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Thread: Thoughts on living in DR...

  1. #1
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    Default Thoughts on living in DR...

    This is my fourth visit to DR and I am trying to summarize my feelings about the idea of moving here. I think that two vital questions are these:

    1. What added value will you give your life by relocating to DR?
    What will you gain? What will you lose?

    2. Are you moving TO DR? Or are you in fact moving AWAY from wherever you are living now?

    I think it is important to remember that whatever troubles you might have in your homeland could well haunt you also in DR, if the cause is within yourself! You don't want to go to all the trouble of moving only to find that you brought your troubles with you or that they were washed ashore here! Remember Shakespeares "Tempest"...

    Some specific comments:


    Climate:

    Many people point to the warm weather and sunny skies as a great benefit. I agree and as a Swede I don't miss the shivering cold of winter in Gothenburg. However, is there anything more beautiful than an autumn walk in the woods, when the leaves turn to gold? And where do I go picking mushrooms in DR? And If I can't pick mushrooms in DR, then what to I do instead?


    Accomodation:

    I do know that prices of houses and apartments vary greatly in different countries. However, I am surprised by the comparatively high prices for buying property here in DR, as compared to the average income level in the region. Prices in Santo Domingo are similar to prices in my home town in Sweden, where the income level is much higher. And in Sweden, the interest on a morgage is typically 7%.


    Cars:

    Cars are EXPENSIVE here! My God! And if you have to borrow money? Geez... I bought a new car in Sweden in 1998 and the interest rate for the loan was 2.7%...

    But If I were to live here, I would definitely invest in a BIG Jeep, to survive and to be able to "bully" my way through traffic! However, the traffic in Saudi-Arabia, where I live now, is even worse... Since March 2001, five of my colleagues have died in traffic accidents!


    Isolation:

    DR is part of an island!!! I have already experienced moments of feeling "trapped" here. Wherever I want to go, I have to fly! Or possibly go by ferry across to Puerto Rico. (I kind of exclude visiting Haiti, as Haiti seems to be a special case!?).

    Perhaps my feelings come from the fact that I am European, I don't know, but still...

    And if I do go to the trouble of going to Venezuela, as an example, what will be the difference from DR? By comparison, if I go from Sweden to England, there is quite an apparent difference. Incidentally, flying Ryan Air from Sweden to London is c. US$100 round trip. How far to I get from DR for US$100???


    Culture:

    People have different needs, I know, but for me it is NOT enough to hang out with friends, drink beer and talk... I need an established cultural scene to enjoy as well as the "alternative" culture you find in Europe and North America. Just compare the Opera season for my hometown in Sweden, HALF the size of Santo Domingo, to what is offered in the capital of DR!

    When I was in Madrid in September last year, I went to the park and listened to poetry readings. Last week, I received an e-mail from a friend in a small town in Sweden who praised the poetry evening of the day before. Where do I go for poetry in DR?

    Any given day of the week, my hometown in Sweden has live music in a dozen or more pubs, restaurants etc. There are at least three rock music venues, one classical music concert, an Opera or Operetto, live theatre, several film clubs, lectures etc. etc...


    Infrastructure:

    Life in Europe is not perfect but at least in Sweden, the infrastructure functions pretty well on all levels. And I pay my bills and do all my banking on the internet. Perhaps I still do not know enough, but DR seems to be somewhat more chaotic and bureaucratic... And then we have the postal system which I won't even begin to comment...


    Safety and Health:

    I fail to see what the police do about hazardous driving, what the city authorities do about those insane electric installations I see everywhere and so on, forever... Most things here would be illegal in Sweden!

    I went with a Dominican friend to visit his mother in a hospital in Santo Domingo and I had a shock! I have been to hospitals only in Sweden and Saudi-Arabia, but the one I visited in Santo Domingo was baaaaad.....

    Money:

    I fully realize now that you need a lot of money to live a good life here and be able to travel (travel is my main hobby and interest!). But... if you have a lot of money, why pick DR rather than Spain or Thailand or Cyprus?

    Well, there are a million other things to comment but I will leave it here! Don't want to overload this message board...

    So what do I do? "Relocate" back to Sweden?

    Hasta Lugego!
    Johns

  2. #2
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    Default

    The beauty of this world is that there is a place for everyone. I am not made to live in Saudi Arabia just as I was not made to live in Sweden, no matter how great a country I think that Sweden is. Never been to Saudi Arabia and it is not in my to-do list. I very much think that the Big Guy Upstairs was wise when he put me here.

    Reading your post I came to think that you should not move to DR. Many people have made of this country their second home, they do not only come here for the weather, you can find the same weather pattern in other countries with other advantages to DR. They are willing to fight the fights and stay here not matter what. I am sure that 95% of your decision is due to the fact that you are in love with a Dominican woman. I can tell you from personal experience that (if not the worst) is one of the worse reasons to relocate to another country. I find hard to believe that your girl will be willing to relocate (knowing what you told me about her) and if you do move here you will regret it, sooner or later. Catch 22, isn't it?

    All I can say is that life is a b**ch and that in a perfect world we should be able to chose whom to fall in love with. I wish you the best and will be glad to hear if you ever work it out.

    Good luck Viking!

    Pib
    DR1's own Dr. Joyce Brothers
    Take my advice with a dump truck load of salt
    Last edited by Pib; 01-07-2002 at 03:36 PM.

  3. #3
    "Going for Gold"
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    Default

    You raise some interesting points that most people likely don't consider when thinking about relocating.
    It never hurts to explore the possibilities, but one has to try to be realistic, and sometimes hearing about the experiences of others who have gone before helps...

    I would be very interested to hear more about the experiences of those who relocated, what surprised them, what they expected, etc, etc.

  4. #4
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    Default And what about re-relocating?

    One more issue worth considering is the possibility of going back again to wherever you came from! For those of you with lots of money, this may be a minor worry but for someone like me, with limited funds (= less than US$ 100.000), DR might become a "prison"?

    Think about this: For many people in Europe, DR is a country you visit for a couple of weeks to Get Sun, Get Drunk and Get Laid!

    So suppose I spend two years here and then finally give up and want to return to Europe. The last posting in my C.V. will proudly boast that I have spent 2 years in Dominican Republic doing odd jobs... In what way will that be viewed on the European job market? Good? Bad?

  5. #5
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    Default international experience

    I would guess that some international work experience would be looked on favourably in Canada, demonstrating that a potential employee can adapt to new situations and has a variety of work experience.
    But then, I don't think time spent in the DR would be seen just as getting drunk and laid time. I guess things must be different in Europe; here we generally don't have to leave the country to get laid...

  6. #6
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    Wink

    I found johns' choice of places he would rather be than in the DR rather interesting. Of course, in Europe, the arts have a much more secure place than elsewhere - here in Toronto, we have been struggling for years to get an opera house, but we are always told that there is no money for it. Somehow, for athletic facilities, there always is plenty.

    And, of course, the DR is on an island (so, for that matter, are Britain, Ireland and Japan). But you can get on a plane and be in New York, with the Metropolitan Opera, the New York Philharmonic and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in a few hours.

    I don't believe that either Thailand or Cyprus are exactly brimming with opera houses, and Cyprus is on an island, besides. And I'm sure the fare from Thailand to Europe is much for than the fare from Santo Domingo to NYC.

  7. #7
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    Wink Dear Johns,I,ll write you a "Poem"

    Roses are red,Violets are Blue,I hope that the Dominican Republic,has seen the Last of You! Feel at home now? I think I will move to Sweden,and then complain about the snow.Talk about "Drinking"? After the "Russians",the "Sweds" are the biggest "Drunks" on the planet! Lets talk about "Culture" Every where in the world people are now dancing to the latest "Swedish" music! Wearing "Swedish Fashions" Learning to speak Swedish,eating "swedish meatballs"! NOT!Dominican Culture is everywhere!Viking go Home! Criss Colon

  8. #8
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    Default Chris Colon certainly

    has a way with words! LOL Man, remind me not to get on your bad side or even think about talking when you are having a bad hair day.

    The post was redundant and it seemed as if he wanted to get stroked. Good job Chris! :-)

    Scott

  9. #9
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    Default I dont know about Sweden but....

    Well, i just posted a comment asking for help and info about relocating to the Dominican Republic, then read all off your replys to the Swedes. Well I can see his point on some but, jeez live a little man, you only live once!
    Im serious about moving, and property doesnt seem that different to anywhere else in price. In the UK, where Im from, London prices sre extortionate, and my area, the North East (heard of Middlesbrough), isnt.

  10. #10
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    Default and

    The climate is better in the DR. aNYONE WHO DOESNT FEEL BETTER WITH THE SUN ON THEIR BACK IS, WELL, A SNOWMAN OR VAMPIRE! Yes autumn leaves going brown are beautiful, but snow, sleet, driving rain, fog, did I mention snow, acid rain etc ARENT!
    The Swede mentions car prices, well the UK's for some reason are the highest in Europe. And in my area you leave the door unlocked when you leave it so the theives who WILL steal it dont do so much damage to it, when you eventually find it!
    Hospitals. The NHS in our country, so very highly admired in other medical paying countries, is in critical condition, the machine is about to be turned off! put it that way.
    Beuracracy! I own a bar here, and it is so hard to make a living by yourself, not because of the recession, but because of so much red tape. I need 10 ten licenses, from ones for dancing, serving food, opening past 11pm! just before i open my doors!
    Culture. Yes the UK has alot of history, and is heavy on the arts, but only in some areas. Where I come from, ask the nearest man who Shakespear is and they'll say" has he just signed for Middlesbrough Football Club!" As for live music, well yes i didnt see much when i stayed in Sosua, but im sure there is alot in the DR. And if there isnt they will be when i open my first bar!
    Well thats enuff from me. All I meant by the above, is that life is pretty much the same where ever you go. Its filled with great people and places, and arsehole people and places. You get what you take from life. But you only get 70 years more if your lucky, less if you get on the back of one of those bike taxis!
    So see the world, experience the rich fabric of other peoples lives. Take memories of treasured times with you when you leave. You have to take chances in life, I am going to, unless any of you lot have a problem with me coming to your beautiful and friendly island.
    thanks for your time. I will be asking alot more questions before i come so please be nice and help me out. The drinks are on me when i arrive

    Jay

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