Tuesday, January 28, 2014



So.  Many.  Bags.

Not only do stores in this fine country have an obsession with plastic bags, they also encourage their employees to do 2 of the most horrible things ever: tie the handles and bag many of the items separately if they can.

Bags, doubled, for 36 eggs which are already in plastic encasings to deliver them to the market.  Triple plastic.

Seriously.  That's not going to stop them from breaking!

Or, doubled for any kind of meat that is also already in it's own layer of plastic, making sure it's separated in another bag from vegetables (of which you're going to wash anyway) that couldn't possibly be near meat, or you will die a slow, suffering death with the devil itself.

But what makes it worse, is the fact that Papi always rips the handles to open them, rendering them useless.

Papi is too impatient to delicately open the plastic knot.

Sometimes, you can find me in the kitchen with a fork trying to pry open the bag, with the most utter care, to salvage those handles so that I can use those bags again.

I won't let go of the environmentalist in me, even if I live in a country considered un-environmental.

However, most of the time I have my reusable bags, that I brought all the way from Canada, handy.

When they see me coming, they know now that I have my bags, because I am the crazy bag gringa.

Occasionally, I find someone who hasn't encountered the eco-queen, who looks at me like I'm from another country.

Yes.  Judging me by my olive skin, I am.

But the other day, someone asked me, "Why?"

Why do I have my bags?  Well, because of the turtles, of course.

So, they had an answer for my answer as well.

"But the bags don't go into the ocean, they get burned."

Yes.  Burned.

That's how they dispose of garbage here; burning.

There are so many differences here than in Canada, so I could say there are many differences in Canada than in the DR.

I recently found out that there actually IS recycling here.  You just have to find it.

People will collect your plastic bottles, but you have to search them out.  So now I will.

Unfortunately, our dogs will eat the bottles before we can find someone to recycle them.

Speaking of dogs ...

... because of course i couldn't go 2 posts without talking about dogs, could i? ...

... the neighbour I thought would never speak to us again was all smiles as she drove past me while I was at the 'Baby Chower'.

Did I tell you about the 'Baby Chower'?

It's a baby shower, only with someone trying to spell in English on a cute-as-can-be, hand-made invite, about as well as Papi can spell in Spanish.

While we were there, the family asked us to be the baby's godparents.

I told them that we had to tell the last people we couldn't do it anymore, because they were lying to try to get money out of us.

We don't have any.  We have a house.

Anyway, I have no idea where this rant came from.

Right.  Bags.

We went shopping on our fancy shopping cart, 'the quad'.

But this time, I brought my reusable bags.

The woman in charge of collecting pesos asked me, "Where are you from?" followed up by, "Welcome to the Dominican Republic."

I told her we are from Canada.

She asked me, "How long have you lived here?"

How long have I lived here?

I guess I've lived here long enough for someone to recognize I actually live here and am not just visiting.

I am home.

i have the power to change my world


  1. My girlfriend says that in Europe, everyone brings their own bags to the store and if you do not bring your own but need one, they charge you.

    I am not in Europe. I am in Texas, so we're not charged for bags - they will bag a single 20 oz. Coke bottle here if I don't stop them. But DR makes Texas sound like Scandinavia.

    1. in vancouver many stores started to charge for bags. there's quite a few people who use their own bags.

      and yeah ... they definitely like to bag ONE item like you can't walk out without it.

      actually, some places WON'T let you leave without a bag. crazy!

  2. Yay for bringing your own reusable bags! Even if they think you're weird. Change has to start somewhere, right? It might start with you!

    As for Papi, he can learn patience. Anyone can.

    1. papi ... is probably the most impatient person i've ever known. it's like holding back a raging bull lol!

      i felt weird at first about my bags, but now all the people smile when they see it. they remember me and my bags lol!

      i just wish they would understand the impact. once my spanish is better i can do more to make that happen.


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