My life right now is a little bit like I am Darth Vader. In Kindergarten. Looking for easter eggs. In zero gravity. With latin music scoring my every move. You know, because as a dive instructor I am breathing through a regulator on a daily basis, permanently looking for cool things spot, while being in neutral buoyancy, worrying about my student’s safety. With latin music scoring my every move. Three months in, I can not stand one more Bachata, Merengue or Salsa song by the way! It seems like they have ten songs, and they are playing them on repeat! I’m sure my ears will start bleeding soon… However, being down there, underwater, I can’t help but notice how awesome everything is right now and how lucky I am!
Since I have started working in the Dominican Republic, my life is oh’ so weird. But in a good way for sure. And lot of things changed for me: I am now sleeping in the same bed for three full months. I estimate I have slept in about 240 different beds throughout the last 2 years. And no, shame on you for thinking this. I am innocently talking about (mostly) hostel beds!, have regular meals, an almost normal sleeping pattern and I can even find some time to work out a little. The past two years before, being a backpacker didn’t exactly leave an all too positive impact on my health. Additionally, burning about 900 calories per dive (yes, you’re reading this right, if you want to lose weight, try to add diving to your activity list!) creates a huge demand on my already widely demanding appetite.
With only one day off per week, it doesn’t exactly give me much time to explore the island unfortunately. Time is almost standing still with this regular lifestyle. It somehow doesn’t feel like island life to be honest though, more like I am on mainland; the highways here are new and in an extremely good condition, the Punta Cana and Bavaro area are very americanized. And even where I am, in Bayahibe/Dominucus, so many Italians have set up camp, that it feels like I have been learning the wrong language. Speaking of which, Dominicans have a very thick Spanish accent, which makes it extremely hard to understand and I didn’t even come close to learning as much as I have wanted to by now. Even a couple of months emerged in their culture, I still have difficulties understanding their (probably?) insults.
I gotta say, it is extremely entertaining to go to the clubs in the nearby town, La Romana, where literally every song is an open invitation to copulate wildly on the dancefloor. Seems like they don’t really have any other activities, so making babies – usually at young age – is about the only thing they are really, really good at. Oh and dancing of course. Which is kind of like sex here. Building stuff on the other hand, or learning stuff, is definitely not one of them. Let’s just say they have a very relaxed way of doing things and nothing work related seems to really matter. Awesome work culture. In a way.
They are very friendly though, and one might even say a little too friendly, as women get addressed with “me amol” (yeah, they can’t pronounce the “r”. Paradise for me, since I have too much french in me and simply can roll the spanish “erre”). Just imagine it to be the most macho kind of environment. And then multiply it by 20. Oh and if you have ever wondered where the “Gigolo” actually originated, it’s here in the Dominican Republic! So you can’t be surprised, if you see middle-aged women coming here, walking alongside of ripped, young locals. They come here for more than just the Cuba Libre, if you catch my drift.
Find attached some impressions of the mainland, as well as Saona Island, which is by the way very beautiful.