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Greetings from Santo Domingo.
Well, I got jealous of all of you Dominican travelers here and so I decided to just come and see what's happening.
Been here for several days now. Of course, I'm comparing everything to the Philippines. The conclusion is: if this country were full of Filipina girls, no one would want to live in the Philippines. Everything except girls is way better here.
The city of Santo Domingo is a huge Spanish city with gorgeous architecture. Houses with ornaments, ornate balconies with flowers; there are castles, courtyards.
I am here now:
http://www.google.com.do/search?hl=es-4 ... a+colonial
The modern downtown has a new subway, clean and well kept.
The peso is also 40 to the dollar but most things are about 10-20% more expensive. People cheat less, lie less. There is very little pollution in the city and the air smells good. The beaches are fine white sand with emerald waters, not with corals or mangroves.
The food is superb. Fresh fish, chicken, cassava, good quality rice, there are great juices and fruit. The fruit smell fragrant.
The people are about 70 % black as classified by American standards except that in the US, Africans mixed with the Brits and created a certain facial type and here they mixed with Spaniards and created a different type. Plus many look Angolan because they were brought by the Portuguese. There are many light mulatto types and some Spanish looking people. All living together and mingling. All are Dominicans.
I went to the famous Boca Chica beach and saw many people who were pure African blacks. The skin was almost bluish. All were friendly, all spoke Spanish and all were hanging out with everybody else. Nobody acted US ghetto black.
I saw one white American expat in company of black as coal girls- five of them. Saw some " mixed couples"- nobody was giving them a second look.
There are some Amerindian types but few and they are more inland. I want to see those and that is my next stop.
The roads are good quality, the parks are green, not much trash ( some but not as bad) and there seems to be a very upbeat mood and seriousness in the air.
The capital is only 3 million people. Manila is 16. Very few traffic or crowding problems here in Santo Domingo.
In contrast to the Philippines, I am not seen exotic. Some people assume I am from Spain or Chile or that I am a local Arab or Jewish immigrant of whom they have tons( happens a lot to me in Latin America). And since these are now "local" ethnicities whom they have been seeing forever, I do not enjoy attention from ladies as much. If at all.
Strangers talk to me in Spanish and call me varon ( man), senor, mano, amigo etc. It;s very refreshing and different from the Asian-white complex-ridden attitude you get in the Philippines.
There are many cholo type guys who look macho and some who look threatening. There are some big tall guys and they do not treat anyone with the sweetness that Filipinos treat each other. Most look brusque and do not smile back.
No offense meant to anyone but an average Dominican is way more well rounded ( in terms of knowledge at least) than an average Filipino or Puerto Rican. You can talk on so many topics with average people and they just know things. So, you carry a discussion and they know what to answer and know history, geography, politics. A breath of fresh air. Their education is European- meaning they know a little bit of everything whereas the Filipino is American- know only one thing well. Also, Puerto Rico has many vagos ( cholos) and here it is seen as very bad and people work hard and there seems to be enough work for everyone.
You can talk with strangers easily and you feel included.
Met some interesting Dominicanos, one fluent Czech speaker, one fluent Russian speaker who spend 16 years in the USSR.
The country became independent in 1844, went through growing pains and is just a normal country without any complexes. They just live and you just blend in with them.
Many very intelligent and interesting people here to get to know.
All in all, I feel much more at home here than in the Philippines ( I am sorry to admit that). The only thing that the Philippines has going for it for me is the girls which are my type- and that I have a much higher status than what I have here where they see me as some Lebanese store owner vs. rich Amerikano in the Phils. Also, the Philippines is bigger and more diverse culture -wise. However as far as the distance from the US, the food and just daily life, its way more pleasant here in the DR. It's also clean out of the Anglosphere. No English is heard.
P4P is $100 a night.
Girls here talk and carry on conversations with you unlike in the Philippines where you get mute girls which don't have any skills- they just smile and sit quietly. They feel shy around a white man. People here don't. You are supposed to act and talk like everyone else and get treated like everyone else.
Would I move here though? Possibly part of the year. It all depends. I am planning on checking out some Indian girls in the town of Bani tomorrow.
Here is the famous song about the beautiful Indian girls of Bani
Visas here are 3 months per entry ala Malaysia and Singapore and then you do a visa run. You can do it ad infinitum from what I have been told. US$5-6K will get you permanent residency with the right lawyer.
Last edited by ladislav on March 28th, 2013, 3:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
A brain is a terrible thing to wash!
I have met some expats here, mostly Euros. Swiss and Dutch. They spoke Spanish. And they will speak Spanish to you! Yes, as a short time tourist you can get by with English, but getting by and living is not the same. Spanish is the easiest language to learn and is another international language like English. Half the words are the same. You can get pretty fluent in 3-4 months and then be a totally Spanish speaker within a year. 2 hours of study a day will do the trick.
On the tourist trail, English is used, but not in society.
I think it shows your respect that you learn Spanish. This is not the Philippines or Puerto Rico where people have learned to kiss and adjust to your Yankee Overlord ass. It's an independent Latin American country. Please adjust accordingly.People expect you to speak Spanish, and why shouldn't they?
I do not speak English here.
The Internet connection here is good and very fast. Not as choppy as in the Philippines. Cellphones from Europe/Asia/ME do not work here (but they do in Costa Rica- strange). The crime rate is widely exaggerated. They will just tell you not to go to slums but normal city areas are OK.
As far as work goes, we can all work online and teach English or figure something else out to do online. Why even try to find office work here?
This is not a 3d world country. It looks more prosperous than Ohio for example. Probably a second world one.
People are humble, hard working and intelligent. They love reading and talking politics and philosophy.
In the US, Dominicans do not have bad reputation and are mostly very dedicated to their hard work. I have known some and they worked like dogs.
One problem here may be noise pollution because some restaurants blast music until 10 PM and you can hardly rest in your hotel if you are near such a place. On the roads most cars are new, the buildings are strong and everything is just nicely developed. I am very impressed. The city is located on the sea and you can take long walks along the malecon watching ships and waves of the emerald sea beat against the rocks on the shore.
Last edited by ladislav on March 28th, 2013, 4:31 am, edited 3 times in total.
A brain is a terrible thing to wash!
Take your post down or zboy1 move this to NSFW/Hidden A-SAP!
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Thanks Ladislav! This kind of post should be what HA is all about. The post has prompted me to take a closer look at the DR.
On my last and third visit to Philippines very recently, I took my rose tinted glasses off and took a dispassionate look at the place and deliberately concentrated on the negatives, and even though I have a lot of affection for the people, I kept asking myself whether I could live there long term. I had some serious doubts. If I could somehow solve the availability of lovely and loving females then perhaps a place like Dominican Republic would be a nice compromise.
I eagerly await your further posts as your understanding of the place evolves.
There is no 'diversity' in the DR. All people belong to the same culture- Dominican culture. All are Dominicans. And more than half are really black. It's such a shock to meet black people on the street where you ask them for directions and they grab your hand and start asking you questions and then want to make friends with you and they speak Spanish like everyone else with a Dominican accent and act the same. There is no acting black or acting white, there is no "black nation", there is a Dominican nation. Is this such a hard aspect to grasp? Why can't the US be the same way?
I am sure that at Dominican universities they do not have Black student unions. Black is a color here, not a nation or a race. There is no jive being spoken.
There was one Dominican president who said a famous phrase: "anybody who steps on the Dominican soil is a Dominican".
You sit on a bus squeezed in by all these black people but they have no ill feelings towards you, they are very polite, no chip on thier shoulders. Today I met a girl who looked very much like a South African Khoisan. I started talking to her and asking her about her ethnic origin( an American habit). She looked at me kind of strange and just said: I am Dominicana,that is my origin.
The thing is I spent decades studying Philippine languages and have many cultural connections and the Malay heritage in the RP is very profound. It is well worth studying and getting into and is its own rewards. The Philippines has amazing folklore, poetry and music which is hidden from the common eye. That is what holds me there plus friends. Why not just have enough money to be in both places?
A brain is a terrible thing to wash!
I know what you mean...
For instance, I went to the Mexican consulate here in San Antonio to get some information for vacationing in Mexico. The first consular employee who came up to assist me was a woman. She asked me what my nationality was, and I told her African American. The lady asked me if I had my AFRICAN passport (the lady actually thought that I was from Africa). I reminded her that I am 100% American (citizen). Her boss summoned her for some reason, and this man came up there. I have talked to him on a few occasions during pasts visits to the consulate, and he asked me the same question. As I tried to explain to him that I was African-American, the man politely/respectfully cut me off and said, "You're American". I was thinking that race, to a Mexican, does not matter to the extent that Americans view it. For instance, a citizen of the Philippines is a Filipino, regardless of race or species. I even think that if Worf was a legal citizen of the Philippines, he would be considered a Filipino (despite not being ethnic or a genetic Filipino, nor even a human from this planet).
Wielding the blade of evil's bane, he sealed the dark one away and gave the land light. This man, who traveled through time to save the land, was known as the Hero of Men. The man's tale was passed down through generations until it became legend...
To paraphrase, no one is American in his motherland. Pity that you have to go to another country to become an American.
The situations are not ideal in all these Spanish/Portuguese-originated countries but they are much better than what we have in the USA. At least, socially speaking. Here in the DR they have things written in your documents which denote skin color. Like eye color. The designation "black" is absent. There is no mulatto or mestizo designation. They have Indian skin dark, Indian skin light, white skin dark, white skin light ( I think). Why Indian? I guess they just don't want to put Black. The word African is absent everywhere even though most people here look African.
They did not turn skin color into an official race or a nationality. They do hyphenate, though in case of Chinese- Dominico-Chinese, With Jews, they put Judeo-Dominican ( the Jews have the right to refuse it but most don't care). The DR took in lots of Jews during WWII and resettled them. I went to a Jewish restaurant last night and they played Sephardic music in Hebrew and served all kinds of Middle Eastern cousine.
The Dominicans are not stupid enough to confuse a Jew from Germany with a German and can tell Jews by facial features. A modern American cannot.
Generally, discrimination in all these Hispanic colonies starts when you want a political career and you are not of the earlier majority stock of the population. There is very little social discrimination. The opposite of the USA.
Anyway, as you see, governments classify people arbitrarily and it is ridiculous to take it as a word of God or some indelible destiny.
Today I went to the town of Bani which was supposed to have beautiful Indian girls. Well, they mostly turned out to be mulatto-looking but with longer hair. They did not look like Mayans or Incas from Peru. I guess here Indian does not mean the same as in Guatemala.
In the Philippines, socially people are classified mainly by the language they speak. People who speak Tagalog are Tagalogs, people who speak Visaya are Visayans. Regardless of citizenship. They called me Tagalog in other provinces even though I look nothing like a Filipino. Filipino is citizenship. However, things start getting hairy when you want a political career up in the presidential chambers. They want people of Malay stock with Spanish or Malay names to lead the country. If your name is Lim or Po or Ko, usually you just become a mayor or something, not higher.
In Venezuela a candidate of Jewish descent who was a practicing Catholic lost elections and the same happened here because someone had either Jewish or Arab roots. In Argentina where the stock is European with many Arabs, a person of Arab descent became president but no Jews ever.
There were also demonstrations with Arabs Out slogans here in the Dominican Republic with people having to take their kids out of schools. The anti-Arab sentiment lasted a couple of years and then it quieted down. No one was killed, just harassed.
A brain is a terrible thing to wash!
About the girls. Getting names and numbers is no problem but you need to be in some kind of social situation like with waitresses and making friends and then their friends come up. You don't get the Filipinas' hero's welcome of oooh, Americano! The Savior!The richest most handsome man on earth!
These people are not brainwashed and they have no complexes. They are well informed and intelligent. I would say on average much more than Puerto Ricans. They see PR as a corrupt, drug filled place with ignorant people. Which is not far from the truth.
Have you ever heard people say bad things in the USA against Dominicans? I have not.
The country is doing well in all respects. So no rush for the exit with a fat old Amerikano. A funny playful Spanish speaking guy is what they like. But most girls you will be meeting here will be either black or mulattoes of all shades. Some are really cute. If that's your type, you will have a field day.
This time I was walking back to my hotel and one black girl came up to me and asked me if I wanted a BJ. She did not look like a crack whore but she was free lancing after work as a sales lady. I was not in the mood but I took her to a restaurant to eat.
While not as good as the Philippines in terms of being a MacArthur lover whisking a girl to the States and a life of luxury ( her brainwashing), here you are expected to treat people on their terms. In Spanish, too.
Had another woman for dinner. She used to work in Cyprus and used to be married to a Greek. Basically she told me the Dominicans were very international and every family had someone married to a foreigner. It's no big deal here.
Everything is great in the DR, but I love girls with manes of silky black hair. That is hard to find here.
Whatever. If I ever get tired of the Philippines, this place will be waiting for me.
My Spanish is back to my old near native fluency. I am starting to think in Spanish again.
A brain is a terrible thing to wash!