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dominican republic

december 2005

The Dominican Republic.


Why not?

The goal is to walk the streets and meet the folks of every nation. To land and explore far and wide.

Unfortunately, I have to say that this trip was a slight disappointment.

Not due to the Dominicans of course. It was my fault.

My girlfriend repeatedly suggested we stay off the beaten path. She opined the surfing hostels represented a much more interesting accommodation option. But I was blinded by price and privacy considerations. Not a fan of camping, I figured a resort would provide the local experience, without sacrificing a hot shower and comfortable bed. She tried explaining the surf place was not a hostel in the traditional sense. That we'd have our own space and facilities. I didn't listen. And we "paid" for my obstinateness.

A resort is kinda for losers. It's the lazy and fearful way to visit a country. Our resort was a buffer to the real Dominican Republic experience. Done over, I would have heeded her advice and stayed amongst the locals.

What I perceived as a "plus" of booking an all-inclusive resort was that food and alcohol were included. Thus, conceivably one could eat and drink without spending additional money. However, there was a catch. Each day, we marvelled at the resort's food preparation. They had to feed a few hundred people three times per day. It was fascinating to see food transform over the course of several days. The same meat and vegetables were first presented as steamed, then boiled, then fried. I never rose early for breakfast, but my girlfriend swears one morning a platter of rotten bananas was available for consumption. Fantastic.

Our resort stay had only one true benefit. After years of confusion and frustration, I've finally found my true calling. A vocation that is both rewarding and fulfilling. International Bikini Contest Judge.

At the urging of my girlfriend, I judged my first bikini contest. I don't know if it pays anything more than free drinks, but I'm ready to embark on this exciting career path.

While no doubt exhilarating, it was also serious business. At first, I opted to give each participant a 10. In my eyes (wide open), they were all winners for simply participating.

But as the contest dragged on and the alcohol kicked in, I quickly abandoned that strategy. Pulling a judge from his chair to dirty dance? Points deducted for trying to influence a judge (and not choosing me to dirty dance with). Dancing on the judges' table? Points deducted for spilling my fellow judge's beer.

In the end though, the winner was ultimately decided by the horny resort employee MC'ing the contest. He definitely chose the girl he thought he could score with later.

Go to the Dominican Republic.

Do - learn spanish.

Don't - stay at a resort.