Tuesday, April 25, 2006


As the temps start to rise here in the Midwest, it seems like we'll have no Spring, but go right into Summer. I won't complain...yet. But, I am reminded of a humorous account my friend Julius e-mailed me last Summer. He said I could share it with my readers. Julius is an ex-patriate living in Santo Domingo.

Remember, I hated snow & kept a diary.....so, I moved to Santo Domingo!
April 30: Dear diary, Santo Domingo is fantastic! Just got here and love it already. Now this is a place that knows how to live! Beautiful sunny days and warm balmy evenings. What a place! Watched the sunset lying on a blanket in the park. It was beautiful. I've finally found my home. I love it here.
May 14th: Really heating up. Got to 89 today. Not a problem, I live in an air-conditioned home and drive an air-conditioned car. What a pleasure to see the sun everyday like this. I'm turning into a real sun worshipper.
June 5th: Had the backyard landscaped with tropical plants today. Lots of palms and rocks. What a breeze to maintain. No more mowing for me. NO MORE SHOVELING SNOW EITHER! Another scorcher today but I love it here.
July 1st: The temp hasn't been below 90 all week, not even at night. Where are those ocean breezes we heard about? Still seems hot. Getting used to it-will take awhile, I guess. I sure miss my LP collection. Have to remember not to leave anything made of plastic in my car. Got one of those fuzzy steering wheel covers, cheaper than the burn ointment for my hands. I always wondered what burnt flesh smelled like.
July 15th: Fell asleep by the pool. (Got burns over 60% of my body) Missed three days of bar-hopping. What a dumb thing to do. Got to respect the 'ol sun in a climate like this.
July 20th: Our poor dog Jerry. He snuck into the car when I left this morning. By the time I got out to the car for lunch he'd swollen up to the size of a garbage bag, and just as I opened the door he exploded all over the leather upholstery! I told my roommate he ran away. The car now smells like doggie poop. No more pets in this heat!
July 25th: Ocean breezes my a--. Hot is hot! The apartment air conditioner is on the fritz and the AC repairman charged $2000 pesos just to drive by and tell me he needed to order parts from the US. The only hope for a break in the heat would be a hurricane.
July 30th: Been sleeping outside on the roof for three nights. Swatting the tropical mosquitoes, they're as big as these d@#* homeless dogs that are everywhere. $1500 in darn upkeep payments and I can't even go inside. Why did I ever come here?
August 4th: 100 degrees. Finally got the air fixed today. It cost $5000 pesos and gets the temperature down to about 90. The electric bill is almost as much as the house payment. Two old lady drivers almost ran me off the road. I hate this country.
August 8th: If another jerk says, "Is it hot enough for you?", I'm going to tear his head off.
D#^* heat! By the time I get to the beach the radiator's boiling over, my clothes are soaked and I smell like roasted Garfield!!
August 10th: The weather report might as well be a recording. Doesn't it ever rain in this God-forsaken place unless there's a hurricane passing??
August 14th: Welcome to Hell!! Temperature got to 102 today. Forgot to crack the window and blew the windshield out of the Nissan. The installer came to fix it and said, "Hot enough for you today?" My lover had to spend the house payment to bail me out of jail.
August 30th: Worst day of the summer. I'm not leaving the house. The monsoon rains finally came and all they did was to make it muggier than hell and drove the freakin lizzards out of the ground. Wasn't aware they could fly! The Nissan is now floating somewhere in the Caribbean with its new $8500 pesos windshield. That does it, I'm moving back to New York where all I have to worry about is getting mugged or thrown over my balcony. I hope this country breaks in half and floats to Cuba!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


The Lost City is a new film directed by (and starring) Andy Garcia. It was shot in the Dominican Republic and he describes it as a Latin American "Casablanca". It also stars Dustin Hoffman, Bill Murray and several Dominican players, such as Amelia Vega (DR's first Miss Universe).

The film tells the story of Havana, Cuba in 1958, during the days of the transition from Fulgencio Batista to Fidel Castro. It unfolds while the revolutionary forces of Castro and Ernesto "Che" Guevara prepare to move on the city.

The Lost City will be shown in New York, Los Angeles and Miami as of April 28. As for me, I hope to see it while in Santo Domingo the first week of May!

Monday, April 17, 2006


I have a friend who reads the blog regularly and who liked the idea of me sharing my experience with the bad boogie so much that he shared an idea with me.

He said that he has had a few negative encounters with boogies and said that he would email pictures and a short synopsis of the bad encounters. He suggested that I should have something on the blog where people could see and read about those buggies that are trouble, or just worthless.

The idea intrigued me enough to consider it. It is not without merit. Of course, there would only be one side of the story represented. And I know that there are tourists out there who seem to bring trouble upon themselves. However, I also know that there are boogies that you need to be fore-warned about, and those who are so tired that they need REtire. LOL

If you have had serious issues with any boogie, feel free to email their pic and let me know what happened. I think we can give these busters a dose of their own medicine. (They usually know more about us as soon as we claim our luggage at the airport.) Let's help each other out here! Of course, that's not to say that one shouldn't exercise caution just because you've never seen your hottie on the "Network".

By the way, if you want to share, you will remain anonymous.

Thursday, April 06, 2006


The New Yorker magazine has an article about plans of the new owners of Playa Grande for the development of the countrys most spectacular golf course and adjacent beach and cliffs. (Playa Grande is on the North coast in Puerto Plata.)

The new owner, 40-year old Boykin Curry, wants to keep it Bohemian, not filled with dentists and the like. The New Yorker story describes the 2,200 acre plot as "unspoiled", extending about five miles along the coast.

I find it interesting that there is a nudist colony that flanks the property on one side.

Curry's vision includes an artists colony; 4-star restaurants and art galleries sharing street space with locally run fish shacks and pool halls. There would also be great public plazas.

Um, anyone know where the nudist colony is? LOL

Saturday, April 01, 2006


There's an old addage that says "Get me once, shame on you. Get me twice, shame on me." There's another that says "You can't judge a book by it's cover." Thank goodness I've learned not to go down the same road twice, not to repeat past mistakes.

I consider myself to be a pretty good judge of character also. However, sometimes things aren't always as they seem (especially in the Dominican Republic). And the minute you let your guard down....WHAM!!! Some things you just chalk up to experience...lesson learned. I thought I'd share this with you to prevent you from being the fool, no matter what time of year. LOL

I was sitting in the Sports Bar talking with an acquaintance, an ex-patriate, when in walks this nice-looking Dominican (I know, not unusual in the D.R.). He captured my attention because of his height. It's not often that I see eye-to-eye with someone since I'm a six-footer. I muttered to myself, "Oh my". The acquaintance overheard me and caught my gaze. He said, "Hey, I know him. I haven't seen him in awhile". Well, before I knew anything the guy was standing two inches from my face with his hand on my knee. (I was sitting on a bar stool)

After the introductions were made and some small talk, I decided that I'd like to photograph this guy. When we got to the hotel and he disrobed I was a bit disappointed that the physique wasn't what it had seemed to be. However, I chose to continue. Unfortunately, he was not able to. His organ pipes had no air, so to speak. He said it was the beer, so we decided to try the next evening.

Needless to say, he showed up WELL after the scheduled time. And smelled of liquor! After trying to stall him, offering him water and refresca to see if he would sober up a bit, I concluded that it may be best to just forget about it. Of course, he wasn't happy with that decision. Of course, he had come all the way over to the hotel expecting to get paid for his services. Of course, he had bills to pay and baby needed diapers.

Being the kind-hearted person that I am, I offered him compensation to cover his taxi fare. Of course, he countered my offer with an amount close to what we initially agreed upon. I asked him where was he going, Haiti?! But alas, there is no reasoning with a drunk. So, to be rid of this raton I agreed to the fee he wanted. Not having the appropriate pesos, as the fee had changed from our initial agreement, I had to get it from my friend who was also in the hotel.

After the guy was gone my friend said, "You know that was the counterfeit bill I got from the Casa de Cambio." That's another story, but it plays into this comedy of errors. Of course, the guy makes his way back to the hotel. Exasperated, I attempt to dodge him. After several minutes of my friend telling him that I had stepped out, the hotel owner stepped in. The guy explained that he had been stopped by the policia and that they had asked for money. Well, guess what money he gave them. LOL So, he is now in the lobby sobbing, with the policia outside at the curb. I wind up giving him his fee in US dollars, much to the delight of the policia I'm sure, and send him on his way.

I have not said the guys name because I have stricken it from every tablet and every scroll. His name is not to be said in my presence. So let it be written, so let it be done. LOL
Seriously though, I have been to Santo Domingo many times and this was my first encounter that turned sour. I'm hoping it's my last! It will be if I remember those old addages.