...you 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.