Dominican Republic: First Impressions

17 02 2010

We’ve had many first impressions and experiences in the DR since our arrival this afternoon, so instead of a series of posts and what would certainly become a tremendous list of things we want to share, here are some of our bullet highlights:

Amy:

  • There was a stadium-style bar cart in the airport right after customs, with no seating. It was just a little booth where you could grab a beer with one hand while pulling your luggage with the other. I’ve never seen that anywhere else.
  • There was a group of paramedics on the plane who were on their way to Haiti for relief work (Jay’s comment: Is that really what Haiti needs now?)
  • The person sitting next to us on the plane was going from Santo Domingo to Haiti to see his family and check on his house. Many others seemed to be in the same boat as him.
  • There was a huge cheer when plane landed, with lots of yelling in Spanish
  • The 2.5 hour drive to our resort went by quickly thanks to the beautiful and varied scenery
  • We practiced speaking Spanish with taxi driver and it’s starting to come back
  • During your first twenty minutes on a clothing-optional resort, you learn to keep very strong eye contact… and then you adjust ๐Ÿ™‚
  • Everyone here is very friendly. There are no overt sexual tones, and the population is mainly middle-aged people.
  • Lots of sunburned skin. Time to start using sunblock – in February!
  • The resort gave us time to settle in and weโ€™re definitely being treated like guests
  • We arranged to have dinner with the staff tomorrow night to practice our Spanish
  • The resort is gated off, with an armed guard – though the surrounding area seems safe

ayo-and-yair-2010e

Jay:

  • Being on the plane during de-icing was fun! It’s like being in a drive-through car wash on a plane.
  • The resort restaurant has great food and pleasantly normal-sized portions
  • Everyone here drives small motorbikes, and our driver told us that there is no real or enforced minimum driving age
  • The resort property is gorgeous and we have a great view from our apartment, which is around the same size as our New York City digs. We have a large private terrace, with A/C and wireless internet.
  • Interesting people of the day: nudist farmers from middle-of-nowhere Ontario with hundreds of acres of land who voluntarily lived without electricity or running water for a few years
  • The resort has a nice gym that never gets used. That’s going to change (the part about it never getting used).
  • The sky is crazy dark here. On a less cloudy night I’ll have a better idea of the naked-eye limiting magnitude, but I would bet it’s at least 6.5.

One of the pools on the resort – remember, this is free!

Image of Resort Pool

posted by jayhorowitz and amybetho

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2 responses

18 02 2010
Freely Living Life

Beautiful!! We are so happy to hear that you made it safe and are already taking it in and enjoying yourselves. ๐Ÿ™‚

Looking forward to seeing your new “digs” and more of the resort. You two behave now! ๐Ÿ˜‰

18 02 2010
jayhorowitz

Thanks! The view from our apartment is stunning and is a welcome contrast to the snow we were shoveling in New York!

We took an audioless video of our apartment, so once we can figure out how to get the audio working we’ll definitely post that. (I’m getting a kick out of it not working, because I’m pretty tech savvy. Fun troubleshooting project.)

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