Brief Thoughts: Zona Colonial, Santo Domingo

"Oh my god, a stampede of pigeons," yells Lily; Jacob Bielanski/2013
“Oh my god, a stampede of pigeons,” yells Lily; Jacob Bielanski/2013

The Dominican Republic has one of the worst traffic fatality rates in the world. In taking a cab from the airport yesterday, I already have about five or six personal reasons why. Buy me a beer, I’ll tell you sometime.

I forgot that in Latin American/Caribbean countries, there is little denotation between a “neighborhood” and a “district.” I thought our hotel was located in some seedy, working-class, residential neighborhood. We are, in fact, paying $20US/night to stay in a UNESCO World Heritage Site, three blocks from a Hard Rock Cafe.

To the owner of last night’s cafe: the only thing more disconcerting to me than stray cats/dogs begging for food, is the guy hired to kick them away, often literally.

To the Asian gentleman sitting next to us in the cafe: your driver/”friend” probably never felt more imprisoned by the promise of money. Also, buying cheesy tourist shirts is cool; buying them and wearing them while still on vacation looks like a “rob me” sign to pick pockets.

To the city of Santo Domingo: don’t change a thing.

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