Scarves of War.

My new apartment has a lovely little balcony that looks out over the parking lot and to the street. The building is in a U-shape and I’m right at the centre of that U.  People in their apartments or pulling in to the parking lot can see straight up my business.

Luckily, I had a big bag of scarves, many different colours and sizes. Luckily I had a mother who loved these kinds of things. Some years ago I had an apartment with lots of windows and bamboo blinds on the first floor of the building so I used the scarves to weave through the blinds for, well, a blind.

So, sitting on my balcony, drinking wine in my underpants, I wasn’t particularly happy being on full view. The plants have just started and don’t cover much. Not underpants in my size. So, I was happy to revisit the scarves and strung them up along with a large orange fish net I’ve had for way too many years. (Hoarding tendencies) I must say, I was very pleased with the result. It also is a big draw for humming birds.

Not so with one of my neighbours. I was coming home one day to find her in the parking lot talking to the security/cleaner kid. She was pointing up to my balcony and shaking her head, hands on hips, very authority, like a sour old librarian.

Sure enough, a few days later, my door bell rings and here is Parking Lot Kid. He doesn’t know any English and my Spanish is limited to a few words and some interpretive dance, but I know why he’s there. I say, No, I like them and then I asked if it was Señora with the piano. He nods yes. I kiss my finger tips and slap myself on the ass. He laughs, leaves, I assume it’s done and dusted.

Then the other day he stops me again in the parking lot and gads me a rather soggy letter, all in Spanish and then shows me another and signals I have to sign it. While Parking Lot Kid goes to get the pen I look the letter over. First, Name of Building. Okay. Looks official. But the body of the letter doesn’t. It’s in a fun font, like comic sans, something you would use to announce a yard sale or baby shower. Plus, it’s closed with Administration. But no actually signature. I know it’s from the sour librarian.

I immediately send a copy to my landlord in New York (We Love Him) and he goes haywire! Phone calls and texts and  emails, Oh, my!  Scarves? Still there. I sat out a few nights later with candles and my Dixie Lights (Battery run Christmas strings sent by my friend called Dixie) and a lovely Malbec. I saw her pull in the parking lot and it was just a series of doors slamming for about fifteen  minutes.

Would you ask Steven Tyler to take his scarves down?

No. No you wouldn’t. Porch 1

Apartment Hunting 101 1/2

About three days after I moved to the Dominican Republic, I wanted to move to a bigger city. I grew up in a small town and as quaint as Sosua is, it’ was still way too small for me.

I looked for places to rent in Santo Domingo online and people were very accommodating, willing to meet me at the bus station and drive me around. My first trip down was scary, nervous about the trip, where to go, the unknown, scary and exciting. I was met by three young women, one who tried very hard to speak English.

They had sent me a list of apartments, all very nice but I had really liked the third one down. I was a bit suspicious a few days later when I tried to send a link to my friend in Toronto and the apartment was no longer listed. I decided to be optimistic and believe they took it off because I was interested in in.

I was half way to the city and they were calling me wanting to know where I was. Having never been there before, I couldn’t tell them. They called two more times, which I thought unusual and also annoying. Where’s the fire?

I wasn’t off the bus two minutes and then crammed into the back of a small SUV, Spanish music blaring and the driver, singing at the top of her capacity. The only time she stopped singing was to yell someone to the woman in the bad with me or shout something at her fellow drivers. All this racket should have been enough, but she also felt the need to keep the palm of her hand firmly on the car’s horn, pressing it liberally. Luckily, it wan’t at all out of the norm, as everyone else seemed to enjoy doing it too.

By the time we got to the apartment I was stressed. Add to that, it wasn’t the right apartment. I assumed I had been a party to the old “Bait and Switch”, and suggested as much. This place was way smaller and way more expensive than the one I had seen online. In a snit our fiery leader rounded us all up into the car again and off to see the next place.

I was not in the mood for it any longer and the driver seemed to be rather angry at me and the young woman doing the translating. I looked at the next place which was completely unsuitable and asked to be taken back to the bus.

She stopped the car and barked at me to get out, thankfully the other young lady came with me. When I suggested they had tricked me, she burst into tears. She said her boss would be very mad, but I told her to blame me.

I still had a lot of time to fill until the bus left back to Sosua, so I bought fresh fruit and water off a cart on the corner and ate it over my lap like a homeless person hanging around a bus depot.

V.D. For Singles

Ah, Valentine’s Day. Dreaded by all, the single, the coupled, dreaded by all but those who sell chocolates, flowers, fancy underpants or sappy saccharine greeting cards.

As a single the best way through it is to not mope. Treat yourself. You don’t want people to think you are all alone or unloveable. Make yourself a nice dinner. If you are truly brave, get food delivered, but the driver knows you are there by yourself, even when you ‘talk’ to someone in the room they can’t see. They know the Chinese dinner deal for four is all for you. They really do.

I bought myself treats. The secret is not to buy for one. No, my lonely candied hearts, it’s important that the cashier thinks you are buying for a date. Don’t buy a bottle of wine, two candles, a single serving bag of potato chips and a bar of chocolate. No, my singles, we buy four bottles of wine, at least two family sized bags of chips, different flavours, natch, and a large box of chocolates and possible cookies. If you feel the need to let your cashier and bag boy know you are ‘getting some’, throw in a packet of pancake mix, for the next morning wink wink.

Much better.

S.W.C

Have you wandered in to the online world of chatting or dating? Total shit-show, no? I was a late bloomer to the internet, never mind the chat lines, singles sites and we’ll save the opinionated back chat for another post.

Living in a city where I don’t know anyone or speak the language, I will admit it does get lonely. Chatrooms for ‘just chat’ are as boring as watching a cheese documentary.   One to one chats can be a bit better, but mostly  meant just want you to type them a blow job. If you do find a nice person to chat to, it turns out they are just lonely as well, sometimes away from family and friends. Sometimes they just want to call you ‘Mommy’ and have to ram stuff up their bums.

Online dating sites can be a bit of bother to navigate as well. I tried this a few years ago when I was still living in Toronto. I barely had a profile and picture up when the pokes, nods, winks, and messages starting pouring in. I was very honest in my profile and had a recent, albeit decent picture up. By decent I mean, soft lighting, several feet back from the laptop camera and a wine glass covering most of my face.

Mostly men were honest, as well. A few creeps, “I shag my sister”. Oh, do I have to, as well?  Most men are basic and not very complicated. “I just want dinner now and then and sex”  They are also very very willing to just come over. Two minutes into a chat and they are heading out.

“Hows about I just grab a bottle of wine and come over?”

“Oh, you are sweet, but there is no need for you to drive all the way across the city, not at this hour. Tell you what, Love. How about I just email you all my banking information and pass codes and then punch myself in the face?

“I’ll even go you one further, drop half a roofie in my wine and rape myself with the cat brush”

 

S.W.C.  Single with cat.

 

 

 

 

Dental Illness

I had to go to he dentist last week my first time here in the Dominican Republic.

 

I realised early in the morning I had apparently swallowed a piece of my filling. The hole I could feel with my tongue was enormous but the actual hole was small. When I mentioned this to my friend, he suggested I would ‘pass’ the filling. I’m pretty sure that I won’t. I think that shows up on a list titled; Stomach Contents, along with a few half digested gel caps , a few quarts of wine and the twelve cents I swallowed somewhere in the late ’60’s.

 

My dentist is very optimistic with her skills, or just very crafty.

 

 

Expatery

I am Canadian, now living in the Dominican Republic. When I first moved here I lived in a small touristy resort town on the North Coast. Beautiful, but not much fun if you are under 300 and don’t really fancy booze for breakfast. I’m not 300.

 

I recently moved to Santo Domingo. It’s an amazing city, rich in culture and history. I love it here, but I have struggled with the language. I have taken Spanish classes and use online tools, but it’s not easy when you are lazy and like vodka for breakfast.

 

My biggest challenge with the language is on the phone. In person, my Spanish isn’t great but my interpretive dance is bar none. When I need to call my internet provider, or a taxi, it gets tricky. I get one of two responses.

  1. Hang up. (Taxi Company)
  2. Is someone else there? Can I speak to your husband? Is you husband there?

My husband is ball-gagged in the closet, so let’s try this again.

 

There is no husband.