The taste of freedom comes quickly in the Dominican Republic. Upon my very first landing in this country, disembarking from the plane onto the tarmac, there were no pent-up hallways herding passengers like cattle to the security gates. It was a slow wander in a line of 250 or so passengers on that WestJet flight. Being our first trip to DR we traveled light, one carry-on each, it was only a week after all. We made our way through the stanchions in the open air. After clearing basic security, no fuss, no muss, off we went to find our transfer. People were so free and happy. Coming from Canada with it’s heightened security measures this was very unexpected.
As the curtained bus rolled along down the narrow roads we felt a little jostled. Looking out the windows at people dotting the roadside in conversation, waiting for buses, sitting on their motos, or simply having a beer roadside while playing dominoes was a very foreign concept to us rather restricted Canadians. It wasn’t until much later that we fully realized what we were witnessing … FREEDOM.
In La Republica Dominicana, there are many freedoms. Some legal, some illegal. For example, you can sit on the sidewalk or walk the beach with spirits in your hands. However drinking and driving laws are in effect, though not well enforced. So, where you can go sit on a beach or at a river and imbibe in some good local rum or a few cervezas in Dominican Republic, you cannot in other countries, Canada being one of them. Or for that matter open liquor in the car. Speed limits are rarely observed, but you can see the following for more details on DR driving: https://locagringa.wordpress.com/2013/01/14/driving-in-dominican-republic/
Another freedom is the motorcycle. Some of them are built to carry multiple passengers. Very few helmets are spotted. There are a whole lot of motorcycle accidents and helmets would definitely save lives. Multiple passengers is all-inclusive. Small children are often wedged in between adults. Free … yes … dangerous … oh hell yeah. As in Canada in former years, passengers are often riding in the backs of trucks. Workers in the cane fields are jammed like standing sardines in trucks and carted to and from the fields, 20 or so standing in the back box.
There appear to be no smoking regulations here. As I don’t smoke, I wish there were. However, it’s not too bad off the resorts. There are far less local people that smoke, but tourists do. Our own colmado does not allow smoking inside but they do provide a lighter for patrons to light up and smoke outside.
Music is another freedom. The louder the better. Many cars have massive speaker systems. Interestingly, many have way too much base and that sets off car alarms as they drive by. Mufflers on vehicles … optional, as well as brakes and lights.
Do I favour these freedoms? Absolutely as long as you are not a danger to yourself and others.
Listen to the palms…
© Loca Gringa and https://locagringa.wordpress.com