Domingo directed me to a road that stretches along San Pedro’s malecon, which is the sea-side of this coastal town. Southern side of the road, the one closer to the sea is lined by small booth like, independently owned and run bars. These look like roofed hot-dog stands you would take with you to a fair to sell from, but inside they were full of shelves with booze and fridges with cold beer. It was already almost 10pm and there were many cars parked along this side of the street but I was able to find one spot and poked my rental there. We sat at the booth closest to the car.
The booth seemed served by a mother and daughter. One young lady in her early 20’s and one in her 40’s looked strikingly similar to not be mistaken for family. Pretending I was joyous I ordered myself one large beer (Presidente Grande) and a small one for Domingo (Presidente Pequena) as he insisted he couldn’t do the large one – he’s a non drinker, but made an exception for me. Young bar lady served us these beers right from the freezer with frost covering the glass. We were just meters from the sea so the sound of waves bashing against rocky shores accompanied our drinking time. Unfortunately, as it goes in the Dominican Republic, many of surrounding bars were competing in who has the most powerful speakers and played that atrociously irritating Dominican Music extremely loud. Luckily, the tiny outdoor bar we were in was a bit further from main sources of noise so we could actually talk to each other and hear what we’re saying.
I was eager to try to forget the ordeal I was going through at least for a couple of minutes which was luckily not difficult since Domingo was a really nice and positive guy who made me feel comfortable even though I was still in the country I started to perceive as extremely hostile. To top it all up, young bar girl who served us beers joined the debate and tried her English skills with me. It was funny because she lacked knowledge of fundamental vocabulary, but was familiar with phrases I would not expect a beginner to know – such as “give me five”.
Despite difficulties and utter sadness, I felt happy for a moment. Domingo was a great companion and that bar girl added her gracious presence to the equation so I could take my mind away from the pain I was feeling inside. Domingo told me that he’s seen way too many people like me being robbed by bad people of the Dominican Republic. He confirmed that I was not the first, nor will be the last who had something valuable stolen from them. He also said that relying on the police in the Dominican Republic is completely futile not only because they won’t do nothing, but also because if they did find my stolen laptop, they would not give it to me. They would simply keep it for themselves. That’s the way it works in the Dominican Republic and whether I liked it or not, my presence was not gonna change it.
When we were done drinking I had to take Domingo back home to his wife. he had school to go to the following day anyway so I couldn’t keep him up too long. I was really happy to have found a friend in this country despite of all the trouble I was experiencing because of bad Dominicans. Domingo was right – there are too many dishonest Dominicans in this country who will not hesitate to steal from a person who is helping them, but he also insisted that among all the bad apples, there are some good people here too. I knew he was one of them and after the bar girl learned about my ordeal, she offered a great deal of compassion and support too. This day I made two new friends who made the rest of my stay in the Dominican Republic more enjoyable. As we were leaving, the girl introduced herself to us as Keira. It’s not a typical Dominican name but it’s cute and suited her well.