island arrival.


A Turbulent Tramp: 15 Years, 6 Continents, Countless Questionable Decisions

My morning started off pleasantly. I woke up slowly, and I lackadaisically watched last night’s episode of Colbert. I was feeling particularly good about having left Chan Wook, my beloved DaeWoo, with my friend in the suburbs, where he would receive the best care appropriate for a tattered car with driver-side collision damage.

Then it hit me. Holy shitballs, I’m so unprepared to leave for the Dominican Republic in two hours! I still had to find a Phillips screwdriver to get the fins off my kiteboard, try to wake my neighbor up to get golf clubs (I don’t golf, it’s a long story), call Verizon to unlock my phone, and decide which size of knife was most appropriate to take with me.

Instead of dealing with these issues, I decided it was best to spend my last couple of hours in Chicago at my favorite diner eating chilaquiles. For those of you who have not eaten , you probably suck at life, because they are the most awesome thing that Mexicans have ever invented, besting both piƱatas and Selma Hayek. I also drank five cups of Metropolis coffee, which was admittedly a bad call being that I was already anxious about all of the impending issues I had to deal with.

I arrived at the airport disheveled, crack-coffeed out, and worried about my luggage. Aside from being oversized, my kitesurfing gear was stashed in a golf bag (airlines don’t charge oversize baggage fees for golf bags), however did not contain any actual golf clubs inside it. I already had a speech prepared as to how to avoid the $200 oversized baggage fee should they open my “golf bag,” only to find really big kites. However, I was bumped to first class, which meant I avoided all questioning.


Travel in Dominican Republic | Dominican Travel Stories | A Turbulent Tramp

Several glorious hours of first class flight later, I arrived in Santiago. Upon exiting the airport, a cabby immediately approached me. The bargaining went well, so I loaded up my pack and kite gear into his tiny cab.

Although the bargaining had been easy, talking to this cabby on the ride into town proved more challenging. He spoke as if his mouth were filled with live squid and he was gasping for air. Similarly, he must have found my slow, enunciated Mexican-ish Spanish too clear to understand, so our conversations ended up going like this:

“Have you been to Santiago before?”

“Yes, the weather is much nicer here than in Chicago!”

“Yes, Santiago is a very clean city.”

“I’m headed to Cabarete.”

“No, it never snows here.”

This became exhausting very quickly, so I was glad that the hotel wasn’t too far.

I’m in Santiago now, enjoying a coffee. I am disappointed to find out they don’t know what chilaquiles are in Dominican Republic.

First impressions: Santiago seems a lot like Miami, except a lot of people speak English.

My friend Tanicus (best pseudonym yet) is picking me up in a few hours to drive up to the north coast, which is where we’ll be staying for a month. We’ve rented a beautiful house right by the beach with a phallic-shaped pool, complete with pool-shaped balls. I’ll be sure to provide pictures tomorrow.

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