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  1. #1
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    Default Having Dominican Friends

    I am posting this in the North Coast forum because I visit Cabarete often and I have often thought of buying a place there one day. I am wondering how those of you who live in the DR deal with the economic differences that you have with the Dominicans that you are likely to get to know and develop a friendship with. In my experience after getting to know locals there you soon start to hear about there economic problems or other difficulties and often there is a request for help.

    Is this a common problem for those of you that live there full-time and how do you deal with it? Do you develop any real friendships with Dominicans or does your social circle involve mostly other foreigners?

  2. #2
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    A lot will have to do with your lifestyle and your personality. Me, I don't have much in common with your average Dominican, professional or otherwise. I tried explaining to the taxi driver why what he routinely did would eventually get him or someone else killed and he didn't get it. Generally, my interactions get reduced to their daily lives and of course their problems, some of which they believe I am uniquely in a position to rectify.

    I've tried hiring Dominican trades people and they were usually a disappointment. Some more than others. Now, my trades people are foreigners who are semi retired. I generally don't socialize with the locals apart from casual encounters and a very rare game of Dominoes. I do not enjoy hanging out at the colamdo drinking beer nor do I enjoy sitting on a stoop watching the world go by. My Spanish is pretty good but I still translate things in my head which slows me down. I just can't keep up with most social conversations where I first have to figure out what the topic is, then what is being said.

    I'm not like everybody and all Dominicans are not the same. I've had some acquaintances ask for things and others who have not. I've had foreigners ask for things and others not.

    To be honest, I'm not here to look for friends. I have all the friends I need and most are at arms length, just the way I prefer it. I don't need people contact every day and can go weeks before I seek out someone to talk to or have a drink with. I do not invite locals to my house and only a select few foreigners who are likely to reciprocate. Those that don't, aren't asked back. Again I have very little in common with the average Dominican, I cannot tolerate for even a brief time someone who can't put their phone away and social interactions with an average Dominican at least for me, are awkward, usually quite boring and difficult to get excited about.

    Your experiences may be completely different. If you are an outgoing person and choose to pursue friendships with anyone here, more power to you. As for your concern, sure, you are going to encounter those who ask for things. You just have to be prepared and have a plan. In these cases, I usually politely say no. I find that when you help someone in need (especially with money), you are the first person they seek out the next time they need something (usually money).

    I'm not a complete antisocial miser. I have just learned that I need to be discriminating or I can get overwhelmed and feel guilty a lot of the time. I am my own best friend and I really enjoy my own company. Other relationships I see as being akin to work, something I swore to avoid at all costs when I moved here. I prefer simple and predictable both of which relationships tend to complicate eventually.

    Good luck.

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  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by asdsrfr View Post
    I am posting this in the North Coast forum because I visit Cabarete often and I have often thought of buying a place there one day. I am wondering how those of you who live in the DR deal with the economic differences that you have with the Dominicans that you are likely to get to know and develop a friendship with. In my experience after getting to know locals there you soon start to hear about there economic problems or other difficulties and often there is a request for help.

    Is this a common problem for those of you that live there full-time and how do you deal with it? Do you develop any real friendships with Dominicans or does your social circle involve mostly other foreigners?
    Been living here 7+ years. Indeed, there are real economic differences.
    I have a few good Dominican friends down here. Most of them are poor.
    I treat them as an equal. I tell them I'm not interested in discussing money
    or politics. Works for me. Whenever a Dominican/ Haitian or Venezuelan
    has asked me for money, I always ask them how much they want (its usually
    25 to 100 pesos) then I tell them "sure, no problem but you'll need to let
    me hold your cellphone until you pay me back" PROBLEM SOLVED.

    For those rare moments when a relative gets ill or they need money for
    more pricier services, I always respond in kind.. "If you and I never met and
    you needed money, who would you ask? Then I tell them to go ask that
    person.

    This country is not for everyone. Showing generosity or always being willing
    to pick up the tab or pay the bill does not always garner the same appreciation
    as one may be accustomed to receiving back home.

    Having lived in several different developing countries, my advice to anyone
    who wants to live in a place like the DR is to first learn the language, live like a local
    and do show or share your wealth until you really understand the cultural differences
    you have with the people down here who you choose to call friends.
    Last edited by CristoRey; 06-04-2019 at 08:51 PM.

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  6. #4
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    Why do most foreigners assume all Dominicans are poor ??? There are many Dominicans very well off and a greater majority who are not rich but do live a very decent life and they will never ask you for money. The problem is most people come to the Country and decide to hang out with people that they would never associate with in their own Country.

  7. #5
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    I have some great Dominican friends, in fact all my face to face friends are Dominican and my online friends mostly expats who I see occasionally. Some of my Dominican friends are campesinos, honest as the day they were born and always there for me. Some are professionals, lawyers, doctors and the like. You need to speak Spanish to make real Dominican friends I think and once you have a Dominican friend you have a friend for life.

    A friend will ask you how you are
    A Dominican friend will tell you, you look good, will hug you and give you a kiss.

    A friend sends you flowers and a card when you are in hospital
    A Dominican friend will sleep on a chair at your side

    A friend will ask to borrow something and will give it back 2 days later
    A Dominican friend will ask to borrow something and after a week will forget it was yours

    A friend will offer you the sofa to sleep on
    A Dominican friend will give you his bed, he will sleep on the floor and not let you sleep but spend the whole night talking to you

    A friend will know a few things about you
    A Dominican friend will be able to write a book with all the things he knows about you

    A friend will give you a paracetomal when you are hungover
    A Dominican friend will make you chicken soup, and give you his grandmother's cures, and will make sure you drink the soup, even hand feeding you.

    A friend will knock on your door, waiting for you to open it
    A Dominican friend will open the door, walk in and then say I am here

    A friend will ask you to make them coffee
    A Dominican friend will go into the kitchen, make the coffee and go next door to ask a neighbour for sugar if you have none

    Matilda


    Moderator Ladies Only & North West Forums
    www.DR1.com

  8. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matilda View Post
    I have some great Dominican friends, in fact all my face to face friends are Dominican and my online friends mostly expats who I see occasionally. Some of my Dominican friends are campesinos, honest as the day they were born and always there for me. Some are professionals, lawyers, doctors and the like. You need to speak Spanish to make real Dominican friends I think and once you have a Dominican friend you have a friend for life.

    A friend will ask you how you are
    A Dominican friend will tell you, you look good, will hug you and give you a kiss.

    A friend sends you flowers and a card when you are in hospital
    A Dominican friend will sleep on a chair at your side

    A friend will ask to borrow something and will give it back 2 days later
    A Dominican friend will ask to borrow something and after a week will forget it was yours

    A friend will offer you the sofa to sleep on
    A Dominican friend will give you his bed, he will sleep on the floor and not let you sleep but spend the whole night talking to you

    A friend will know a few things about you
    A Dominican friend will be able to write a book with all the things he knows about you

    A friend will give you a paracetomal when you are hungover
    A Dominican friend will make you chicken soup, and give you his grandmother's cures, and will make sure you drink the soup, even hand feeding you.

    A friend will knock on your door, waiting for you to open it
    A Dominican friend will open the door, walk in and then say I am here

    A friend will ask you to make them coffee
    A Dominican friend will go into the kitchen, make the coffee and go next door to ask a neighbour for sugar if you have none

    Matilda
    as i said, this is why you are Matilda, and we are not...

  9. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by badpiece33 View Post
    Why do most foreigners assume all Dominicans are poor ??? There are many Dominicans very well off and a greater majority who are not rich but do live a very decent life and they will never ask you for money. The problem is most people come to the Country and decide to hang out with people that they would never associate with in their own Country.
    Those well off people don't interact with foreigners.

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  11. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mofongoloco View Post
    Those well off people don't interact with foreigners.
    there you go. you will never see a Dominican with money in a caseta on the malecon. not going to happen. they will all huddle together in Tio Pan in Torre Alta, but not in a malecon hangout.

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  13. #9
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    The friendlier you are towards them the more comfortable they feel asking you for money, because "ya hay confianza". No thanks.

  14. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mofongoloco View Post
    Those well off people don't interact with foreigners.
    Not necessarily. Yes ,social stratification is alive and well in the DR and still dominates most business and social interactions. And yes , most of our professional Dominican friends( lawyers, doctors etc) tend to interact mostly with people in their socioeconomic group , or at least, with people of similar backgrounds and interests .

    Mi esposa and I are foreigners , and our friendships with Dominicans came from mutual respect and shared interests. We’ve known our doctor’s family and abogada for a while and they consider us as friends and vice versa.

    So , while we probably don’t do everything on Maltida’s list , we watch and play sports with our doctor and his family when we can , and we go to movies with our abogada and her daughter most of the time . It depends on the individual.

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