Good Bye San Pedro de Macoris

This was it. I was leaving the Dominican Republic the following day and only had a few more hours for San Pedro de Macoris. I had to drive overnight to Punta Cana to get there in time for return of my rental car and check in for the flight. The die was cast – I did what I could to recover my laptop but it didn’t work out. Yet. I however knew that I was leaving with one strong contact in San Pedro de Macoris on whom I could rely. Domingo became my good friend and I feel truly grateful for all the help he provided me with. My time in the Dominican Republic was up and I couldn’t wait to get the hell out of there. Getting my laptop stolen by a person I was helping was a terrible experience that will put the country on my personal black list.

Before saying my final Good Bye to San Pedro de Macoris, I wanted to have one more beer with Domingo and hoped lovely Keira would be there to join us. We drove down to San Pedro’s Malecon and yes, Keira was there. She looked stunning and was happy to see us as much as we were to see her. She’s an amazing companion who made my time spent at the beer there very enjoyable. It gave her sads when I mentioned that I was leaving San Pedro de Macoris to catch the plane in Punta Cana the following day. It meant that this was the last time we are seeing each other to which she reacted in such genuine and sweet way it made me feel warm after all the disappointment in the Dominican Republic so far.

I made two wonderful friends in San Pedro – Domingo and Keira even though Domingo later corrected me to make it three, because his wife considered it a pleasure to have met me and enjoyed the time with me. To her, all Domingo’s friends are also friends of hers and are welcome anytime to their house. I tried to look at the bright side of life and told myself that all of the laptops of the world are temporary, but true friendships are forever. Keira insisted that I come to the Dominican Republic again. She promised that this time around it will be her who catches a ride with me and she’s no thief. She enjoyed my company as much as I enjoyed hers and was shocked I was leaving because it meant she was not gonna get a chance to spend more time with me. She thought I was gonna be here for at least a few more days but the reason I was not too social during my stay was that I felt down all the time after my laptop got stolen.

Keira was a sweetheart from start to end. Domingo was an amazing support from start to end. So much headache caused by laptop theft but if it wasn’t for this stolen laptop, I would have never met these two wonderful people. I was torn between my feeling of hatred towards the country that put me through the biggest stress of my life and love for it because of wonderful people who showed so much support and offered so much unconditional help. There are good people in every walk of life and one must strive to not ignore them. This is something I’ve always been aware of but my mind was clouded by ruthless crime committed against me.

My last moments in San Pedro de Macoris were truly enjoyable. Keira has a little sister who despite her young age (she’s 8 year old) could speak great English. I had one last pack of chewing gums on me because I gave all the rest to Domingo’s children when we went to visit them at the place of his former wife so I gave it to Keira’s little sister who rewarded me with the sweetest “Thank You” I have ever heard. San Pedro de Macoris is not a tourist trap. The town is on the coast, but it doesn’t have the beach or anything otherwise attractive to tourists so locals don’t see many foreigners there. As such these people are more genuine and unlike Dominicans from popular tourist areas, they are not used to getting free gifts in exchange for looking cute. When I gave little Shakira (Keira’s sister’s name) chewing gums, it was the most genuine child’s appreciation I have ever seen. So definitely worth it.

Alas, I had to bid my friends good bye. Domingo was a little concerned about me driving over night all the way to Punta Cana but I explained that I actually preferred to drive at night because traffic is less crazy and I needed to get there early anyway so I have time buffer in case something goes wrong. Leaving my great new friends was not easy, but I really needed to go back home to Canada as I had a lot of stuff to take care of now that my laptop was gone. I said my final good byes to San Pedro de Macoris, sat in a car and drove off into the night.

Apartment Inspection

After my bike was dropped off at Dave’s, I had but one last thing to take care of – apartment inspection. I left notice of leaving almost two months prior to intended departure and later left the notice with Matthew, on site manager notifying him that I would be leaving the country on August 31, 2009 early in the morning so the best time for me to do the inspection of the apartment would be in the evening the day prior (Sunday, August 30).

I briefly met Matthew after I left this notice with him, but he was just getting in a cab so I didn’t really get a chance to talk to him about it. To make sure the inspection will be performed as expected, I phoned Matthew’s phone on Sunday noon, but got the answering machine. I left a message reminding him that I was leaving tomorrow and needed to get the inspection done tonight.

Luckily, shortly after I have returned from Dave’s dropping off my bike, Matthew called me to let me know that he got my message and will be back from work at about 6.30pm in the afternoon so we could do the inspection then.

That worked for me, I had a little bit of cleaning to do so I got right down to it so the apartment look presentable when Matthew returns from work. He knocked on my door at about 5pm, which was great cause I wanted to be done with it and have my mind focus on leaving for Cambodia tomorrow, but I did not have the apartment ready quite yet. I asked him to give me a bit more time and kicked into gear.

I was really, really disappointed to learn that he won’t be able to give me the check with my deposit right away so I could drop it off at my bank the following morning and have the funds there to pay off my credit card. This really messed up with all my plans, but because of tight schedule, I had no option but to go with it. Apparently because the apartment building is company run, the company will be delivered the inspection report and will issue a check by mailing it off to my address about 7 days later.

That was the most awful news ever. That would mean that I won’t be able to deposit the check into my account while I’m still in Canada. That would also mean that I would have to ask someone to do it for me, but most of all it would also mean that if the check is not issued for correct amount, I won’t be there to take care of it. This was truly awful news but I had no choice but to go with it.

BTW, if you live in Edmonton and stay in an apartment managed by Davies Management, you may want to look into it. They are happy to take the deposit as soon as you move in, but will not give it to you as soon as you move out. You will be forced to wait to get it back. If you decide to move to another apartment, you will need this deposit to leave the deposit at your new place. I don’t know how they can leave people hanging without their deposit for a week. I find this absolutely unacceptable. Remember the name – Davies Management. The worst experience ever.

After I had asked Matthew to give me a bit more time to finish the cleaning of the apartment, I quickly all common areas but didn’t bother with the carpet. One more awful news on top of the delayed deposit check was the fact that they will discount the cost of carpet deep cleaning from my check. I really didn’t feel like fighting this off in any way, so I took it as necessary evil, however I have responded in like. I did not vacuum nor otherwise clean the carpet. I left it the way it was, claiming that I will be charged for deep cleaning anyway, so why should I bother vacuuming.

I have asked how much deep cleaning normally costs and was told it would be about $45 one time fee. Given that I have left $850 as deposit when I moved in at the beginning of April, I should still get $800 back in a check which will get to my mailbox while I’m away.

I have passed this information on Lisa with whom I have made arrangements that she would check my mail every now and again and will deposit my checks that I would get for me at any TD Canada Trust location. She would be my remote hands for this type of thing and I paid her with lots of freebies I gave her from my possessions. Apartment inspection was done with and I had only about 13 hours left till departure from Edmonton. Yeee!

My Friend Lisa

I’ve had this weird relationship with Lisa for years. It’s hard to call it a relationship as we have never really been a couple but we’ve always been reasonably close. I met her in a club shortly after I’ve realized the toll corporate lifestyle has taken on me and decided to change my life and make it exciting once again. I was glad to see her as it was a while since she came out last and I wanted to tell her all about how I realized how worthless a life I was living and what I was going to do in order to change it around. But when I suggested going for a walk so I can explain myself, she turned me down thinking I had some side intentions. It was funny cause I really wanted to tell her everything that kept me excited and sharing this excitement would make it double.

She eventually agreed to go for a brief walk around the building with me so I got a chance to at least suggest that I’m looking to take a whole different approach to my life. As the time went by and I got much closer to polishing up the strategy of my new start, I called her to see if she’d be up for supper so I can sit down with her and follow up on previous brief introduction to my lifestyle change. I believed it needed more explanation as by briefly explaining that I’m gonna leave work to travel may have left wrong impression that I have gone mental. Unfortunately, I was not having any luck getting a hold of her on her phone for weeks.

It wasn’t until one week before my planned departure that I called her number and she answered. I didn’t even know what to say I was so surprised she picked it up. There’s been nothing but answering machine lately and I don’t talk to the answering machines. I briefly stated over the phone that I was leaving in a week and that there was no knowing when or whether I will be coming back. I thought it would be a good reason to go out one more time to enjoy the meal together.

She responded by reminding me of a terrible meal experience she had when I went to dine with her last time. It was the day before leaving for the Dominican Republic. I thought she over reacted as it really wasn’t that bad, but I get it that she didn’t like the food. However I did not even remember that anymore and she kept it in her mind and based her unwillingness to go for supper with me again on that. Duh!

I promised her we’d go to some nice place, such as Padmaradi – a vegetarian restaurant in China Town in Edmonton which is really awesome. And so we did. It was mostly a monologue on my part and I wasn’t even sure if I was making any sense to her. I had a lot to talk about. I actually realized how this reasoning behind leaving the corporate lifestyle and how it turns life into a miserable grumpiness and switching it for the lifestyle that brings daily adventure and excitement was difficult to explain. I saw it clearly in my mind, but putting it in words was failing and seemed like it didn’t have the beginning and the end and the stuff between was all over the place.

I find the same difficulty trying to explain my reasoning in words here. It is as clear as the sky in my mind, but often I fear that I don’t have the right ability to put my thoughts on paper without making myself sound like I went mental.

As I sat with Lisa over a bowl of nice coconut rice with fake curry chicken and fake beef, I spoke and spoke, presented one argument after another and despite being unsure if I made any sense, Lisa ensured me that I was making perfect sense. I already had most of my stuff stored with Dave and only had a few left over to take care of and Lisa in all her awesomeness offered assistance in that regard. I was also offered help taking care of checks that would be sent to my mailbox from my on line ventures. We made arrangements that I would give Lisa the key from my mail box, she’d get the mail and if there are any checks, she’d deposit them for me. I already knew from my bank that during my physical absence, other people can deposit checks that are made payable to me into my account provided they have my account number which needs to be written on the back of the check. So I would just need someone reliable back home to have this taken care of. Lisa offered to be the one.

Lisa has also offered to store the rest of my items I needed to keep and as form of payback for her services, I ended up giving her a lot of my possessions she really wanted. It worked out perfect. I wanted to unload myself so I can travel, she needed some items cause her job doesn’t pay that well and she can’t afford them. So I gave her whole pile of stuff and she’s gonna look after mine while I’m gone traveling.

Further to that, Lisa offered to give me a lift to the airport on my day of departure. That basically took care of most of the issues that needed to be taken care of and I got whole couple steps closer to leaving. Lisa kicks butt.