Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Vacation - Part 2

Google maps.

They SUCK here on the island of the Dominican Republic, even in the capitol.

We decided to follow the Google instructions and drive the route given.

No, we didn't ask the hotel for help, because that would have made sense.

We weren't making anything easy for ourselves.  We never seem to do so.

Off we went, driving back through the streets we just came through, thinking we'd figure out the way to get back to Ikea, because we saw it when we first drove in to the city.

What I'm learning, is that even though there is realistic terror of people who could harm us, there are an overwhelming amount of good people.

Good people who want to help us, who seem to be guided by angels to cross our path, tipping the scales toward positivity, allowing us to feel great support here.

Ikea should have only taken 20 minutes to drive to, but not for us.

2 hours through insanity of no driving rules, cars that have bumps and dings in them that make them look beyond a beater, and darkening skies that threatened our shopping time.

We could have given up, but we were so desperate to get the items we need for our home, so we kept driving the streets of the capitol.

I yelled out the window at people to ask for where Ikea was, but dammit, it didn't even occur to me that the reason they didn't understand me was because they don't say Ikea the way we would in English.

Of course they would say it in their own accent: Ee-kay-a, not: Eye-kee-a.  Hence, not a soul could understand what the hell I was asking for.

Finally, we stopped at a gas station and dammit if there wasn't the absolute sweetest woman to help me.

I told her I wanted to go to Ikea, and again her head cocked as if to say, "What?"

I said it was a big store with tables and chairs and beds on the main street of John F. Kennedy.

Her eyes lit up! "Si!  Ee-KAY-a!!"  She then told me we were very far away.

She did give us instructions, however, between the language barrier, the sun going down and lack of signage in the city, we wound up driving toward the airport on the other side of the city, instead of our shopping destination.

Person after person, we stopped and asked, now pronouncing the name properly, and eventually our weaving in and out of traffic we found John F. Kennedy, and within minutes, we found Ikea.

We only had one hour to shop for bedroom furniture and other odds and ends we really needed that we just can't find on our side of the island.

Never in my life have I been the LAST person out of a store, escorted by guards with guns and employees giving us the stink eye, because we were taking way too long and they just wanted to go home.  Completely understandable.

They, however, don't understand how far we are from home and that we only had these few moments to get what we needed.

Well, we made it back to our car, the only one in the lot, accepting there was so much more we didn't have time to get.  Maybe the next day we could go back now that we know how to get there?!?

Fortunately, the drive home was much easier, with those 4 lanes of traffic becoming clear that they're really only 3 lanes, because it was late at night and there weren't cars stuck in the road like a parking lot.

Having left the hotel before dinner time, we were absolutely starving, but it was now 10 p.m.  We hoped we could eat at the hotel, even if it was room service.

When we arrived back, we very meekly asked if anything was open.

"Of course!  Right now the baseball game is on!  In the bar there is food.  It is the true Dominican experience!"

Excellent!  In we went to the restaurant to eat watch the Dominican Republic play against the Nederlands.

I had been told that Dominicans are CRAZY about their baseball, but I never expected to see what I saw.

Every time there was a home run, or the Dominicans gave the Nederlands an out, people ERUPTED!

People were jumping on tables, blowing horns.  Men were kissing one another, while women gyrated each other, waving their flags high and proud in the air, as the percussive instruments infused the airwaves with beats that melted my heart.

Every time it happened, people turned to look at my face, as I was so happy to see so much joy and giggled at their antics.

It was an opportunity to finally have the 'fun' that Papi and I needed after such a stressful few days.

The night ended with Papi admitting he can't drink just one drink, and me being grateful that we had time to be loving toward one another, not to mention, absolutely NO desire within me to drink.

Good thing it ended on a good note, because for day 2 of our 'vacation', we would need more patience than we could ever know.

i feel the love of those not physically around me

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