forward"). Are you proud Mom that we went to church? Oh, who am I kidding, you don't read my blog (sigh of self-pity). After mass JP and I went to this diner called La Cafetera where we go often for coffee and juice. I had not yet experienced their cappuccinos, so that was the first order of business. Let me just tell you, Cafetera cappuccinos are a hell of a drug. After I drank it I was shaking and having daydreams about running several miles outside. For those of you who know me this was almost an out of body experience. JP and I did brief grocery shopping and then came home, by which point I was literally high on caffeine. JP went to bike and I danced to my ipod and cleaned our entire apartment without pause in about 45 minutes. I love coffee. I feel a little like a crazy person, but at least this crazy person is living in a clean place. I hope you guys all had a great Easter morning, I miss everyone. Family, take some pictures today when you get together and post them on facebook and tag me in them. If you don't feel motivated to do that you should make yourself a cappuccino and then you will want to do that and then create a new social networking site afterwards. I promise.

Love you guys. Feliz Pasqua.