DR TRAVELOGUE | PART 1 | THE PLANE RIDE
You can take a Dominican out of the DR but you can’t take the DR out of a Dominican. By Led Black
The part that I dread the most of my every few years trip to DR is the plane ride. It’s not because I have post-9/11 jitters or even that I am afraid of flying in general. The reason that I Hate, with a capital H, flying to DR is the thought of flying in a plane full of Dominicans. Don’t get me wrong, I love my people and their never say never, can-do spirit. Dominicans can literally make a dollar out of 15 pesos. The thing with Dominicans is that we are organizationally challenged to put it mildly. Most of us don’t like rules, regulations or authority for that matter. Chaos is our calling card.
The torment begins as soon as you get to the airport. The lines for the Dominican flights wrap around endlessly. It would seem everybody brought about 4, packed to the brim, suitcases apiece. American Airlines, the most popular carrier to the DR, has a 50 lb weight restriction on each luggage. Well guess what, most of the people traveling to the country never bothered to weigh their suitcases at home. Now you have them opening them up trying to get some of their extra stuff on to their carry-on bags and fighting with the Airlines Reps about how unfair these rules are. I told you, Dominicans are allergic to rules. I actually over-heard one guy telling the AA rep to let him slide because his suitcase was only 15 lbs over the limit. Another thing, Dominicans love hook-ups.
To make matters worse, I’m traveling with my 2 daughters, ages 6 and 1, and my very pregnant wife. Dominicans are also known for having lots of kids but at least mine are with 1 woman, no outside kids that I know of. Our destination is the Santiago airport in the heart of the Cibao region. A little info is required here. Unlike some of the other airports in the country that have a mixed Dominican and tourist clientele, the Santiago airport caters mostly to Dominicans, which means no gringos to add a little order to the whole ordeal. Once you’re done with checking in your luggage, it’s on to the waiting area to board the plane. By the time you get to the waiting area, all the seats are taken because everyone decided that their carry-on bags are tired and deserved to be seated as well.
Tomorrow…the plane ride continues…