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  1. #1
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    Default One Day in Santo Domingo

    Yesterday morning I was walking in my neighborhood. As I came to a major street there was a crazy street person breaking windows of parked cars and yipetas with rocks. Several car owners appeared and chased him down the street. They caught him and hauled him back to where he had done the damage. Three or four of them proceeded to beat him silly with fists and boards.

    I stayed around to see what would happen. They flagged down a police patrol that happened by about forty minutes after it all began. The cops were reluctant to stop but they did. They listened to what the witnesses had to say, wrote nothing down and took away the hapless perpetrator.

    I spent some time talking to several people about what happened and one theme kept surfacing. People kept saying that the government consistently fails to deal with street people like that. Several serious people suggested that what often happens if someone like that becomes a serious continuing problem in a neighborhood eventually someone will kill him.

    Later in the day I stopped into the colmado next to where all this happened in the morning. I struck up a conversation with a man from Spain. He had been staying in the Zona Oriental and had had his money stolen. He called his family and they sent money to Western Union. A "friend" offered to take him to Western Union to pick up his money and then take him to the airport.

    The "friend" robbed him at knifepoint of his passport, suitcase and the money and took off without injuring him. All he had left was his Spanish cedula. He was waiting for more money from home and a duplicate passport from the Spanish Embassy.

    I told him about the English expression "school of hard knocks" which I translated "escuela de golpes duros" and that he had just earned a year or two worth of credits. He laughed. He'll do all right in life with a good sense of humor.

    It was his first visit to the DR. He says he won't be back.

    Last night I called the colmado for an order. The kid showed up with a brand new laminated carné (photo identity card) pinned to his shirt. I asked him what was up with the carné and he said there have been tigres roaming the neighborhood on motorbikes that look like colmado bikes mugging people.

    This morning I was out walking and three police came by on motorcycles accompanied by a fire department yipeta that was packed with young males. I watched them stop several young men who were able to produce cedulas and explain their presence so they let them continue.

    Boys and girls, this is not Kansas.

  2. #2
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    Why don't you call this Thread 'One Day In The World'. Unless you're tellling that there's no crime in Kansas or anywhere else matter.

    Zeus

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZEUS View Post
    Why don't you call this Thread 'One Day In The World'. Unless you're tellling that there's no crime in Kansas or anywhere else matter.

    Zeus

    The Toto is better in Santo Domingo than Kansas, Dorothy.

  4. #4
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    No. Crime is not unique to the DR. But one should not be so dismissive of the OP's point. We all should be careful, however long we have visited or have lived there. The rule of law is truly not observed in the way it is in many 'first' world countries.

  5. #5
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    Zeus, if you want to find out about bad things that can happen in Kansas read Truman Capote's In Cold Blood.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Celt202 View Post
    ... a man from Spain. He had been staying in the Zona Oriental and had had his money stolen. He called his family and they sent money to Western Union. A "friend" offered to take him to Western Union to pick up his money and then take him to the airport.
    The "friend" robbed him at knifepoint of his passport, suitcase and the money and took off without injuring him.
    Seems that besides delincuentes we do get our more than fair share of plain stupid folks over here too.
    This is certainly not meant to justify hustlers, con men and robbers... but there are just to many stories being reported of people getting shafted, robbed or seriously hurt because they were doing things or acting in ways they would never even do or act like back where they come from.

    But I must say, that the only two times I felt "the heat" closing in on me here in this country, was in Santo Domingo.
    • Once a guy tried to intimidate me with his prison, drug and crime stories, in several quite well spoken foreign languages... I "intimidated" him back, to his surprise in HIS language and in no uncertain terms... he then chose to make "friends" and let it go... (but no, he has not yet become my driver when I go pick up or deliver money )
    • Second time, when I spotted some guy disguised as some kind of street idiot, checking out chassis (VIN) of cars (mine too) parked on the parking lot of the hotel I was in. I warned the the guy at the lobby, who only tried to make me believe "que no te preocupes este solo es un tonto que anda por aqui...". I decided to play tonto too, showed myself as satisfied with the explanation and went out walking, cool, but grabbed the first patrol I spot and had them both checked out. The "tonto" was immediately recognized as a having worked in car theft schemes and the guy from the lobby was never seen working there again.

    ... J-D.

  7. #7
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    I recommend reading a very powerfula and educational book (especially to the females on the board) called...

    THE GIFT OF FEAR by Gavin de Becker.

    https://www.gavindebecker.com/books-gof.cfm

    Amazing tips on how to protect yourself and the importance of listening to your intuition. If your gut tells you something is wrong LISTEN to it, dont ignore it !!!!

  8. #8
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    you make friends with conchos, cab driver and street tigres, then chances are, you will get robbed on the way to the airport. Come on folks, get to meet the real dominicans for a change.
    AZB

  9. #9
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    Firstly "Real Domincians" drive taxis and conchos, I have met many nice ones...not all are bad!
    But I dont think it is wise to discourage people from posting their warnings/stories here out of fear that they will be called stupid, or etc.
    Effective communicators understand that you can give constructive criticism without insulting and being rude to someone.
    Just a pet peeve of mine that I see on many message boards.
    Bad things happen to people in much safer countries....and its not because people are ALWAYS stupid or doing stupid things. Sometimes bad things happen! Thats life!
    Knowledge is power and by someone posting their story it brings AWARENESS and could possibly help someone else....or maybe even you!

  10. #10
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    I alway hear people say, the taxi driver, hotel workers, shoe shine boys, the waiter, the colmado boy, the motoconcho guy etc are good people with kind hearts. Why can't the same people tell me that lawyers, doctors, business owners, bankers, general manager of a company etc are also good people? why is it that in your view of most expats, only the poor and desperate have the monopoly in being good folks?
    I tell you what I am talking about:
    Every time I am in a company of a foreigner, I always see them with a puta, a motoconcho, a resort sankie, a handy man who fixes their toilet, the damn beach bum who works in some shack or simply a jobless jose. You people really think these losers are real dominicans? You think they pay taxes, pay lights, water, cable or do anything productive to advance their country move forward? It simply makes me sick to see foreigners only socializing with scum of this island. People who are even looked down upon their own folks. Then the same people complain of high crime, robberies, puta, unfaithful girlfriends, abussive, drunk domincian boyfriends who beat them up regularly, who don't work etc etc. Yes, you people will see the worst of this country just because you folks deserve it. Keep finding love in filth and then scream foul.
    Why is it that these things don't happen to us in santiago? Why is it we are not surprised to hear what is happening to foreigners or crimes in barrios?
    I can care less if all the barrio tigres kill each other. My life is totally unaffected.
    AZB

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