First Trip Back As Husband And Wife

Musicqueen

Miami Nice!
Jan 31, 2002
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My husband just celebrated his first year living in the USA, and next week we're going back to DR for the first time as husband and wife...

But I have a little problem I need someone to shed a light on...

We were discussing whether to bring gifts to family and friends, or give them the good stuff...you know...CASH!!!

It was decided that in order to save a lot of worries with luggage and maybe someone taking something from them at the airport, the best thing and what would be most appreciated would be the CASH...

So...we started to make a list of the people we would give 'presents' to...we agreed on aunts and uncles, one cousin, and 4 friends...

For the children of these people I have already bought outfits, which I'm sure they could use...and we can't give kids money...so I think that should be fine...PLUS some candy, etc.

Ok...here's the deal...After we figured out how much money we would give each of these people, ($50, except 2 friends that want good old LIQUOR! :) ) Tony says to me..."Ok, then we are gonna need about another $100 or so for the unexpected ones"....

THIS made me crazy!!! (Yes, more so...!) He says that when some people see him going to visit his friends, they're gonna come up and 'ask' for whatever he can give them...

He doesn't even want to go visit his ex-coworkers because of this...

IS this the norm in DR? I know that SOME family MEMBERS EXPECT some things...but acquaintances too??? People that might have known my husband years ago?

THIS IS NUTS!!!

I think, that if things are really this bad, and we're expected to bring money and gifts to people we have nothing to do with, as much as it pains me to say it...THIS WILL BE OUR LAST TRIP TO DR!!!

Next time, I might as well go to another Caribbean island where NO ONE knows us...so we don't go broke!!!

I mean, bet. the tickets, the car rental, the money needed to have fun for 6 days, AND the presents...this is setting us back almost $3000 in LESS than a week!!

We are NOT rich people...how can we deal with this without coming into a conflict as a couple and without hurting people's feelings (well, sort of)

I am totally dumbfounded!!!!:tired:
 
May 12, 2005
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My husband just celebrated his first year living in the USA, and next week we're going back to DR for the first time as husband and wife...

But I have a little problem I need someone to shed a light on...

We were discussing whether to bring gifts to family and friends, or give them the good stuff...you know...CASH!!!

It was decided that in order to save a lot of worries with luggage and maybe someone taking something from them at the airport, the best thing and what would be most appreciated would be the CASH...

So...we started to make a list of the people we would give 'presents' to...we agreed on aunts and uncles, one cousin, and 4 friends...

For the children of these people I have already bought outfits, which I'm sure they could use...and we can't give kids money...so I think that should be fine...PLUS some candy, etc.

Ok...here's the deal...After we figured out how much money we would give each of these people, ($50, except 2 friends that want good old LIQUOR! :) ) Tony says to me..."Ok, then we are gonna need about another $100 or so for the unexpected ones"....

THIS made me crazy!!! (Yes, more so...!) He says that when some people see him going to visit his friends, they're gonna come up and 'ask' for whatever he can give them...

He doesn't even want to go visit his ex-coworkers because of this...

IS this the norm in DR? I know that SOME family MEMBERS EXPECT some things...but acquaintances too??? People that might have known my husband years ago?

THIS IS NUTS!!!

I think, that if things are really this bad, and we're expected to bring money and gifts to people we have nothing to do with, as much as it pains me to say it...THIS WILL BE OUR LAST TRIP TO DR!!!

Next time, I might as well go to another Caribbean island where NO ONE knows us...so we don't go broke!!!

I mean, bet. the tickets, the car rental, the money needed to have fun for 6 days, AND the presents...this is setting us back almost $3000 in LESS than a week!!

We are NOT rich people...how can we deal with this without coming into a conflict as a couple and without hurting people's feelings (well, sort of)

I am totally dumbfounded!!!!:tired:

Don't worry about it MQ. There will be plenty of chisme going around about how cheap you and Tony are after your gone. Just do what you think is right. Anyway, why is this a surprise to you? After being with Tony for all this time and reading about this very thing for years on DR1. You should have expected it.
 

SantiagoDR

The "REAL" SantiagoDR
Jan 12, 2006
5,835
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Perhaps, fortunately, there was no DR1 when I got married to my 1st and 2nd Dominican wife, so I did not know I was expected to do all that stuff MusicQueen.

I guess everyone got over it, as I have no problems about such things now.
We do occasionally bring a thing or two for her mom, but that?s it.

So call me cheap if you want, but I?m the one that has to maintain the ability to continue to live here in the DR on my FIXED income. If I gave 20 pesos to all those that ask, I would not have enough to make it to my next pension check.

Wow, if I could just handle it the same way for the 2-3 times increase in the cost of things since moving here.

Have a great trip, they should be happy to see the 2 of you for yourselves, not for your money.


Don SantiagoDR
 

Musicqueen

Miami Nice!
Jan 31, 2002
2,252
4
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Don't worry about it MQ. There will be plenty of chisme going around about how cheap you and Tony are after your gone. Just do what you think is right. Anyway, why is this a surprise to you? After being with Tony for all this time and reading about this very thing for years on DR1. You should have expected it.

Yes, Frank...I know this happens...I just didn't think Tony would be feeling the pressure...he's not like that...he usually just tells me 'They did fine before I came here, they'll do fine now'...

But this time he surprised me when he said that other people were going to also ask for money or 'something'...

He's sent his aunt and uncle money only once this past year, and only on my insistence...they haven't asked for anything at all...

The only one that has asked is one of his friends, he wants a bottle of Green Courvoisier (sp?) I swear, this guy is funny, his family has tons of money, but he doesn't even have a job...and that's all he wants...

So, for $70 I think we'll be fine...I just can't imagine having to hand out money to total strangers for the heck of it...

Well, I hope it doesn't turn out as bad as I'm thinking...if not, I swear it WILL be the last vacation in DR...

****, we got to fork out money for those damn Caribbean Series tickets!!!

I can't be 'supporting' unknowns also!!!!

Thanks for the replies, guys...

Wud...have fun...I WISH I could just book a damn AI in PUJ and forget about everything else!!!! ;)
 

Lambada

Gold
Mar 4, 2004
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www.ginniebedggood.com
Tony says to me..."Ok, then we are gonna need about another $100 or so for the unexpected ones"....

I'd say well done that man for planning in advance and for reminding you, MQ, if you had forgotten, of how things can be here.

...how can we deal with this without coming into a conflict as a couple

Not easily if you stick at the point you're at now. It's his first trip back? He'll probably need to play the returning hero role. Negotiate with him, move your position a little & he'll probably move his. Make sure the $100 for the unexpected ones is his money rather than yours, then it's his choice on whom he spends it. Chances are for future trips he'll see things more your way. But he won't want to appear a cheapskate on his very first trip back. Plus..............things are tough here for a lot of people right now. I'm fortunate in that I do have enough to give money to those who ask - mostly they don't. I already know if they're hurting & try to do something about it in advance. But there are lots of perfectly genuine people who are hurting & who could use some help. Maybe come to an agreement with your husband that some of that $100 goes to the ones who don't ask, but still need it?

Good luck & I hope the trip isn't too stressful for both of you.
 
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suarezn

Gold
Feb 3, 2002
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MQ: Your husband is right about the people that will ask him for a beer, some money, etc here and there. Normally these are people who are just acquaintances, as real friends will probably never ask him straight up. Remember this is the first time he goes back so a lot of people expect him to be doing "great".

When I first started going back to The DR I would bring all kinds of stuff for all the family. Sometimes 3 or 4 suitcases full of stuff. Problem with that is you soon realize that my family kept expanding and you can't buy for one and not the others, so I now give everyone money. If you only go once a year it will be a lot more expensive as people would expect something. I now go three or four times a year so they see me all the time and I don't bring anyone anything.

If you give money don't give them USD. Exchange the money and give them pesos instead. Personally I think 50 USD is OK for your grown up brother / sister, but too much for a friend or teen. I usually give my teenage nephews 500 pesos each or 1,000 if I'm feeling generous or it's their b-day.
 

Funnyyale26

Bronze
Dec 15, 2006
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I don't know, but I get the impression that the OP "se esta ahogando en un vaso de agua" as we say in Spanish. If they are your friends, and you speak to them firmly and clearly that you have no money, period..they should understand. If not, they are not your friends. These days people are considering gifts as a requirement, when in reality is a nice gesture.
 

johne

Silver
Jun 28, 2003
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A little low on cash

MQ--you know from my other thread about my missing cash this week. I'm a little low in the cash dept so I can't help you with anything but advise.
Why don't you go to the DR with MY story and tell them you were on a bus on the way to buy them gifts when all of a sudden.....

Good luck and have a great trip!
JOHN
 

Janin

On Vacation....
Jul 31, 2007
548
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Ego Boost

The key word seems to be 'aprovechar' (de la ocasi?n).
I am afraid it's a cultural thing to approach whomsoever for a 'prestamo' or a 'regalito'... :tired:
To those you can never give enough and they'd always call you 'taca?o' afterwards.
Tell them that you have to WORK for your money and thus can give to family members only.

But then, how should they know? ;)
As long as 'chopos' from 'nueva yol' come here on borrowed money and with heavy gold chains ('golfi') round their necks in order to boost their ego by playing the barrio hero.... for a few days.... :bunny:

Janin
 

Janin

On Vacation....
Jul 31, 2007
548
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Whose Story?

...with MY story and tell them you were on a bus on the way to buy them gifts when all of a sudden.....

But isn't that (always) THEIR story... ? :cheeky: :bunny: :tired:

Janin
 

Alyonka

Silver
Jun 3, 2006
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Well, if some people expect someone they met like two days ago feed them and give them money - I can only imagine what they would expect from a person they actually know at least little bit. :paranoid:

You can always tell them that you donated all the money you saved to the hurricane victims, and those who waste time and energy asking for cash should get a job, so that they can help out too.

Have a great trip!
 
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korejdk

Bronze
Dec 29, 2006
647
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MQ, growing up behind the iron courtain I kind of understand, yet since I go there every month, on the 3rd trip I just gave up...Abuela does get a gift yet the primos, primas, tios, tias and the rest we're just having a beer from the cornershp...whenever I am being asked for something I say that I have a lot on my plate in NY so please do remind my novia about your request...and she knows the drill...and yes, I do understand your husband when it comes to his ex workers...I really really do not mean to be rude, yet you'll never be able to understand that since you never experience it in the US...
 

Berzin

Banned
Nov 17, 2004
5,897
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I am honestly surprised at you MQ. I thought you had this part down pat already.

You are setting a precedent that will not only hurt your relationship with these people but you are also propagating the very stereotype about tourists that these dominicans need to get out of their heads already.

You and your husband do not NEED to give anyone ANYTHING. But if you go with gifts and cash for all these people, then you telling them about your realistic financial situation will go in one ear and out the other.

"Oh, you know-we have our bills to pay in the states, we are not rich, BLAH BLAH BLAH"...and all the while you will be handing out cash like a corrupt politician. You cannot say one thing and do another.

You begin down this road where you feel obligated to hand out your hard-earned cash to everyone that is related to your husbands' family AND YOU WILL BE DOOMED.

Set people straight and ignore the requests. If you catch any type of shade for being cheap, go to a resort or stay in a hotel and enjoy the DR without bothering with all this.

You are fostering a whore mentality that some dominicans have when they encounter foreigners and you are doing yourself much more harm than good.

I understand the parents, but anyone outside of the EXTREMELY immediate family do not need to get "comped".

I'm telling you, don't do it. Change it up and be very strict about who gets what-keep that circle as tight as you possibly can. And if your husband really feels the need to do this, then let HIM pay for it all. You'll see him change his tune real quick if it becomes a problem for him when its' all HIS money that he has to shell out.

Just because you are visiting his dominican relatives doesn't mean you have to "make it rain". That type of behavior should be restricted to strip clubs.
 

drny

New member
Jun 12, 2007
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I am honestly surprised at you MQ. I thought you had this part down pat already.

You are setting a precedent that will not only hurt your relationship with these people but you are also propagating the very stereotype about tourists that these dominicans need to get out of their heads already.
.

So very true. The parents are o.k.
Everyone else, maybe take them out to dinner, lunch, etc.
That's it.
 

cobraboy

Pro-Bono Demolition Hobbyist
Jul 24, 2004
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I only take trinkets for the youngsters, those under 10 y.o...
 

Hillbilly

Moderator
Jan 1, 2002
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MQ, as a friend, I have to agree with Berzin...don't do this. Take something nice for the favorite aunt or uncle. Take some large bags of chocolate--Sam's Club sizes!--maybe a Toblerone or two. And that's it!!
There is no reason for either you or Tony to become Midas for other people. The odd bottle of whiskey, maybe...not for anyone..."No lo encontr? y no me atrev?a comprar otra cosa!"

If Tony wants to go this route, well he's a working stiff, let him see how fast a couple of hours of his hard earned cash goes...Maybe he will appreciate it...

HB
 

2LeftFeet

Bronze
Dec 1, 2006
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Hi MQ.... I would not be happy with that either. So, I'm right with you.

I have a question for you? Have you asked him why he is doing this? Is he doing it because he feels "the obligation" and doesn't want to do it or Could it be that deep down inside he really wants to do it ....... to say-- yes.... I've made it!

If he really doesn't want to do it.. then I, as his wife would help him come to that realization that we cannot afford this and this is a crazy idea.

If he really does want to do it I think I would support him with his decision but...... there would be limits. There isn't a neverending supply of money but there will be a neverending supply of people asking for it.

I would tell him that you can afford it only this one time for the "extra people" Immediate family is one thing but.. the ex ex ex co-workers????

I think once he gets down there and all the hands start appearing he's going to resent it and he will come to that realization on his own.

But..... you supported him as his wife.

If.... it starts getting out of hand.... that's another story.

I hope I'm making sense.
 

bob saunders

Platinum
Jan 1, 2002
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The first time Yris and I went back, she tried to do the same thing. Bring back something for everyone, a couple of $1000 and 6 suitcases later. Most people including most of hr family didn't even thank her. Now she brings some childrens clothing, women shoes for her aunts, paints for a dear friend who is an Artist, a couple of things for her brother. A person shouldn't be bringing things with expectation of thanks, but it feels good to be appreciated.
I find myself wanting to give more, but Yris makes sure I'm not too generous. Set a limit, and keep it.
 

shadInToronto

On Vacation....
Nov 16, 2003
1,988
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Break the bank and give all you have then return broke and poor. When you're 'busting your a$$' to pay your bills, call the better-half family for some assistance .... do you think they'll reciprocate? :ermm: