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Chaps: because if they had an ass, they'd just be called pants.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Dominican Republic – Cerveza, Parasailing and Lower Back Tattoos

Last week, I was away with my co-habitational partner (CHP) in the beautiful Dominican Republic. I'm sure that both of our readers are wondering how my trip was, so I felt I would write up a trip report to let you know.

When we arrived at the resort we realized that the only words of Spanish we knew were "Hola, Cerveza", which of course translates to "Hello, beer." While my CHP seemed perturbed at our limited vocabularly, I had difficulty trying to think of what other words I would need to use on the trip. (Frankly, I probably could have gone without the "Hola".)

A few days into our trip, we decided to check out the heavily regulated world of Dominican Parasailing. The rigourous requirements to enter this field of business seem to be owning a boat and a parachute. Upon boarding the boat, we watched it be re-fueled, through the tried and tested method of placing a hose into a fuel canister, sucking on said hose until you start swallowing fuel, coughing repeatedly whilst spitting out what fuel you didn't ingest, and placing the now siphoning hose into the fuel tank of the boat. Great stuff. The parasailing itself was pretty impressive, as was the fuel slick being left in our boat's wake.

We met a couple of individuals on the parasailing boat who were telling us about an "excursion" they had done. For those not familiar with all-inclusive resorts, "excursions" are basically guided tours off the resorts where you pay money for the chance to be taken to a bunch of places where you can spend more money. They're typically crap. These gents had been on an "Adventure-excursion", involving 4x4s, horseback riding, going to a school to see some children sing (not sure what the adventure was there), etc. "A chance to see the REAL Dominican," they gushed. They thought it was fabulous. I thought is sounded excruciating. Frankly I'd rather enjoy the REAL Dominican at our resort, filled with the seedy world of Speedos; hideous, droopy exposed boobs; and so many lower back tattoos that I thought there may be a tattoo parlour on the resort (I'm pretty sure there wasn't.)

The resort was packed with Europeans (hence the Speedos; hideous, droopy exposed boobs; and, I suppose, so many lower back tattoos). Everytime I'm in Europe, or around Europeans, it always blows my mind how they didn't get the memo about how smoking can...you know...KILL YOU. These peeps were totally chainsmoking away - sometimes, right beside their kids. Yikes.

The resort we were staying at was HUGE. Quite big. There were actually 4 different hotels, all linked together. That said, getting around the resort was actually pretty easy, once you knew where you were going, and nothing took more than 10 minutes to walk between. There was actually a sort of shuttle bus/trailer thing (that was mocked up as a train, for some reason) that looped around the resort for those who felt like walking was for suckers. We actually saw multiple people riding the "train", videotaping the experience for later enjoyment. Let this be a warning to all who know me - if you ever try to show me a video of your vacation, and it features you being driven around in a slow-moving trailer, I will not hesitate to knee you in the crotch. Either that, or I'll be gnawing my hands off out of sheer boredom. I saw a review of our hotel on tripadvisor.com that said, "When going to an a la carte dinner, leave 10 minutes early, to allow for time spent waiting for the train." Alternately, I suppose, you could just use those 10 minutes to WALK to where you're going.

Finally, let's talk about the flight home. I have a new theory that I developed while wishing death on those sitting near me on the flight - your intelligence is inversely proportional to the amount of noise you make on an airplane. Trying to have a conversation with your friend sitting three rows away? Complaining loudly about something? Booing the fact that it's "currently 7 degrees celsius in Toronto"? (Who the fuck BOOS a weather report?) Clapping when the plane lands? Chances are you're a complete moron. At one point, I honestly was willing to sacrifice my self, and was wishing that the plane would crash, purely for the improvement it would cause in the human gene pool.

Let's go back to that clapping when the plane lands thing. Who are these people? What were they expecting to happen? Are they surprised that the plane landed safely? Were they expecting the pilot to clip a building on the way down? Or for the plane to go cart-wheeling across the runway into a fuel tanker truck? The guy is just doing his job - landing the plane safely. I don't sit on my porch, applauding the mail carrier as he puts my letters and magazines into my mailbox. (Although now I'm considering starting.)

All in all, it was one hell of a trip - we had a great time (and I didn't even mention the diarrhea).

1 comment:

JeremyM said...

down down down, to a burning ring of fire,
a burning ring of fire!

Ahhh, good ol johny cash.