Thursday, February 2, 2012

states of mind

I've been in the Dominican Republic for nine days now, and I think I'm finally starting to settle into it.

This trip is a different experience than I've ever had. I've done a fair bit of travelling in places where people don't speak my language. I've also spent a lot of time lounging on beaches. And I've done numerous "working vacations" where I pack along my laptop and art gear and work from a house-sit or a sublet or some such thing. But I've never done all three at once like I am now. I think my brain has been reeling a bit, trying to figure out which of the three states-of-being to refer to. But it seems to have sorted out a comfortable place to be again. It's nice to freshen up my ol' spirit by splashing it with the cold water of a new experience like this.

Also, it takes time to figure out the local spots that suit me and make me feel comfortable and happy. I can't get that from reading websites or a Lonely Planet; I have to find them for myself, or through word-of-mouth.

Here's a place I found today where I'll be spending a fair bit of time (click it for the big picture):

Two old Swiss men recommended it. It's an hour walk down an empty beach from where I'm staying - pretty much in the middle of nowhere. A group of fishermen have set up a cookshack serving fresh fish, rice, beans, salad, "pommes frites", and $2.00 bottles of Dominican "Presidente" cerveza. The meal costs 350 pesos - about $8.50 Canadian. The ocean is pristine with perfect rolling waves, and there's no one else in the water as far as the eye can see.

The fisherman saw I was struggling with Spanish, so he quickly switched to French, then German, then Italian. But no English. I love that. I love that there's a European flavour to this place.

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