Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Trip to La Romana - Day One Continued...

We all piled into Junior's van/mini bus/whatever and we where on our way. It started raining as soon as we left the airport. I wasn't too worried - I read that the rain in the Dominican doesn't last long. Unless it's a hurricane or something.

We were off, soon to see just how crazy the Dominicans drive. Fortunately we had seatbelts. (And air conditioning, which NY insisted we wouldn't. He is the only person I know who will find anything to complain about before it even happens.)

Dominican's to not believe in right-of-way, assured-cleared-distance, turn signals or speed limits. They do however, know how to flash their headlights when they enter the opposite lane up a hill before a curve, where the horn is, where the gas pedal is, and how to yank the steering wheel to the right. They seem to forget where the brake pedal is and only remember at one-inch-to-spare distances from the vehicle in front of them. I heard someone say that the number one cause of death there is from car accidents. I don't know if that's accurate, but I'm not second guessing it.

Soon we pulled into a gas station. Junior maneuvered the van into a teeny tiny spot between a car and a scooter. He looked back and motioned for R and NY to go with him.


From a gas station. OK.

R and NY go in with Junior and return with 4 brown bags. R hands me one and NY hands T one. The Dominican Republic also has very lenient open container laws. As in, the container can be open, as long as it's in a paper bag. And they will open it for you in the gas station.

We took off again. The beer was excellent. Presidente, brewed right there in the Dominican. I don't remember how many milliliters it was, but it looked like a 40-oz size bottle.

Settled in with our beer, we enjoyed watching the countryside go by. Palm trees, cows, goats, little huts. Broken down cars, motor scooters, bare foot children. We went through several little towns. There were lots of hair salons and banks. And bars. We did not stop in the bars. I don't know that the locals would welcome tourists in the non-touristy areas. Our video camera was buried somewhere in the back, so we said we would have to remember on the way home to film some of the scenery. Especially after Junior took us past an extremely large and beautiful "iglesia".

We drove and drove and drove and then the beer hit. I had to piss like a race horse in heat, and the Dominican Republic sure doesn't have any rest areas.

"Psst. T. How do I tell him I have to go to the bathroom?"

"Um, Junior, she needs el bano."

That must have been good enough, because he said "Ok, no es bueno" or something like that, which we took to mean that he would take me somewhere to pee, but it wouldn't be very nice. I didn't care. I had to go.

He pulled into this place that I thought was a house, but next to it was some sort of garage with a pop machine (the old style) and another garage behind it. The garage behind it turned out to be a shower house. We learned this because when Junior got out to ask someone if we could use the facilities, R and NY reported that a rather well-endowed nude man emerged from the shower house holding only his towel.

The report went something like this:

NY: "Holy Shit, R. Look at that guy. He's huge. I'm not letting T out here.

R: "Oh my God, it's down to his knees."

T and jAG: "Where? Where! We can't see!"

Unfortunately T and I missed the whole show. By the time we looked, an angry-looking Junior was ushering the guy back inside. I think that perhaps he thought that taking your car full of tourists and showing them a naked local man with a dick the size of an horse's was not going to make a good impression, and therefore make for a lousy tip. Immediately following, I saw a younger man carrying a bucket into the first garage.

"Oh dear God, R, I cannot pee into a bucket here. No way. Tell him nevermind."

T, in her broken Spanish got Junior's attention and told him, somehow, to forget it, that I could wait. He looked really upset. Not at us, but again because I think he was trying to impress us.

T finally convinced him it was OK, and we left. We were out of beer, my eyeballs were floating, and we had no idea how far we were from the hotel. Then in the distance, was a BP station! A glorious BP station! With beer! And a bathroom!

After accidentally going into the men's restroom, (I didn't care. I had to go. There was no sign on the door.) Junior led me inside to the women's restroom. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah. Relief. And there was toilet paper! I wasn't expecting that luxury! I finished up business and saw a sign on the back of the toilet. En Espanol. Hmmmm. Wonder what that means? Oh well. I tossed my TP and flushed and exited. T was waiting.

"Hey T, when you go in there, see if you can figure out what the sign on the toilet says. I didn't understand it."

I go back outside to join R and NY, where they are standing with - Yay! - more Presidente. Now that I had an empy bladder, I could resume Presidente consumption.

A young boy came up to us and was asking for money. R gave him a dollar, and he promptly went over to the pump and filled his little gas can with a dollar's worth of petrol. Not sure what it was for, but he hopped on his little dirt bike and was off.

T emerged from the building and said "Don't flush the toilet paper. That's what the sign says.".

"Oh. Oops. Guess I should have let you go first."

We hopped back in the mini-bus-van and headed toward the resort. Turns out we were only a few minutes away. We gathered our luggage, paid Junior and headed in to the check-in desk.

We had finally arrived.

And it had stopped raining.


Blogger evilsciencechick said...


ewww...bucket peeing...

somehow, though, I can't work up the sympathy for ya ;)

9:10 PM  

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