Couch Hoppers Movement

Travel Blog

SANTO DOMINGO, DR

Posted by Couch Hoppers on April 4, 2011 at 4:05 PM

Tyjon and UK travel to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, the oldest European city in the Americas. A tourist recommends a newly renovated, reasonably priced hotel close to the airport and gives them a brochure. A taxi driver greets them in Spanish; they point to the map on the brochure and then jump into the taxi as he heads to the hotel. Tyjon negotiates a reasonable fee with the driver and he agrees, dropping the two women off at their hotel. They check in. They tour the facility. Surprisingly, the brochure was a bunch of bullcrap. No indoor heated swimming pool. No sauna. No complimentary buffet.

 

They meet the day shift hotel crew by the outside swimming pool. The workers are fascinated with the video and still cameras. They smile toothless grins and ask questions in Spanish. “We speaka un pequeto el Spanol” Tyjon and UK confess. After the interesting one-way singalogue, they crash in their hotel room. Only two hours to rest, they change and eat at the restaurant in the hotel lobby. They order soup and sandwiches, the cheapest items on the menu. When they receive the bill, it’s a whopping $62 USD. The waiter explains that the gratuity and taxes are included.

 

They call a taxi to take them downtown. They view historical sites in an Old District called Zona Colonial (The Colonial Zone), including,

Cathedral of Saint Mary, the first cathedral in America

Alcázar de Colón ("Diego Columbus' Palace") where Diego Columbus, son of Christopher, lived when he was governor of the Spanish colony

Monasterio de San Francisco ("St. Francis Monastery"), an church and place where monks lived (monastery); now is partially destroyed

Hospital de San Nicolás de Bari ("St. Nicholas of Bari Hospital"), the first hospital in the Americas; now is partially destroyed

Palacio del Gobernador y de la Audiencia ("Palace of the Governor and the Court"); now is a museum

Museo de las Casas Reales ("Museum of the Royal Houses")

Fortaleza Ozama ("Ozama Fortress"), the oldest fort in America.


Tyjon and UK witness a funeral procession at an old church with hundreds of colorful flowers. UK discovers a working phone in a tree. Strange, but convenient.

 

Tyjon meets a long time friend as though “he” thought. The man has extensive dreads flowing down his back and sips on a bottle of whiskey. He speaks perfect English, though he spits while saying every other word. Tongue soaked with alcohol, he convinces Tyjon that he met her at a concert in 1970. Interesting, she wasn’t even born. She finally ditches him.

 

Tyjon & UK continue their walk downtown. They met a beautiful Indian male model with a buff chest, weighing less than a hundred pounds. He must have only worked his upper body. He poses, wearing a red tight shirt with the top three buttons hanging loosely and a cigar in his mouth.

 

“Exscoose me, excoose me,” a native interrupts them. A young guy carries a shoe shine kit and begs to shine Tyjon’s shoes. “You let me shine shoes, you pay tomorrow,” he confesses. Tyjon has on sandals. However, he insists to shine them and demands her to pay him the next day. He follows the women around, explaining over and over that he learned English on his “compucher.”

 

The filmmakers meet up with some Atlanta Georgians, who invite them to a local beach, where guards parade the sands with machine guns.The biggest thief is a two-year-old girl, who steals Tyjon’s T-shirt, dances around in it, and stains it with lollipop juices.

 

The filmmakers meet Miguel, a native of Santo Domingo, who now lives in the US. He teaches Tyjon and UK a few Spanish phrases and explains the ongoing feud between Dominicans and Haitians.

 

 


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