Monday, January 09, 2006

The Canoe Paddles Again

As many of you know (and as my Eastern European readership may not have heard yet) I was on vacation from not only New York and sobriety, but also work and the blogosphere over the last several weeks. The smoked salmon, two confidantes, and myself traveled to the Dominican Republic (DR). To be honest, I expected little from this trip, but the DR was like a museum’s representation of a prehistoric cat—a saber tooth tiger of vacation spots. It’s exotic, but familiar as well as a distillation of the cool parts from a spattering of species plus a little more. The DR is warm in the winter and everyone speaks Spanish, but everyone drinks Presidente which is widely available in New York, and watches baseball, which is nearly surreal to see outside of America. Also, like any good saber tooth tiger, beautiful women walk around in skimpy but stylish attire, while I get to tromp around in my usual jeans and smelly tee-shirt.

At this stage, I’m willing to say that the DR is the coolest place I’ve ever been. And in no small measure the coolness is due to a more genuine friendliness from the natives then you get in most tropical vacation spots. Dominicans seemed to be a very pro-eye contact people. Living in New York, where eye contact between pedestrians is infamously prohibited, I really enjoyed watching people walk down the street and acknowledge my existence. Also people were cool about my absolute butchering of their language. For example, people responded positively to me drunkenly searched for rooster fights by making little shadow puppet rooster heads with my hands, banging my finger tips together, and saying, “pollo, pollo”. This roughly translates to touching your finger tips together, and saying "cooked chicken, cooked chicken".

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