Thursday, October 30, 2008

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Thank God for the coconut guys on the streets; this place is HOT!  The coconut guys work the streets with their carts and cut open coconuts with machetes for refreshing beverages.  Aaahhh, the fresh juices... I guess I had forgotten what a ripe pineapple tastes like.  

In Santo Domingo, merengue dancing is popular too. Friends will be happy to know I resisted the urge on nearly all occasions to dance; good thing it was dark when I did. Last night, I took a stroll out for some entertainment. A dark cobblestone street took me past a magnificent cigar shop to a cafe that spilled out dancers and diners. I cannot remember a more joyous recent event. It seemed that they had no other relevant care in the world. One particularly well-dressed elderly man rose from his chair and walked over with some intent to a beautiful young woman. I thought for sure she would decline his advance, but she rose with a shining smile and took his hand. To my astonishment, they danced the merengue, and the unlikely duo stole the show. I would say that it was that moment when I decided to learn to dance. Well, if I do learn to dance, that may be the reason.

I took the opportunity to take some photos on Monday.  Here are some of what I found:

Other than the fresh juices, the food here was not overwhelmingly great. After disappointment with an overpriced goat osso bucco, and a few other dishes, I did have a delicious ceviche at a Peruvian place (couldn't resist) and a barbeque bacon cheeseburger at Hard Rock Cafe while I watched the World Series. Presidente seems to be the beer of choice, and you can get one at Hard Rock for $4 or at the park with a small plastic cup for $1. Rum and Cigars are big here too (NO, I DIDN'T BUY ANY CUBANS). Watch out in the streets and markets because people are very pushy!  "No, thank you, I don't need you to polish my rubber sandals." Taxi drivers, shoe shiners, tour guides, jewelers... all follow you around like puppies. My inner Obama told me I was being selfish and should spread the wealth, but I realized that's government's job and not mine.  

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