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The Semi-Regular Newsletter


Dominica, September 29, 2003

So Much Sand, Sun, and Rum!

DR is dreamy!

thanks Continental!
I love $20 flights to this!

where's Yana?
Local transport

pass the rum, please
My kinda Dominican flag

Its Sunday in the Dominican Republic, and oddly, I am so happy that everything is closed. Only this way can I recover from the last three days of parting with my friend Yana on the beaches of Puerta Plata.

We're here celebrating the odd tradition of US airlines to oversell flights and then 'bump' passengers, giving the bumpees flight coupons for anything from $200-400, as we both had coupons expiring soon from past bumps. With hurricane season in full swing, and these coupons, our flights were too cheap to pass up (mine: $20!).

That and a serious depreciation in the DR peso is letting us live it up way more than we should be allowed to. Lets just say that with Cuba Libres (rum & cokes) going for $1 a pop, adventure is not far away.

It can be as close as the walkway outside our hotel room, where I awoke one night with my GPS on my chest. Apparently I was seeking our true elevation. Or at least that's my story and I'm sticking with it.

Or it can be a distant beach where we had to walk past a mile of 'all-inclusive' resorts who don't allow anyone but guests to play on the sand, until Yana found a locals spot where the men could flirt with her.

With her looks and her island Spanish (she's 1/2 Cuban) she's been the leader so far, spending a suspicious amount of time with green-eyed moped drivers and too-young bartenders.

As for me, I'm playing the calm one, as much as that may surprise you, trying to work through 'Moby Dick' as I tan and pickle. Oh and pickle it is. Last night I thought I'd be living a revenge from Montezuma, but this morning I realized it was only my stomach tiring of all the Brugal rum.

Luckily, I know my limits, and just to celebrate them, I went for a run along the ocean side boardwalk. Three miles of sweat later, I'm very happy to report that my knee seems to be healed from my African adventures. Happy enough to ignore my stomach and go with a 'Dominican Flag' for lunch, which is a meal of beans, rice, plantains, and other tropical delights in the colors of the DR flag.

So cheers to the US airlines, currency depreciations, cheap rum, warm sun, hot sand, cold water, and good friends!