Footballfootballfootballfootballfootball

That is how I feel right now. This is going to be my first season abroad since the fever took hold of me, but for those who know me well, I’m just happy the lockout’s over and it’s going to happen. I’m not going to cry, but I could. Most of you do not care, so I’ll keep this short but sweet, my Seahawks Opening Day/Christmas wishlist: Continue reading

Adjusting: Getting Around in Santo Domingo

Previously, on Adjusting

Sans Boston

You don't look a day over 25, honest.

This one is pretty easy to write, as this country is pretty good on transportation considering the infrastructure issues it has. The adventure of getting one place to another in La República Dominicana is quirky, takes some art, a bit of skill, and more than a few dashes of luck. One key piece of getting somewhere is to act like I know what I’m doing, but I won’t ruin the fun. I’ll work the short distance for now, and then long distance later, in accordance with prophecy. Continue reading

Woke Up This Mornin’

Got yourself a bug, got yourself a bug. Ye ye yea

Cute until it goos on the shoes

At first I thought it was a caterpillar turning into a butterfly, and I was thinking I’d leave it to turn all pretty. Then I was like, I really want to wear these shoes and Wikipedia doesn’t tell me how long metamorphosis lasts. Continue reading

Adjusting: Sans Boston

Adjusting

This may be called sentimentalism, but a certain sense of loneliness engendered by traveling leads one to reflect upon the meaning of life, for life is after all a travelling from one unknown to another unknown. – D.T. Suzuki

What is this odd feeling of unease? It’s not intense, a little melancholy, something’s just off. Since I don’t and have never experienced ‘homesickness’, it can’t be that. Since going to camps hundreds of miles from home and pitying the fools who needed to have a reminder of their old life every day or cried the first night, I developed an immunity to the allergies of being “somewhere else”. I enjoy the strangeness of traveling and displacing myself in far-away places, ironic considering you can’t really travel that far around the plane of a small sphere. That’s what led me to Boston from Seattle, backpacking through Europe, and now eschewing the straight path out into a nice flourescent job and shifting to the Dominican Republic. I chose it in part because I was going a little stir-crazy. Not out of boredom, but the fear of becoming complacent and following a LIFE board game path letting the dice roll and cards drawn as they may. With the mirage of choice to take a left turn comes sacrifices, all of which leave a feeling of emptiness at some point.

Continue reading

Waterfall Adventure – Chapter 2

Chapter 1

Quicker turnaround than usual for the second part, as we resume our story in the seat right behind the pilot on a vinyl-wrapped seat in Santiago, about to head to the 27 Charcos. Nos vamos.

Usually when you’re on a local guagua at a main stop, men with boxes or bags come on to sell their food products or sunglasses; generally fruit, coconut or sesame candy bars, chips, etc. This time there was a guy at the window selling rolls. They looked like wheat rolls and only cost 10 pesos, so I bought 5. Great purchase, as they were pretty filling (breakfast), tasted a bit like coffee cake, and held well as a post-game snack. ‘No’ isn’t always the answer for street vendors. On our way to the charcos, absolutely nothing notable that I can remember happened, which brought my “consecutive bus rides without an issue” streak to a record-shattering three.

Our guide intern directed us to get off at a rocky path off the side of the road, then laughed at us and drove off. Really cool, Caitlin. Continue reading

Waterfall Adventure – Chapter 1

I’m going to try and get this done in two parts, because we all have things to do. By the way, thanks for reading – whoever you are. I have almost 1,900 page visits over the course of a month and a half, averaging about 52 a day they tell me by cool picture graphs. For only really marketing it to my friends and family, I am humbled by some of the big numbers that are showing up from time to time. If you’re a random person stopping by on the Internets, I don’t know how you found me but thanks. As long as you keep reading, I’m going to take it as a call to write further.

In what will probably go down as my last trip of the first half of July, the summer interns decided to head to Santiago for the weekend, and from there participate in one of the more popular adventure destinations in the country, the 27 Waterfalls of Damajuagua. Us guys left from the central office at around 5, getting in smoothly to the second-largest city at around 7:30, ready for dinner. Continue reading

Life Lessons

I know you all are eagerly anticipating the release of my next thriller, Climb, Repeat; Jump, Repeat, but I have to get a few Monday things out of the way first. I have learned a lot today, and wanted to share with my loyal readers tips to help in everyday life.

From Chef Mr. Eat-Garlic:

– If the chicken smells funny, it probably isn’t good anymore.

– When ordering cheese at the supermarket, ‘cuarta libra’ means four pounds of cheese, while ‘un cuarta’ means one quarter-pound of cheese. If anyone has tips on eating a pound and a half of cheese, please feel free to leave that in the comments or mail it to:

Shane Shake
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500

– Two onions and two monster cloves of garlic is enough for a can of beans and a pound of pork cutlets. Barely.

– When peeling a carrot, once you are going to peel the the second half and grab the first half, it becomes slippery. For when you’re peeling over a trashcan (zafacón), please don’t let that affect your grip or it shall affect your chances of eating that carrot.

– Do not fry food shirtless, oil gets a little jumpy when it’s hot. Do everything else shirtless.

– Too much olive oil? Never heard of it.

– Black beans beat beets, by far. The question is, do bears beet black beans Battlestar Galactica?

Moving on, tips from Mr. Shake on how to cope with life’s little battles: Continue reading

Adjusting

No, I don't feel trapped or anything. I just like the picture.

While it’s been a relatively normal (and better than expected) adjustment period in life outside the United States, there has been a deluge of new ideas, actions, and people that I’ve encountered, causing me already to rethink the way I perceive normalcy. Continue reading