Saturday, July 01, 2023

Santo Domingo Weekend

Tuesday is a holiday. You know what that means? Extra-long weekend!

I’m not one to let an opportunity to travel pass me by, especially since I’m on a quest to see corners of the world I have to work a bit to get to. Islands fall into this category since one does not just happen upon them when visiting nearby.

I’ve been trying to get out of my SoCal comfort zone (aka Mexico) and see new-to-me countries. Sometimes they aren’t countries, like when I went to Curacao and Aruba, to New Caledonia. But to me, those are every bit as novel. Other times, my destinations are absolutely countries—Vanuatu, Luxembourg, and now…Dominican Republic.

I caught a Thursday night flight to Santo Domingo. I did “work from home” on Friday from an AirBnB in the Zona Colonial, but we’re in the middle of summer Fridays, so that only meant working until 4 pm Eastern time.

After clocking out, I went to an ATM, got caught in the rain, walked all over the historic district, then went back to “my” flat and collapsed in a heap after a cold shower. The humidity is a whole thing here, reminds me of when I was a kid in the suburbs of DC (the city, not the comics). Except it also reminds me of other places, not because of the weather but because of the buskers in the parks, the old guy slowly dancing down the street, the historic buildings in varying states of decay and restoration, the paintings for sale on the street as well as in souvenir stores and fine art galleries, and the quirky handmade souvenirs. The DR has a lot in common with Haiti but with a lot more quality of life, with Cuba but not nearly as complicated, and with old-school Alphabet City too, of course. My Spanish is hilariously lame, but I understand and speak enough to get by, albeit like a goofball.

Today (Saturday), I leapt out of bed early to get a jump on the midday heat. After getting ready, I was still up too early to get breakfast at a restaurant, so I just closed my eyes for a short nap…and found myself blinking away at 9 a.m. So much for an early start.

Didn’t matter, in the end, the historic district is only so big. I enjoyed a walking expedition around the district, stopping for an hour in a luxuriously air-conditioned coffee shop where everything was gluten-free. Which sounded great! Only it was all dry and maybe they need to go back to the drawing board.

Here are some photos of things I saw and things I bought.

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