Saturday, February 04, 2017

Notes from poolside

It's Saturday and our final day in Punta Cana. Tomorrow we'll sleep in, have a late breakfast and leave for the airport and our return flight to St. Louis.

In the US we have Italian restaurants, Japanese, restaurants, Mexican, Thai, Indian, ... pretty much anything you can think of in the way of international cuisine. Last fall I asked our Canadian friends why there are no Canadian restaurants and was told that it was probably because they eat the same kinds of food that we do.

There are also no Dominican restaurants, nor is there a specific Dominican cuisine. Here in the Dominican Republic, we are told the the standard meal is rice, beans, and chicken. When we were here a couple of years ago, one of our guides said that his mother often provided variety by preparing beans, chicken, and rice!

The country is poor by US standards. Resort employees work long hours and six days per week for the equivalent of about $187 US dollars per month. The lowest 3% in the Dominican earn less than $2k per year and the upper 2% only average around $70k/yr in US dollars.
The Dominicans love having US tourists because we are in the habit of tipping (even though it is not required at the all-inclusive resorts). For many of their other international guest, tipping isn't as much of a habit.

While we were shopping, one vendor greeted us by saying, "You're Americans!"
Chris' blonde hair and fair skin may have been the give-away, but he said it was because we were smiling and friendly. He said that Americans (and I think he meant US citizens) are the most friendly (and generous) tourists and began to give us his rundown of the different nationalities and how they treated the Dominican vendors. We asked how he felt about Canadians and he said they are also very friendly -- except the ones from Quebec. They are too much like the French. (I guess that's not a good thing!)

This has been a good week for us. Real life hits hard next week as Chris begins her chemo therapy. A few days before Christmas, Chris had a bilateral mastectomy and has been recovering through the holidays and the early weeks of 2017. We will be home on Sunday night, have Monday to do laundry and restock our pantry, surgery for her port is Tuesday and her first 6 hour chemo treatment is on Wednesday.

I doubt that I'll be posting tomorrow. Until I post again -- smile, be friendly.

By the way, February (the shortest month) is the month of the international haiku challenge. The challenge is to write a haiku each day. I missed Feb 1. You can follow the rest of mine on Twitter.
Here's a bonus haiku to make up for the one I missed.

Listen to the waves
Repeatedly slap the beach.
Peace to you, my friends.

John <><

1 comment:

Mike said...

Tell Chris to 'Don't worry be happy.'