saturday night gas station.

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


Prior to last weekend, activities that I’ve engaged in at a gas station were limited to filling up my gas tank and buying skittles. This list has now expanded to new horizons.

My Dominican friend Jonathan lives in a town a few miles down the road from Cabarete. This town turns their gas station into a party on the weekends, which they call La Bomba.

Earlier in the night, Jonathan advised against attendance to La Bomba because of the recent “stabbings and shootings.” I have a feeling he was talking about the real kind of knife-fights and not the ones simulated by Tanicus and I in our beach house. The shootings were definitely cause for concern, Jonathan said, and his mother had suggested to steer clear of gas station party. Perhaps all of those gasoline fumes make people a little crazy.

However, after drinking a few beers in Cabarete, going to gas station stab-fest sounded like a fine idea, so Jonathan, Tanicus and I headed over there around midnight with three other friends.

A Turbulent Tramp | Gas Station Party | Cabarete Dominican Republic Travel

I was quite shocked to find out that tourists do not frequent La Bomba. Apparently “gas station party” with “frequent stabbings” isn’t on the top of vacationing Americans’ sight-seeing lists. This is unfortunate, since it was pretty much the best party I’ve ever been to.

Within minutes of arrival, a ten-year-old came over to our table and I asked him to dance. I thought this would cause an awwww type of reaction – the kind of awwww you produce innately when you see a baby sheep or a puppy. Instead, that ten-year-old busted out some pretty sexy moves. He was movin’ and shakin’ and spinning me around, producing some hollering from a nearby table of men. I then realized that this kid was ten years old, and it was past 1am. Where the hell was his mother? Jonathan sent him home.

A Turbulent Tramp | Travel Dominican Republic | Dance Partner

Then came the karaoke. Tanicus and I decided that we owed it to La Bomba to sing a tune.

I’d describe Tanicus’s approach to karaoke as “hopping around ferociously like a cricket,” which is how he made his entrance to La Bomba’s “stage.” Since he can’t necessarily sing, his strategy is to go for pure shock value. It worked. The crowd cheered. Tanicus then began flailing his arms, pumping them in and out. The crowd cheered more. Tanicus shouted in the microphone to raise the roof (in Spanish). More cheering. (We hadn’t even sung anything yet.)

One minute into the song, at least five audience members were taping the show on their camera phones. I’m still trying to find the videos on the internet.

Shortly after our karaoke performance ended, it started to rain. Being that rain is not conducive to an open-air gas station party, we left La Bomba.

What did you do on St Patty’s Day? I was partying at a gas station. Jealous?