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.