Sunday, January 30, 2011

Salsa dancing

She always makes funny faces in pictures! She's so silly but she's an AWESOME salsa dancer. Wow, I wish I could dance like her.

Before I left, I went salsa dancing with some classmates. You may remember them from last year's Halloween salsa excursion??? :-)

I'm not a very good salsa dancer but I'm a great merengue dancer and I'm learning bachata. So, those were the dances of choice that night. I had a lot of fun!

Dominican Republic

A terribly funny beach picture. The wind was blowing like crazy and sand was EVERYWHERE.

A BEAUTIFUL cave with crystal clear water! We had to take a boat to get to the other side to see the next picture...

This is a small lake on the other side of the cave. It was like something from 'The Goonies.' Remember that movie, all of of you over 30???

This is where Christopher Columbus' son lived for awhile.

Pretty cool, huh? I thought so. Hence the picture!

I played Scrabble in spanish!

Pretty cool, huh?

I saw some shows. These are folks are dancers. They were awesome!

SUGAR CANE. All I can say is OH MY GOODNESS, how sweet it is. WOW! The sugar you buy in stores has nothing on this.

This is something that is like a taxi...but not quite. It's only about 50 cents. To 'catch' one you stand on the street and point your finger in the direction in which you want to travel. It was weird doing that...kind of like the world's oldest profession, if you know what I mean...

Rocking chairs in the airport in Tennessee! How southern! (I had several layovers--hey, don't judge me! It was a cheap flight!)
The food here was pretty good. I had tapas! This place had German, American, Spanish, Italian and Dominican restaurants. Around 9pm the flamenco dancers would give a great show!

And finally, EYE CANDY! My favorite picture. He looks like a model, doesn't he? We had a VERY PLEASANT conversation in Spanish. LOL.

So, i'm back! Yes, I know you know that already since I wrote that 3 weeks ago. Too funny.

I went to the Dominican Republic for more Spanish Immersion/Spanish school. It was lovely but I had a very difficult time understanding their Spanish. They don't pronounce the letter 's' there! So, 'como estas?' becomes 'com ta?' and 'Estoy bien' becomes 'toy bien.' I could understand my instructors and the family with whom I lived but the everyday common folks on the street? S-T-R-U-G-G-L-E.

After a few days I came to understand some things, such as como estas? and De donde eres? and so on. But, when I traveled across the country on the bus I got tired of trying to decipher what random people were saying as they attempted to make conversation so I started saying 'No hablo espanol. No entiendo.' I even said it in English sometimes to prove that I didn't understand (lol), and STILL, PEOPLE SPOKE TO ME IN SPANISH. They are just a friendly country, I guess.

This was probably my last time living with a family. I think I'm getting to an age where I want ALL the American/Western comforts. I want my water to come out the shower head, HOT, not cold or luke warm. I want it to come out hot and STAY hot. I also want to be able to put toilet paper in the toilets. I want to drink water from the sink--not that I particularly enjoy Chicago water as I have a Brita, but I want the option. I want good, hot, flavorful food. I've noticed Caribbean food is pretty much the same, all the time, and it's almost always served warm.

I went to the movies in DR and after the show I had to use the bathroom. As I waited in line, something about the situation was off but I couldn't put my finger on it. When I entered the stall immediately I knew what it was--I didn't hear any toilets flushing!!!! The plumbing system was stalled (I later found out this is common. The electricity or plumbing will just go out, and you have to wait for it to return) so the toilet was full of urine and menstrual blood and the garbage can next to it was full of toilet tissue and menstrual blood tissue. Sorry for the visuals but it's the truth.

And, in case you haven't guessed this also means the SINKS WERE NOT WORKING so I couldn't wash my hands. Thankfully I didn't drink all the water in my water bottle so when we got outside I poured water over my hands.

In my 20s, this would not have bothered me one bit (one day I'll tell you how my passport and plane ticket were taken and how I got kicked out my hostel room in China because they thought I was part of some religous sect) but now incidences like these are inconveniences.

These are the signs of a true 30-something. Sigh. But I'm still adventurous and young and beautiful and fun loving. I won't submit to any OLD AGE -isms! I WON'T DO IT!


Friday, January 7, 2011

I'm back!

Hi I'm back from my trip! I know I didn't say anything, I got really busy then hopped on a plan and left. Sorry! :-)

It's late and I'm sleepy so I'll post more on Monday!