By: Lindsay Tatum
Lindsay has completed her first year of study at the University of Georgia School of Law and is one of three students participating in the 2012 pilot of the InteRDom Correspondent Program. She is participating in the 2012 10-week Graduate and Gap Year Program. You can read more about her, her interest in the Correspondent Program and her career ambitions here.
Just this past Sunday, my Dominican travel companions, J & A, and I were attempting to find a good place to eat that served native Dominican food. At the time, we did not realize that on the island, Dominicans call their food “comida criolla.” Dominicans believe “Dominican food” to be any restaurant here in the Dominican that serves food! So all afternoon we were walking around in the hot Dominican sun asking everyone we could where we could find a good place to eat Dominican food. We kept getting responses like, “McDonalds is down the street,” and “What about the Wendy’s over there?”
(Now I do not know about you, but when I am in another country the last thing I want to eat is some “down home” American food! Thanks! But NO THANKS! I’ve got enough of that around me back home to last me a lifetime! )
Anywho, the entire time we are trying to find some comida criolla that we are ignorantly calling “Dominican food.” (Shame…at our Americanness!!! ) We finally spoke to one of the drivers of the program that is sponsoring our internship here and asked him if he would take us to a place that served authentic Dominican food. His Spanish was really fast and spoken with a strong Dominican accent. We thought we were understanding what the types of restaurants that he was suggesting, so when he would ask us a question we would respond…”Perfect! Sounds good!” (Our pride wouldn’t let us admit that we were completely missing some important part of the conversation!)
The driver swerved in and out of the lanes throughout the downtown area and he stopped in front of a big building downtown. He asked us if the place was ok, and confidently we all said… “Sure! It’ll be great!” We got out of the car and he told us to call him when we were finished… It was then we realized that we did not have any cell phones! (We were scheduled to purchase and activate them the next day with InteRDom, but we had yet to receive them.) He tried to give us his number, but none of us had anything to write with! We finally got his card and phone number, and as he left we turned around to realize…. He had left us at….
THE GROCERY STORE!!!!
Oh…. the irony.
Although we eventually found something to eat… needless to say… we had quite an adventure!
The blog also provides useful information for students and inspires lively debate and increased interest in exchange and the development of Hispaniola.