Yes, this post is topic is as scandlous as you might imagine from the title and part 2 will get even better, so stay tuned! Get ready, because this is really what the Dominican Republic is like for a single, young, blonde woman.
On Thursday night I headed out to Cabarete with the other students for a night of drinking and dancing. Thursday nights at a local bar called Ojo Club is Latin Dance night. Upstairs is Salsa music, downstairs has bachata and merengue. Well, if you’ve been following along with my twitter or Facebook posts, you already know that I am crazy about Latin Dance. Thursday nights are very exciting for me because it is my opportunity to go out and get my Latin groove on!
The group of us arrived at Ojo’s at shortly after 10pm and the bar was empty. Having been there the past week, I knew this was normal and that by 11pm, people would begin to arrive and hit the dance floor. We grabbed a couple of drinks (Santa Libre for me – Rum & Sprite) and sat to chat for awhile until people started to arrive.
At 11pm people started to slowly trickle in. At 11:30, the dance floor was packed. My friend Diana had been at a different bar and when she joined us at Ojo’s, she introduced me to a local (in red pants) who liked to dance. Basically she pawned him off on me. HA HA HA No big deal. I love to dance too and was happy to get out on the dance floor with a local who was a really good dancer. We danced two or three songs and then I took a break because I was too warm and needed water. Red-pants-boy stayed nearby though waiting for me to dance with him again. I remember whispering to Diana that I didn’t want to dance with the same guy all night and next thing I knew, another guy on the dance floor made eye contact and asked me to dance. So, I set my water down and headed back out on the dance floor while Red-pants-boy watched from the side lines.
Now I know that makes it sound horrible, but I just wanted to dance. I’m not looking for a Dominican boyfriend, I just want to dance! I had only danced with Red-pants-boy a couple of times … and completely clean! No dirty dancing, nor did I even know his name! So, it wasn’t like I led the boy on. And here, in the Dominican it is quite normal to dance with all kinds of different people, not always the same one. If you dance with the same one that means you are specifically interested in them. I don’t want any of that non-sense!
This new guy and I danced a few times and then he asked for my phone number which I wouldn’t give to him. He then gave me his business card with his number and explained that he works with the police. Now, in Canada, girls go crazy for police officers … the uniform, their salaries, their authority … but Dominican police officers don’t have quite that same reputation. Here, they are well known to be corrupt, and not very well paid. They do, however wear uniforms, if that’s what you like! I took the guy’s card, danced a couple of times and then paused for a drink before being whisked away by Red-pants-boy … and then, continued to dance with a couple of guys who were friends of students at our school. Then someone else and then someone else …. You get the idea. Once a girl is on the dance floor, if she wants to continue, it isn’t really a problem. You just have to look interested in dancing and not be attached to any one guy in particular. Dominican men generally don’t try and take you from another man, if you are together.
The next guy I remember dancing with was a real cutie. We’ll call him red-hat-boy, not to be confused with Red-pants-boy. A couple of dances with him and then the next person who asked me to dance was a skinny little young boy. Seriously, I doubt he was old enough to be at the bar, but no one really cares. Ok, he might have been 19 or 20, but they are well known for looking young here and he looked about 15. I danced with him twice, but the little bugger wanted to dance a little dirtier than I was willing. Especially when I felt like I could be his mother.
And this is where the scandal begins.
This kid continued to hound me to dance, in Spanish, of course. At first I politely said no. Then he had his arm around my waist and was standing there like we were a couple. I quickly changed positions and gently pushed him away. I thought, making it clear that I was not interested. He continued to try to get me to dance and basically, tried to put his hands all over me. I wasn’t really scared of him being so forward, just simply not at all interested. So, after about the fifth time of saying ‘no’ to dancing, stronger each time, I finally went and danced with Red-hat-boy again. Sadly, he wasn’t that interested in dancing with me and clearly had his eye on another girl. Luckily my heart wasn’t broken because I wasn’t interested either, I just wanted to dance!
Not too long after, those of us who were still at Ojo’s headed over to a neighbouring bar called Ono’s where they play more American style dance music. The little kid continued to follow me around, trying to force me to dance with him and wrapping his arm around me if I came within one meter of him.
My frustration was building as this kid would not go away. I’d say he wouldn’t take the the hint, but there was no hint. I had been flat out honest, in Spanish, that I was not interested.
I decided that I was ready to leave as I was not having fun any more with this kid who wouldn’t go away. On my way out of the bar, a new guy asked me to dance. He caught my attention and I actually stopped to talk to him for a moment to explain that I was actually leaving for the night, heading home. He tried to convince me to stay, but I continued on my way.
Not five minutes later, my friend Sophia had convinced me to stay for a little while longer and back into Ono’s I went. Unfortunately, the kid hadn’t taken the hint and was immediately by my side again. I took a quick look around, found the guy who had asked me to dance and walked over to him to explain that I wasn’t leaving after all. And, out on the dance floor we went.
He was a cute little thing. He looked young, but probably in the 25-28 range, not 15! We danced a few times and then he asked for my name and number. At this point, I’ve gotten good at not giving my number out. I had been asked four times already that night. It is like a game for these guys to see how many numbers they can get, or see which one of them gets the girl in the end because quite often all of the guys are friends. Of course when you say no, they always retort with ‘why’, to which I always explain I’m not looking for a Dominican boyfriend! To which, they usually ignore.
For the next hour, I danced with this guy … Let’s call him Francis and hope he never reads this particular blog post! ha ha ha Although all Dominican guys seem to have intentions of hooking up, I made it very clear, once again that I was not interested in anything at all and certainly not looking for a Dominican boyfriend, nor would I be giving out any kisses. We had lots of fun dancing the night away until the bar closed at 3am.
I went looking for my friend Sophia who swore she wouldn’t leave with out me and she was no where to be found. I called her, but her cell phone wasn’t on or had no minutes. So, Francis walked me out to the main road to get transportation home. We stood and talked for quite awhile while he very respectfully encouraged me not to take a moto concho home at night from Cabarete to Sosua as it was not safe. I was really looking for a carro publico, but there didn’t seem to be any. After 15 or 20 minutes, one came along and stopped. Again, he wouldn’t let me go because it was empty. He said it wasn’t safe for me to get in a carro publico alone this late at night. Really, that was pretty nice of him.
Getting a little antsy to get going, I checked on the price of a taxi. Yikes, $500 Pesos! (over $12 US) That’s pretty pricey for here! So, I waited a little longer. Sweet Francis offered to take a carro publico with me to Sosua and then return to Cabarete. Very sweet, but I immediately saw the intentions behind it and clearly advised him that although I appreciated his kindness, he would not be invited to my room when we arrived and that he would have to return to Cabarete.
He said he didn’t mind at all and that was no problem, that he just wanted me to get home safely. In the end though, I took my chances with a taxi driver and paid a discounted rate of $400 Pesos. I finally gave in and agreed to text Francis when I got home so that he would know I was safe. I knew this was just a ploy to get my phone number, but what harm could him having a phone number do?
…. and the scandal continues… Part 2