Sunday, April 11, 2010

If At First... don't succeed, try & try again. I was reminded of those words as I read the personal experience submitted to the blog by Jack Crew, who was in SDQ last June. My advice is to always learn from other travelers. It's great that he will give it another chance.

I had read Monaga and Tropical Desires blogs and felt that I had a pretty good understanding of what to expect. But my trip started to unglue as soon as I arrived.

The first problem was that my phone didn't work outside the US. Looking back this may seem obvious but it never crossed my mind to check prior to my trip. I was pissed that my ride/taxi was nowhere to be found and I couldn't call to find him. So I took another taxi with no problem.

I soon checked into the hotel and it was basically what I expected. Well, except for the micro-sized bathroom. But hey, I was in Santo Domingo so I rolled with it.

Although I had seen photos of the Conde before arriving, little did I expect the grunginess of that street. It is one of the largest attractions and yet it is so hot and dirty. I thought..."can't the government spruce up the place?"

I was walking around trying to find a mobile phone store but instead found a "social services worker." Not a buggie, but he can introduce you to someone. This person also can help you find the best clubs, restaurants or whatever all for a fee. Since I needed a phone, we took a cab to a phone place and I purchased a couple of phones. (one was for him) He needed a phone so we could stay connected. Anyway, I was happy to have a phone. But in addition to the phone I had to pay for his time for helping me.

Later that night my "worker" invited me and some of his friends to go clubbing. So I went. It was truly tons of fun. We took a taxi (at my expense), had many drinks (at my expense) and he introduced me to a friend who was to be my date that night. Everything was cool until his friend and I returened to the hotel. Somehow the price negotiations got confused. I had paid the "worker" who was to pay the buggie. The buggie said he never gets the money from the "worker" and wished to be paid directly. I disagreed so he left without incident, or sex.

The next day I was stressed and hungover but wanted to explore the city. It wasn't long before I was approached by another guy. I understand buggies, but aren't there willing gays in the city? This guy seemed totally gay and totally into me. I consider myself fairly attractive so why not? I thought this was a regular hook-up. I thought that until the sex was finished and he wanted $200. Not only was I surprised to be asked to pay but I was shocked at the amount. Suddenly the guy appeared highly aggressive. I paid him something like $50 and explained we would have to go downstairs to the ATM. But when we got to the lobby the security was there so the guy left.

By now I did not like SDQ. I was not impressed with the men, I was hungover and I had spent more than my budget on pimps and phones. So I booked a return flight back to the US for the next day. Naturally things immediately got better. I met a super nice guy with a great body/personality and had lots of fun. Tried a few great restaurants and was enjoying myself. Then I left.

This month I head back to SDQ to try again. No more pimps and I have called my provider to work out the cell phone situation. I have a different plan also. I guess my story is a warning to watch out for the unexpected.


Curio said...

He needed just three words "Santo Domingo Direct." If he had went to that site as well as yours and Monaga before his trip I think his trip would have went a lot better.

Anonymous said...

My first words on vacation are no. Just say no. after a while people realize u are not an easy mark and they lighten up. spend your hard earned pesos on your last 2-3 days... not the first. I learned this the hard way lol

Anonymous said...

I love the advice from 10:12AM.Spend your hard earned pesos on the last 2-3 days...not the first. I've beeen going down for about 6 years now and at the end of my trips I'm ALLWAYS BROKE. I'll be going down again one week from today and I will do things different this time thanks to the last poster.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I am ALWAYS amazed when I hear about people having these horrible experiences. I will not judge but will give the benefit of the doubt and say that shit happens. Back in 07' a good friend of mine went down and was robbed from the cab driver at the airport to the first night at Friends, to the next night at JD's to the following day at Boca Chica. Once there (from the story he told), he became overwhelmed. The language, the money, down to all of the fantastic stories that were told, he had high expectations and he was just in this world wind the spiraled out of control. All the advise I had given him went out of the window. And once in the midst of all the drama he never bothered to call me for help. My advise to you brother,is to NEVER trust any of those 'social workers' they are out for vics, first timers like you! Stay at a gay/guest friendly hotel. Discuss actions and fees directly upfront. And if you can, befriend a tourist that knows the ropes. And ask the bartender at the bar if the boy that you like is reputable. And if all else fails, stay at Anthony from Monaga's guest house and PRAY... I don't know where you are from but I have to ask you, would you let this happen in your own hometown?

Anonymous said...

Your best piece of advice was to befriend a tourist who is a regular visitor there. I am always amazed at the new visitors to Santo Domingo and how they get ripped off and seem to be unable to say no. Many are offered advice by other tourists by they seem unable to comprehend or to follow much of the advice.

Anonymous said...

Reading this makes me think of the word "IGNORANT". It's always good to be well versed on a destination like Santo Domingo.