Disclaimer: Any thoughts I express here are my own, and do not reflect the opinion of every dominican. This post was written under a state of anger, so please don’t mind all the incoherent fragments.
First of all, let me affirm to you that visiting Dominican Republic is a tremendously different experience from actually living there -just like in any country-, so I highly recommend you to do it. While on holidays, you only get to see and enjoy the white, cloudy, paradisiac foam of the country, while most of us dominicans are used to living in the rock bottom. DR isn’t just beaches and sun, merengue and rum (and like that I debut myself as a poet HA) but a tangle of both economical and political crisis, mixed with a big bunch of ignorant people, that are just obsessed about being like the other.
Second of all, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. The only way to solve problems starts by adressing them, so do not hate on me because of this post. I love my country very much, but I do not want to live there for the rest of my life.
Why? Okay, I will tell you where did the idea of this post come from: basically, I was texting one dominican friend of mine about how I’m doing here and the new friends I’m making, and when I mentioned the nationality of one of my new friends, the comment that person made about it, based entirely on the stereotypical image of that nation, was absolutely so mean and selfish, that I could only stare at my phone and be speechless for a good 5 minutes. “Why?”. In addition, I check my snapchat a little later and find a Story video in which you can see a group of friends happily hanging out, but once you listen to what they’re saying, it’s just a bunch of people judging other people. And not to mention, we ALL know about the countless number of Twitter accounts, made purposely for publishing other people’s “dirty little secrets” anonymously. Why is it so hard to mind your own goddamn business? And before you sigh and go “psh, you’re only nineteen…” darling, sit down. It is such a heavy reality that it’s normal, from the very young to the very old, for the main conversation topic in dominican social gatherings to be other people, yet not using constructive criticism -we wish-, but the ignorant, dumb, immature act of blasting people that 50% of the time, they don’t even know.
And since Santo Domingo is such a small city, everyone knows everyone, but not actually as acquaintances or friends, but because they have heard about them before. Sincerely, it sounds like such a childish thing to do, and obviously I’ve been through it too, but I grew out of it. Up to this age, I have only had intellectual conversations with people my age not more than the quantity of fingers on my right hand. No wonder dominican teens are always whining if they never reflect on themselves and only work on looking presentable every time they go out. Accordingly, how can you be in peace with yourself if you worry more about the others than about yourself? My gosh, people, wake up! You don’t have to be 30 years old to realize that’s not the purpose of life.
However, you can deny this and say it’s just the teens and/or young adults but UH-NUH, your mom is probably chilling with her best friend right now, having a Margarita for lunch at La Dolcerie, and after bashing our president’s selfless decisions, she’ll go on about the dress her workmate wore yesterday, or what her boss published on Facebook, or that friend of her friend’s friend that is always wearing gym clothes, or her cousin’s new car, and yada, yada, yada… Furthermore, I’ve even heard mothers criticizing little girls at my dominican ballet academy. “Why?!?!” Is that the example you want your daughters to have? How do you expect your daughter to not be depressed and have a low self-esteem when yours isn’t solid enough for you to not mind what doesn’t involve you?
So, is this a behaviour that we’re taught by our very own mothers? Not entirely, I don’t think so. Dominican mothers make sure their kids grow up to be respectful children, even if that meant a good amount of pelas, but once that kid gets into school… Sigh. In all due fairness, I’m not saying you have to love everyone, to each his own, but that you don’t have to be going out there and telling everyone what you think about that guy’s afro or that girl’s purple hair, specially if you can’t even say it to their own face.
Now, this consisting of the biggest and heaviest thing that I do not miss about my country, there are other small silly things that I’m also not looking forward to go back to, such as: terrible traffic (crazy motorbike/truck drivers, disrespect and stubbornness on the streets towards other drivers, dumb corrupted cops, etc.), pollution (as in smoke everywhere, trash thrown away on the sidewalks and even streets), not being able to walk on public streets (too hot and it’s dangerous), noises (loud ass motorbikes plus loud music playing on small markets and cars, etc.), not having a wide range of places to go or activities to do at night (it’s either to a specific bar/club that’s within a range of less than 5 options sometimes, or dining at a restaurant, or going to the movies. That’s all.), seeing the same people everywhere (#smallcityproblem), etc.
Overall, I guess being an ambitious girl doesn’t only mean setting high standards for everything you do and the goals you set yourself, but it actually also reflects on the ambiance you live in and how you feel about it. Why be okay with something when you can have better? Stated all this, I hope you take the time to reflect on yourself, and next time you hang out with your friends, don’t be the person criticizing other people, I know you’re so much better than that. Now, if you’re the person raising an eyebrow at this post and thinking it’s not true, just remember:
When you point one finger at someone, there are three fingers pointing back at you.
Look in the mirror, sister. You might just be talking about yourself.